Publicly offering anyone unsolicited advice is a bit presumptuous (although it can easily be ignored). Still, it is a bit awkward and I prefer to call an individual directly when suggesting how they might improve some aspect of their work that might have caught my eye.
But, I didn’t hesitate when the idea of crowdsourcing advice to SHRM was broached. Love the idea. Curious to see how many respond today and, what they have to say. Hard to ignore.
So what advice can I offer? Below the leadership level at SHRM are many extraordinary professionals whose current work is absolutely world-class. Whether it’s developing or managing a conference, orchestrating a member/delegate trip to a far flung part of the world, or pioneering standards. I’m a fan. Nothing to say.
As someone with more than 20 years as a volunteer at the chapter, state, region and national levels of SHRM, I could probably make a long list of small improvements but I would rather keep this short, so I’ll address only one issue: the barriers between members and non-members.
They need to be dropped because, in fact, they no longer exist. It’s just that no one has bothered to leverage access and design an open association…yet.
- - Practitioners who are not members have an incredibly rich array of HR related information to draw on. The quality and quantity keeps improving. Keeping information [content] that can improve an HR practitioner’s performance behind a member only door is self-defeating. Membership should include access to content but non-members should be able to search and acquire what they want piecemeal.
- - Analysis of SHRM information by experts should be open to non-members. Webinars, expert blogs, etc. could all be designed with membership versus non-member pricing.
- - Conferences need to be video-streamed. Some of the sessions should be free to all – especially if they are proactive initiatives supported by the Society. Packages of sessions organized by Mastery, Entry, Strategy, Functional focus, etc. could all be sold in real time w pricing for members and non-members.
- - Peer-to-peer conversations/crowdsourcing allowing real time benchmarking, metrics and more need to become core offerings and, to do so, the society needs to broaden the conversations between industry leaders, specialists, best practices, etc. whether or not they are members…and the content of these discussions then needs to be dispersed as openly as possible.
- - Internal staff and SHRM leadership need to not only attend competitive learning events but answer CFPs and speak at them.
I’m going to stop here because I’m not sure any of this advice will resonate. The overriding strategy- to break down barriers preventing non-members from participating in and benefiting from SHRM content and initiatives does seem counter intuitive. However, not taking the advice transform the society from a closed to an open association will encourage alternative models.