A #SHRM17 interview with Ryan Estis on Rethinking HR

by Michael Haberman on April 18, 2017 · 0 comments


One of the most popular presentations at the SHRM conference in Washington, D. C. in 2016 was that of Ryan Estis, speaking about Rethinking HR- The future of work and HR. Ryan was asked to return to #SHRM17 and present a Mega Session on this topic. This session will be on Monday, June 19 at 10:45 am and you will not want to miss it.

All about the business

I was excited to talk to Ryan Estis, especially after watching some of the video on his website. He talks about stuff that I have talked about and written about and gotten excited about for years. So I asked Ryan to tell me about what he was going to talk about. He told me that he was going to talk about the “perfect storm” opportunity that HR currently has. This time presents a “phenomenal opportunity for HR to be a catalyst for a new way of doing business.” To take advantage of this opportunity however, HR is going to have to have a new level of credibility in business and have a new way of dealing with leadership. HR is going to have to become a “disruptor.” HR is going to have to be a “future maker.

Starts with yourself

Ryan emphasized that HR is in a “sea change” situation that has to start with the HR person themselves. In order to be able to disrupt the organization the HR person has to disrupt themselves. Ryan said this personal disruption starts with learning. He described what he called “the learning lane.” In this learning lane the HR person has to look beyond their day-to-day duties. You have to study more than HR. You have to study more than business. Ryan and I agree that the HR professional needs to be well read. (See my post Being Well Read Is Fundamental To Success.)

Company support is critical

It helps that companies support this learning effort. Ryan states that in his work with AT&T he knows they spend $30 million per year in training. However, they have deemed that not to be enough and they encourage each employee to spend 5 to 10 hours a week in online learning. I have also written about the importance of company support in the learning effort in The Opportunity for Learning. Ryan said this amount of learning is important. “The comfort zone is the kiss of death” and if you are not advancing you are dying.

Price of entry

Regardless of how “learned” someone is, there is still a challenge. The way HR is perceived in many organizations is an inhibitor to HR’s success. The basic HR done correctly, without question, is the price of entry. Without that quality work HR will not have the opportunity to reeducate the C-Suite. We have to deliver value and then earn the right to reeducate your business partners. Ryan says he will deliver tips on how to best do this, in his presentation.

This is a session you will not want to miss. Ryan Estis is an exciting speaker whose presentation is loaded with inspiration. You will find me as close to the front as possible.

Photo credit: Ryan Estis website


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