Day Three Summary of #SHRM18

by Michael Haberman on June 20, 2018 · 0 comments

Adam Grant speaking to 22,000 attendees.

McCormick Place in Chicago is a huge venue. By day three you are foot tired, but the information!

Adam Grant

Adam Grant is an American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology. He spoke about principles that he has discovered in his research. He was both informative and entertaining. He started by telling us a story of a guy in college who created a program to connect with friends at college. The story of Facebook? No, Grant did that but shut it down a couple of years before Zuckerberg created Facebook.

He told us of his research, which he has published in his book. He was investigating the issue of why some companies are successful with people and why others are not quite as successful. It is hard for me to repeat his entire presentation, but here are some of the notes I took:

  • Who do you hire? What skills are needed? Hire stars? Culture fit? Culture is good for the startup. Once go public culture fit is wrong. Rating on Googliness but no definition. Don’t become a culture museum. Job crafting exercise.
  • Superstar productivity makes those near them more productive by proximity.
  • Givers vs takers
  • Givers save you $5,303. Takers, the toxic employee, costs over $12k
  • Theft rate – data show that the higher you think people steal the more likely you are to be a theft.
  • We misjudge people.
  • Disagreeable givers are the people that bring high value. More committed advocates. More credible.
  • Build an upward challenge network
  • People push each other because they think they can do better. Many leaders shut these people down.
  • If you have a critical opinion you have no right to keep it to yourself. Bridgewater hedge fund.
  • Create a problem box rather than a suggestion box.
  • Organizational uniqueness bias—must be avoided. Closes you off to innovation.
  • Is it safe, is it fair, am I going to be fired?
  • Create new channels for knowledge sharing.
  • End exit interview. Do entry interviews. Ask people at the get-go what you could do better.
  • Ask what is broken in our interview process?
  • The rate of idea generation and acceptance drives more profitability.
  • Reject culture fit.



Day two Summary of #SHRM18

by Michael Haberman on June 19, 2018 · 0 comments

The second day of SHRM18 started off with the President of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz. As we all know United Airlines has been in the news quite a bit for their customer (no)service encounters. He made some introductory remarks and then sat down with Johnny C. Taylor, CEO of SHRM, for some pointed questions.


Munoz opened up with the question “What is corporate America doing, with their HR people here?” He pointed out that HR was the last resort to solve problems after they had already started. He said they are trying to change that. He said that rules and policies got in the way of them doing what was right for the customer. They are trying to change that as well. They have made their executive in charge of customer service their VP of HR. He said the challenge of dealing with 140,000 employees is communication.

Johnny Taylor asked “What is the biggest thing you want HR to accomplish? Munoz answered “It involves strategy and culture. We want to grow profit but it must be principled.” Taylor then asked him about the Lottery bonus system – which was not well met. What did you do? What is the big takeaway?  Munoz said “We didn’t listen. And we learned from that.”

Munoz said, “Life is just too damn short to be miserable.” He wants people to speak up.  JT asked “How do you deal with the 10% of people in your organization that are miserable? Rank and yank them?” Munoz said, “You need to take the time to understand why people are miserable.”  He then related a story about an employee who was miserable who just did not have any empathy for customers. That changed after talking to the employee and discovering why the employee was unhappy.

Munoz closed by saying “HR is a major part of the value change. Don’t forget the human element. Show some empathy and your employees will do better.”


I went to two sessions, both presentations of people I had interviewed. Paul Endress spoke on Reflective Listening. Alfredo Castro spoke on Strategic Storytelling. Alfredo was joined by Mardely Vega, the VP of HR for Sodexo in Brazil. She told us about the successes they have had with their mentoring programs because of storytelling.

There were a lot of interesting vendors that I will profile in a later post.


#SHRM18 Is underway

by Michael Haberman on June 18, 2018 · 0 comments

Sunday, June 17, Father’s Day, kicked off the #SHRM18 conference. Johnny C. Taylor, SHRM’s CEO had a rousing welcome for the more than 20,000 attendees. A new record for SHRM! McCormick Place is a huge venue, but 20,000 people and thousands of vendors do fill it up.

Former Governor Jeb Bush gave the opening keynote. His remarks resonated with much of the crowd on the need to mend the political divide that exists in the country. He says the current discourse is not good for business. We need to do more to help the employment base in the US.

After the keynote, the Exposition opened up. I have much more visiting to do there.

I will be posting all week about the conference. You can also follow my remarks and observations on Twitter on @mikehaberman.


Future Friday: #SHRM18 Learning and connecting

by Michael Haberman on June 15, 2018 · 0 comments

Next week the #SHRM18 conference is meeting in Chicago. I hope you will be there mingling with 20,000 or so like-minded professionals. I hope you make an attempt to meet me. I will be attending sessions, visiting the exhibit hall and writing in the Bloggers lounge. Here are some of the posts I have written so far:

The Future of HR is in relationships- Four Tips for the #SHRM18 Conference

Using #SHRM18 to go from Influencer to decision-maker

More networking advice for #SHRM18 attendees

Networking news for #SHRM18 attendees

The art of the story: A #SHRM18 Interview with Alfredo Castro

Listening the correct way: An interview with Paul Endress for #SHRM18

These will give you an idea of where I will be and what I think is important.

I will be blogging daily and Tweeting like crazy. You can follow me at @MikeHaberman (and if you don’t have a Twitter account shame on you.) You can also read what others are tweeting by following the hashtag #SHRM18. Following me and others will give you some of the conference experience.

Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it I hope you follow the proceedings.


The Future of HR is in relationships- Four Tips for the #SHRM18 Conference

by Michael Haberman June 14, 2018

Tweet I originally wrote this for the #SHRM15 conference, but it still applies to #SHRM18 which starts next week. I have written a number of times that the future of HR is to keep the “human” in human resources. As technology advances and jobs consisting of tasks become increasingly automated the one area that will […]

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Are you losing that much money that you dock people if they take more than 90 seconds in the bathroom?

by Michael Haberman June 13, 2018

Tweet I read about a court case that made it past the U.S. Court of Appeals, for consideration by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) but was rejected by them. The case involves a telemarketing firm that gives 90 seconds as the appropriate amount of time to go to the bathroom. If the […]

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Using #SHRM18 to go from Influencer to decision-maker

by Michael Haberman June 12, 2018

Tweet This post is a replay from the #SHRM16 conference of two years ago. Although the dates and location are different, the lessons written about will apply to the #SHRM18 next week in Chicago. Pay attention. The SHRM national convention will be held in [Chicago] this month from June [17th through the 2oth].  I am once again […]

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Message to the individual job seeker- If you can’t find a job it is your fault.

by Michael Haberman June 11, 2018

Tweet The U.S. Department of Labor announced a record setting number of jobs are available in the U.S., more than the number of job seekers looking. So if there are more jobs than applicants why are people not able to find work? Personal responsibility There are a lot of dynamics involved in why people are […]

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Future Friday: #SHRM18

by Michael Haberman June 8, 2018

Tweet In preparation for the SHRM Conference being held in Chicago on June 17th through 20th, I want to highlight the three blog posts I did for the conference. The first of these was Listening the correct way: An interview with Paul Endress for #SHRM18.  All of us in HR know about the importance of active […]

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Why do people fail after a promotion?

by Michael Haberman June 7, 2018

Tweet There was a book written in 1969 called The Peter Principle. The authors claimed that people in a hierarchy rise until they finally reach their level of incompetence. In other words, people get promoted until they finally fail. According to Wikipedia, this is due to the fact that“.. skills in one job do not […]

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