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Thankful for HR West 2017 and YOU!

Posted By Editor, Wednesday, November 23, 2016

HR West 2017As we near the end of another successful year, we are beginning preparation for more amazing NCHRA events and conferences that will take place in 2017. Most importantly, we are busy preparing for HR West 2017 - at the Oakland Convention Center (just a little over 3 months from now) March 6-8!

In the spirit of this Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful for all the that HR West offers:

  • Hotel. Conference. Parking - all under one roof! Book your room now!
  • A unique, in-depth meeting-place to connect with other HR professionals who have dealt with what you're dealing with!
  • Credits. Credits. Credits. Attendees can earn up to 14.75 recertification credits with over 85 concurrent sessions!
  • Parties and receptions - fun ways to get social, unwind and network after jam-packed day of information and education!
  • A super-local and exciting Bay Area Event! Not too far to travel for some and an exciting place to get-away to for others!
  • Easy to register (why not relax and get it done over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend)!
  • HR in the most innovative place on earth!

Above all, we are grateful to have the continued opportunity to serve and work with our wonderful -- and truly innovative -- NCHRA members, vendors and sponsors!

Enjoy your holiday weekend!




Tags:  HR conferences  HR West  HR West 2017  HRWest17 

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Four “4th of July Reasons” to Attend HR West Seattle!

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Have you registered for HR West Seattle yet?

With July 4
th right around the corner, HR West Seattle will be here before you know it. There’s still some space available, so if you’ve yet to decide whether or not to attend this one-day super-charged HR conference, we’d like to give you four good reasons why you need to be there!

4.  Get the credits you need, in one incredible day…HR West Seattle “Best of the West” includes 16 concurrent sessions, all for recertification credit toward your SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, PHR, and SPHR. This conference is approved for 5 Strategic Business Credits and 5 General HR credits. See icons in individual session descriptions for Strategic Business Credits.


3. Discover and digest the excitement of the Future of HR! Keynote Steve Cadigan, CEO of Cadigan Ventures and former VP of Talent at LinkedIn, will be your guide (this session also qualifies for Strategic Business Credit).

2. It's a Friday Event! Arrive early, and stay late...treat yourself to summer getaway in downtown Seattle (fun for locals too)! Get inspired and re-energized by the urban energy and Pacific tranquility of the Grand Hyatt Seattle—a spectacular conference center and a luxury hotel under one roof. Book your room here.

1. Register by Friday, July 1st and save! With so many HR professionals taking it easy this holiday weekend, what better time to sit back, relax, click and register?

Yes, the full conference is just $50 through this Friday!

Register Today AND SAVE.

Stay connected!
Be sure follow the HR West news, highlights and other offers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. Also check out (or check in, if you are already a member) the HR West LinkedIn Group.

#HRWest2016 #Seattle 

Tags:  HR West  HR West 2016  HR West Seattle 

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Defining Problems: The Most Important Business Skill You've Never Been Taught

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

By Michael "Coop" Cooper - Executive Coach & Trainer, Influencers & Innovators

Join Coop for his session,
Effectively Analyzing and Defining HR Problems to Get Results, at HR West Seattle, July 15, 2016. 

This article originally appeared on
Albert Einstein once said, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.” While that may sound extreme, it does highlight the importance of defining problems. It also hints at some interesting facts: A well-defined problem often contains its own solution within it, and that solution is usually quite obvious and straightforward. By defining problems properly, you make them easier to solve, which means saving time, money and resources.

Every businessperson needs to master the ability to define problems, or challenges, but very few MBA programs, leadership development programs or management training programs teach this indispensable skill. I spoke to a group of 80 HR managers recently and asked if any of them had been taught how to define problems. Only one person raised a hand. That’s common to most business groups I speak with on a weekly basis. Less than 1 percent of the workforce has been taught how to define problems.
During my first five years as a coach, I didn’t know how to define problems properly, but in the ten years since, I’ve learned this critical technique. I use it every single day, with every single client. It has transformed how I work with people and has made the work much more impactful. These days, clients will hire me solely based on the fact that I have the ability to define their problems during our very first conversation together. When I hear them begin to differentiate between issues, asking, “Which problem are we solving?” I know that I’ve made a major impact on their business.

Defining problems is simple and any difficulty that arises is because it requires patience, repetition and thorough examination. It is the most important element of critical thinking.

You can define problems correctly in just three steps I call the Problem Definition Filter:

1. Explore the current situation. Paint a picture in words by including the “presenting problem,” the impact it is having, the consequences of not solving the problem, and the emotions the problem is creating for those involved.

2. Explain. Once you have examined and clearly explained the situation, draft a simple problem statement by filling in the blank: The problem that we are trying to solve is: ___________. Distill the problem to its simplest form possible.

3. Ask yourself. “Why is that a problem?” If the answer is another problem, then congratulate yourself for moving from the “presenting problem” to a deeper problem. Then ask yourself again, “Why is that a problem?” Do that repeatedly until you either land on what is obviously the source of all of the problems you’ve identified or you identify unexpected consequences of not solving the problem. If you land on unexpected consequences, the problem you identified right before that is likely your “source problem.”

Toyota famously created the "five why’s'' technique for their Six Sigma process improvement program. While that number was limited to five why’s, the truth is sometimes it takes only one why. Other times, it may take 17. Ask as many times as needed until you get to the source problem.

This high-level overview of the Problem Definition Filter can help you learn how to define the problems in your department or business and determine if you’re wasting time and resources on poorly defined problems. When it comes to determining whether you have defined a problem well, ask yourself or your collaborators if the solution to the problem is obvious or straightforward. Also, ask if it is a problem worth solving -- many problems aren’t.

About the Author

Michael O. “Coop” Cooper is an internationally recognized executive coach, advisor, facilitator and trainer who specializes in working with executive teams to develop the leadership skills, alignment and strategies to grow and thrive in a constantly changing environment. His passion is helping entrepreneurs, executives and leadership teams overcome their self-limiting beliefs and personal issues to reach their potential, by addressing interpersonal challenges, defining their purpose, gaining team alignment, and developing the strategy, systems and processes to execute their vision. He founded Innovators + Innovators to help right-brain entrepreneurs and executives capitalize on the need for more creativity in business leadership.

Connect with Coop

HR West Seattle Speaker Session:
Effectively Analyzing and Defining HR Problems to Get Results
Register for HR West Seattle 2016
"HR in the most innovated place on earth"
July 15, 2016


Tags:  HR  HR Management  HR Training  HR West  HR West Seattle  NCHRA 

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HR West (Bay Area) 2016 Recap: Putting the Human in Human Resources

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Monday, April 25, 2016

Namely HR Software

We thought we'd share the following article written by Erin Daruszka • March 10, 2016 for the Namely Blog. Erin did a fantastic job covering HR West - at the Oakland Convention Center. An HR West 2016 Platinum Sponsor, Namely is the HR, Payroll, and Benefits platform employees love. It's HR software that employees actually use—built to fit every company culture. Manage all of your HR data in one place, with personalized service to help your company get better, faster. Namely is used by some of the world’s most innovative and exciting companies in media, technology, commerce, and more.


The HR West conference (2016), presented by the Northern California HR Association, was held March 7-9 in Oakland, CA. As an SPHR, this was my fifth HR West. I consider this conference an academic Disneyland for HR professionals. Of course, there’s the recertification credits that draw us away from the office in the first place. But HR West is always an excellent opportunity to network and share ideas with other HR professionals, reunite with former colleagues, recruit for new talent, and peruse vendors that support the employee lifecycle.

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite moments from three days of great people and great strategies.

Continue to the full article on


Tags:  HR leadership  HR Management Software  HR West  Namely  NCHRA 

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Turn Your Office Breaks Into Recharge Time

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Monday, April 4, 2016


One of the things I love about working from home is lunch. I get to step away from my desk, even for a few moments and relax. I also like making salads for lunch and it’s so much easier to do when I’m at home. I actually feel like I’m splurging.

When I go to a client site, I’ll often bring my lunch because it’s better for me than fast food. But do I pack a salad? Rarely. But during this year’s HR West conference I got the best piece of swag that might just change that.

 It’s a salad container. Isn’t that cool? There’s a small cup in the top for salad dressing and a fork that snaps to the side. Inside the container were a couple of bands and a running pack for your phone and earbuds. Best, of all, it’s the perfect size for my tote bag.

The company that gave it to me is Lahlouh. They help companies deliver their marketing messages to customers. And they were at HR West because they realize that messaging extends to employees.

I couldn’t resist sharing this with you because it might be a great logo item for employees. Or a nice logo product for volunteers. Trust me, I know how hard it can be to find unique promotional items. I also thought that, instead of serving the traditional box lunch at a company event, it could work as an option to serve lunch in a logo salad cup. For example, this Asian Quinoa Salad or Taco Salad would be perfect.

Then once you get the salad cup home, find some great recipes for yourself. Right after getting my cup, The Muse ran this post on “52 Creative (and Easy!) Lunch Ideas That’ll Make Your Co-workers Jealous.” The lentil and goat cheese salad looks yummy! 

This post might seem frivolous to some. Lunch is an important part of our workday. It’s a time to step away from our desks and recharge a little. We need to take breaks during the workday. Part of that recharge is eating properly. I’m not anti-eating out, but bringing some tasty healthy eats from home can be wonderful for ourselves and our wallets. It can make us feel energized and ready to take on the afternoon. 

I’m really looking forward to packing my next lunch. That’s what it’s about. Finding that container or recipe that makes us want to spend a few moments in the kitchen creating something fabulous. Then looking forward to actually taking those lunch and office breaks so we can recharge and be more productive in the long-run.

About the Author
Hi! I’m Sharlyn Lauby, the HR Bartender...  As a human resources professional, I’ve always felt like my colleagues and employees wanted me to be like their neighborhood bartender – that friendly face who’s there when you need them.  After a long day at the office, they listen, laugh with you, occasionally offer advice and, when you need it, give you that encouragement to go out and do what you need to do.

Read more about Sharlyn Lauby, your HR Bartender

Tags:  employee  HR  HR Bartender  HR Blog  HR Management  HR West  Human Resources  leadership 

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