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Creating an Impactful Culture - A View of NUMMI From the Inside

Posted By Laurie Pehar Borsh , Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Contributed by Russ Elliot - Conscious Culture Group

 

Executive overview

During my formative working life I was very fortunate to be able to work at the NUMMI plant for six years. For those not familiar with NUMMI, the joint-venture was born in an old General Motors Fremont, CA, plant. GM wanted to understand the effective Toyota Production System, and Toyota wanted to see how that system could work with U.S. workers. I realized while I was working there that the experience was the equivalent of a second Master’s degree. It was clear to me that there was something unique and amazing going on at NUMMI. So rather than pursue an additional degree, I dug my heels in and decided to learn on the job.

 

I learned many lessons during my six years there and implemented many of the concepts during my subsequent tenure in Human Resources.

 

In this article I want to share with you some of those lessons that can be applied to improve a company’s culture and have a meaningful impact in any organization.

 

Although each of these lessons can be implemented independently, a culture “system” becomes much more effective when all the pieces are heading toward a common goal or vision. Clarity and intention, or consciousness, are the keys to furthering any organization’s culture.

 

What can be learned from the NUMMI experiment

At NUMMI, prior to the launch of the Tacoma truck line, I was hired to work in the Human Resources department.  I started in the training and development department of HR and then moved to the labor relations department, doing a final stint back where I started in the training and development department. During my tenure, I was privileged to help develop and build the Problem Solving Circles program (a name we used for the quality circle program).

 

NUMMI was operating in the same plant as before, with the same workers, and the same union, but everything else was different.  The quality was outstanding and consistently recognized.  For example, the Corolla was ranked “Best Compact Car in North America” in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2006. The Tacoma was ranked “Best Compact Pickup in North America” in 2002 and 2007. The plant was an effective machine.

 

I have been reflecting on the lessons can be used today from what I learned working at NUMMI during its “experiment” of sorts. This article draws some conclusions and presents what I think are the most important points to review and consider as people in business strive for continuous improvement, effective communication and decision making.

 

This is both a complex and simple story. The complexity is related to all of the different pieces that create the perception and feel of simplicity. The autoworkers had so much clarity on the job that it felt simple for them to perform effectively. It took great thought by management to be able to communicate what their jobs were and what the proper training and tools were needed for them to be successful.

 

The following components led to the company’s well-thought-out system.

 

Clearly understood and expressed values

At the center of the culture were clearly expressed values of mutual trust and respect, teamwork, equity, and involvement. There are many tangible and visual symbols that reinforced these values every day at work.

 

The four values or cornerstones as they were named at NUMMI are listed here.  They are not meant to be independent of each other, but rather are completely dependent on each other. It is easy to see the links between teamwork, involvement, equity and mutual trust and respect. It is one of the examples of brilliant simplification. The challenge of all organizations is to determine values that truly describe who they are, which then encourages behavior that will make the organization uniquely successful.

 

Mutual trust and respect – This was probably the most important value at NUMMI. It showed up at work in many different ways. One of the more visible examples was the “andon” cord, a cord that could be pulled at every workstation.  If an employee pulled the cord, the line stopped.  To understand the impact pulling on this cord had, nearly every employee was forced to be idle until the line started up again. About 2,000 employees were placed in waiting mode.  The “andon” cord symbolized that each employee had a critical role in ensuring that every car passing by his or her workstation met with the level of quality expected.  The employees had both the power and obligation to contribute toward that goal.

 

Teamwork – The plant was set up in teams and groups. A team consisted of about five employees with one team leader. A group consisted of three or four teams with a group leader. Team members, as they were called, were expected to learn all the jobs in the team. To reduce boredom and injury, team members rotated every 2 ½ hours. This required not only cross training, but it also resulted in a balanced workload. Rotation added to the feeling of being a member of the team and the importance of teamwork.

 

Equity – One vivid example of equity was the open office. Every employee had the same size desk in one of several large rooms. The only exception was the president who had his own office. To fully understand the significance of this, the vice president of manufacturing who had thousands of employees under him was seated several feet away from his direct reports.  And he faced all of their direct reports in the same open area. When I attended a meeting in his area, I passed his desk only a few feet away from the walkway.  This strongly symbolized the equity concept.

 

Involvement – One of many examples of involvement was the suggestion program. More than 70 percent of the employees provided at least one suggestion, while many provided more then one suggestion. With more than 4,000 employees, there were literally thousands of suggestions that were submitted and reviewed each year. Many of them were implemented. This encouraged employees to use their minds to create continuous improvement in the auto plant.

 

Make company mindset a critical component

In addition to having clear values, it is critical to have processes, systems and policies that support the intended culture. This is a key part of a conscious culture.

 

The examples presented in this section are just some of the ideas worth noting regarding how a mindset can be created to further an organization in defining its culture.  These ideas and actions truly brought NUMMI forward in a defined and intentional way. Combining these mindset ideas with organizational values brings clarity, focus and simplicity to organizational effectiveness.

 

Kaizen – This is the Japanese term that means, in essence, continuous improvement. It was NUMMI’s belief that survival in a competitive industry required continuous improvement. This philosophy showed up in many ways, including the suggestion system, improving efficiency in the workplace and in the Problem Solving Circles (or quality circles). Kaizen accurately reflects the mindset or way of being at NUMMI.

 

Muda – This is another Japanese term that helped employees understand waste. One of the keys to being a successful auto plant is to reduce different kinds of waste. Employees understood the five different kinds of muda and would work towards reducing all aspects of waste. For example, if there was a way for each worker to spend five seconds less on a process, it reduced the waste of time.  Employees were rewarded when their ideas improved efficiency or effectiveness.

 

Nemawashi – This is a third Japanese term that speaks to the mindset of effective communication and decision making. There are different levels of nemawashi, and I am sharing a high-level example. The top executives met on a regular basis to make significant decisions on the plant. The meeting often lasted only 15 to 30 minutes. The reason the meetings lasted for such a short time was that all of the conversation and changes to proposals occurred outside the meeting. This allowed for meaningful dialogue instead of a debate of egos in the room. Presenters of proposals spent one-on-one time with all leaders to understand any concerns they had. Leaders were given ample time to reflect on any proposal. Changes were regularly made to any proposal before it went to the nemawshi meeting. Although this took more time, it led to strong buy in by all and long-term success. This mindset of nemawashi occurred at other levels in the plant.

 

A3 – This is the concept of ensuring that all proposals and ideas shared needed to be clear, concise and well thought through.  A3 refers to the size of the paper in the paper tray (11” x 14”). All proposals, no matter how complex or expensive, were required to be submitted in a specified format on the front (and possibly back) of an A3.  This level of discipline ensured new proposals or programs had great consideration before making it in front of the decision-making body. It was required that all problem-solving efforts be completed using the A3 format.

 

Problem Solving Circles – I had the privilege of being the lead on this critical program. PSCs started with five pilot circles. Eventually, there were more than 400 circles meeting each week to work on problems for their teams.

 

One of the key concepts I want to share with you is that the primary purpose of this program was not solving problems, but in fact, team building and leadership development. Each time there was a meeting, the discussion led to solving a problem within the scope of the team’s control.

 

After team leaders received training in facilitating and leading meetings, and team members along with team leaders received training in problem solving, each circle met once per week for an hour to follow the problem-solving process.

 

We then had an annual plant-wide competition to select the best example. It was set up as a big event for everyone to see the other examples. I was honored to bring the winner of the NUMMI competition to Japan to compete with the best of each Toyota plant.

 

A side note of truth is that there were two competitions in Japan: one for the auto plants in Japan and one for the plants outside of Japan. This was only fair because the skill sets and problem-solving levels of the Japanese plants were significantly greater than non-Japanese plants. It would not have been a fair competition if all plants were judged in one contest.

 

Job titles – All of the manufacturing jobs, about 4,000, fell under one of three job titles: team member, team leader or group leader. This idea is consistent with the values of equity and teamwork. Most U.S. companies would struggle to limit the number of job titles to three for thousands of employees. Each role was clear and the path to move toward team leader or group leader was well-defined.

 

Job security – There was specific language in the labor agreement that spoke to job security.  The essence of it was that employees would not be laid off unless there were severe economic conditions that threatened the long term viability of NUMMI. Before laying off any single employee, other actions, like reducing managers’ salaries, would take place first. This clearly sent a message that everyone was in the same ship rowing in the same direction. This was extraordinarily meaningful to employees.

 

On a personal note

I hope some of these ideas have you thinking about the systems, processes and values you have in place or you can put in place to support your company’s desired culture.

 

You can look at your organizational values, examine processes that can support the mindset, provide training and promotion methods that teach cultural behavior, or modify the hiring process to reduce hiring the incorrect fit.  Take a deep look at what will do to help shape your culture and create the high-performance company that you desire.

 

There are many other lessons learned that were not included here.  For the full article that includes reflections of training, promotion and employer brand, visit my blog at ConsciousCultureGroup.com

 

About the Author

Russ Elliot, SPHR, is the Founder and Principal Consultant of the Conscious Culture Group, a consulting and coaching company focused on working with organizational leaders to understand and build effective cultures using proven methods and tools that get results. For more than 30 years, Russ Elliot has developed strong expertise in human resources, organizational development and coaching having worked in organizations including Toyota, NUMMI, Texas Instruments and Bridge Bank. 

 

Contact Russ at Russ@ConsciousCultureGroup.com.


Tags:  company culture  Conscious C  corporate culture  GM  HR  HR West  Human Resources  Leadership  Management  NCHRA  Nummi  People  Russ Elliot  SHRM  Tesla  Toyota  ulture  work 

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Make the Most of March Madness in the Workplace ... Next Year!

Posted By Laura Kerekes, Thursday, April 2, 2015
Updated: Thursday, April 2, 2015

Unlike other sporting events like the Super Bowl or World Series, March Madness is a prolonged event; this year it started on Selection Sunday, March 15th, with the first games starting March 17th through this weekend, the "Final Four" and ending with the championship game this Monday, April 6th. There were numerous games played in between those dates – some of which were aired throughout the workday, making it an enticing distraction for many employees!

Cell phones and computers make it easy for employees to regularly and “secretly” check pools, scores, and even streaming games online. It’s inevitable that March Madness is going to impact office productivity, but if managed correctly, it’s also a great opportunity to establish an annual ritual that builds office morale, employee engagement, and comradery.

The ball is ultimately in your court to decide how March Madness fits within your culture; however, the million-dollar question: should employers put a stop to it or embrace it?

Madness Management
Some managers believe it’s all about meeting numbers and employees need to stay focused during work hours and save personal interests during personal time.

The reality is, it’s impossible to stop employees from being distracted during March Madness. In fact, Challenger Gray & Christmas reported “the cost in terms of lost wages paid to distracted and unproductive workers [due to March Madness] could reach as high as $1.9 billion.” However, other reports suggest the potential boost in employee morale outweighs the temporary distraction and productivity loss due to the games.

Bottom line: how you manage and communicate policies during March Madness is key.

Foster Team Spirit and Boost Morale
For managers who want to ensure employees feel valued and satisfied at work, they look for opportunities like March Madness to create fun and camaraderie.

A recent survey by OfficeTeam reported that half of senior managers said activities tied to the tournament – such as office pools focused on the 68-team brackets — boost employee morale, while 36 percent believe March Madness has a positive impact on workplace productivity.

Middle of the Road Madness
Some managers evaluate performance or attendance situations on a case-by-case basis and won’t encourage March Madness activity or pools during the workday. In fact, most managers tend to look the other way and only step in when work falls to the wayside.

Some experts argue that employers have bigger issues to address than whether a few workers are using work time to fill out brackets or checking scores online, and that businesses would be better served by allowing this minor distraction, even during busy work times.

Once the Madness Begins . . .
Whatever you decide, here are some ways to help minimize disruptions and create a positive work environment during March Madness:

• Organize a company-wide pool with no entry fee in order to avoid ethical or legal issues surrounding “office gambling.” Give away a company “gift” (not cash) to the pool winner.

• Make the break room the go-to place for bracket updates and consider putting a television in the break room so that employees have somewhere to watch the games other than the Internet.

• Encourage team spirit and allow employees to wear their favorite team’s clothing and/or decorate their workspace in their team’s colors.

• Allow employees the chance to arrive early on days when tournament games are played during work hours so they can work a full shift and still leave in time to see the games.

• Communicate company policies with employees before engaging in any March Madness activities at work, so it will be clear what is acceptable.

Like it or not, March Madness is an annual ritual that’s here to stay. If customers are happy and the work is getting done, it might be worth the positive employee experience and moral boost. After all, a little distraction could be just what everyone at the office needs. However, if an employee fails to meet a deadline or if customer service suffers as a result of March Madness distractions, then take action. The key is finding a balance that maximizes the positives while minimizing the business disruptions.

Laura Kerekes leads the HR services delivery teams, including an elite group of HR experts and a team responsible for ongoing aggregation and analysis of HR knowledge for ThinkHR. Prior to joining the company, Laura held executive HR officer positions for large multi-national companies including AirTouch and Sygen as well as other companies in high tech, financial services and consumer products industries. Laura holds an M.B.A. with honors in HR and organizational development from Golden Gate University, a B.S. in business administration with honors from The Ohio State University, and an Executive Human Resources Management certification from Stanford University. She also holds an SPHR certification. Connect with Laura on Twitter and LinkedIn

Tags:  behavior  employee  final four  HR  madness  management  march  morale  NCHRA  office  productivity  SHRM  ThinkHR  workplace 

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HR West 2015 was a huge success!

Posted By Amy S. Powers, Monday, March 9, 2015

Thank you to all who came out to the 31st annual HR West conference. What a fantastic time we had! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To our members, to the HR community, to our sponsors, presenters, and keynotes - for your dedication to human resources. Without you there would be no us!

 

It is an honor to serve the country’s most vibrant HR community. Whether you came for the connections, the coffee, the next practice techniques, or to fall in love with your job all over again, a good time was had by all.

 

Stay tuned for photos, but in the meantime we thought we'd share a few of the "Twitter pic" highlights (#NCHRA #HRWest)!


 

Mark your calendar for March 7-9, 2016 and be on the lookout for registration announcements. If you register by 7/30/15, you can get the full 2016 conference for just $693! 


Tags:  Annual  Bay Area  California  HR  NCHRA  Oakland  San Francisco  SHRM  West 

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5 Priorities HR Can’t Ignore in 2015

Posted By CEB HR, Thursday, February 26, 2015

How employees get their work done has changed remarkably quickly; unsurprisingly HR needs to change too.

 

Anyone who works in a global company doesn’t need to be told that their job has changed enormously in the past few years. Even if their job title – and sometimes their job description – remains unscathed, the number of people they work with, the amount of information they use to make decisions, their day-to-day tasks, and the technology they use have all changed quicker than at any time in their careers.

 

The changing nature of work is one of five trends CEB’s research shows will shape global business in 2015. And, given the function’s role, this shift in how work is accomplished means a lot of change for HR professionals. Heads of HR and their teams should take five steps in particular to help their firm make the most of the new work environment.

 

FIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE HR FUNCTION

  1. Attract and retain “enterprise contributors”: Data from surveys of HR and line managers show that the average company needs to improve employee performance by 27% just to hit the revenue and profitability targets senior managers have set. HR teams should look beyond conventional performance management based on improving individual performance and develop a cadre of “enterprise contributors.”  These are employees who perform well individually and who accomplish tasks by working effectively with and through others.

    In fact, firms with enterprise contributors outperform their peers by 5% and 11% on year-over-year revenue and profit growth, respectively. This means that the average Fortune 500 organization can increase profit by $144 million and revenue by $924 million. HR should not make the mistake of thinking that most employees aren’t ready or willing to be enterprise contributors. They are, but they’re stymied by structure and culture of their firms. Instead of trying to motivate employees to be enterprise contributors, HR should help their firms reconcile four paradoxes at the heart of performance management.

  2. Don’t make yourself appealing to all job candidates, just the good ones: The volume of people applying for jobs has risen by 33% in the past three years but the quality of applicants has not improved at all. In response, many firms launched employment branding campaigns to establish their company as “a great place to work,” and attract higher quality candidates.

    But this strategy – called “branding for appeal” – produces pools of applicants of whom only 28% could be classed as high quality. This is because firms just add yet more to the mass of accessible corporate information. And all these conflicting messages – some of which are false – means that 61% of applicants say they are more skeptical of what employers say about themselves than they were three years ago. Instead, HR teams should take a “branding for influence” approach to attract the best candidates.

    Instead of releasing a(nother) YouTube video full of smiling faces and an uplifting theme tune, savvy firms spend time and money on messages that are relevant to the most important talent segments, and that challenge applicants’ thinking rather than highlight anything good about the company. Those firms that brand for influence almost double the proportion of the applicant pool that can be classed as high quality.

  3. Teach employees how to learn, not just what to learn: Given all of the above, firms must keep improving their learning and development activities. Most employees are now well aware that constant development is essential and think that the learning and development provided at their firm is sufficient: 84% say their “L&D solutions” are satisfying. But despite this, and the estimated $145 billion spent annually on training, fewer than half those investments result in tangible returns. In response to these poor figures, many firms provide more opportunities for development, across more channels, and advocate that employees take responsibility for their development. But it doesn’t work. Nearly three in four line managers report employees with high learning participation lack the right skills, and the extra learning activity creates a lot of waste. Every day, employees waste approximately 11% of their time on unproductive learning.

    Leading firms increase employee awareness of how to learn (not just what to learn) and use technology that helps employees develop learning behaviors, and not just consume content. This approach doubles the number of employees with high learning capabilities, and makes it more likely that employees will be equipped or the new work environment.

  4. Make the HR team more valuable: Even though most senior executives are keen to stress how important their “people are to the business,” HR teams still struggle to provide the necessary support. Less than one-fifth of line managers rate HR as an effective partner.

    Many heads of HR have invested heavily in developing their HR teams to improve this sad statistic but most over invest in improving individuals and don’t do enough to change the organizational culture in which their teams must work. In particular, there are four organizational barriers that prevent HR business partners – those that support the line – from doing their jobs effectively. Remove these and firms can nearly double the number of effective HR business partners they employ.

  5. Don’t mistake high-performing employees for high-potential employees: CEB data show that firms with stronger leaders enjoy twice the revenue and twice the profit growth. Yet a high-potential employee (HiPo) program, which is many firms’ main investment to develop their future leaders, is statistically more likely to fail than succeed.

    Data shows that 50% of HR managers lack confidence in their programs, and a staggering five in six HR managers are dissatisfied with the results. Despite evidence to the contrary, many firms still wrongly assume that a high performer is also a HiPo. In fact, only one-in-seven high performers are HiPos. The reason mistakes are so often made is that there is rarely an objective selection process in place; decisions are rarely backed by any science. Those involved in the HiPo selection process should assess employees based on their ability, aspiration, and engagement with the firm.

CEB is the world’s leading member-based advisory company with a unique view into what matters — and what works — when capitalizing on drivers of business performance. With 30 years of experience working with top companies to share, analyze, and apply proven practices, CEB begins with great outcomes and reverse engineer to help you unlock your full potential. For further information visit: http://www.executiveboard.com/.   Originally reprinted with permission in HRWest Magazine January 2015.

Tags:  2015  CEB  HR  HR West  NCHRA  San Francisco  SHRM 

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Turn That SOUL-CRUSHING Conference into a WIN - How to Get More Out of a Conference

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 12, 2015

By Sue Shellenbarger

 

You’ve spent days wandering the cavernous halls of a convention center, trapped in windowless rooms, drinking too much coffee and talking yourself hoarse. Does anyone ever emerge from a conference as the organizers intended, feeling recharged with new ideas, contacts and energy?

 

New York City marketing executive Stefany Stanley does. Among conference organizers she is known as a savvy convention-goer, someone with a strategy for rising above the dreary rounds of networking and breakout sessions. Ms. Stanley says she has gained valuable contacts, ideas and insights from the 15 conferences she has attended in the past five years.

 

Avoiding time-wasting traps takes planning, self-discipline, skill—and for many, a lot of caffeine. The biggest mistake most conference attendees make is failing to plan ahead, set a personal agenda and report back to colleagues on their results, says David DuBois, president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, a Dallas trade group.

 

Ms. Stanley, 26, admits to some apprehension as she prepares for 21/2 days at Content Marketing World. This is a conference in Cleveland focused on using content such as blogs and videos to replace traditional advertising. Her employer, Sandra Arnold Inc., or SAI, a creator and producer of corporate events and exhibits, is spending $3,000 on her trip, including a $2,000 pass to the meeting. Ms. Stanley, SAI’s business development director, hopes to return with new digital-marketing ideas and relationships with potential clients and helpful contacts.

 

A record 70 million people will attend conferences in the U.S. and Canada this year, with attendance expected to peak next month, industry research shows. The experience can be overwhelming.  Conferences usually last one to four days. Content Marketing World offers 80 breakout sessions, with time to attend only 11. It sprawls over 270,000 square feet of the Cleveland Convention Center. Sessions include “Breakthrough Moments in Content Marketing.” Eight networking sessions are scheduled to allow the 2,600 attendees time to meet.

 

Along with the usual speeches by celebrities and exhibits, Content Marketing World provides social activities such as “our own music festival” with a Beatles tribute band and “Shooters on the Water,” an after party starting at 10:30 p.m.

 

No matter what session conference attendees pick, they worry they’re missing a better one. The best networking may be in one session while the best speakers are elsewhere, Ms. Stanley says. She comes in with her schedule highlighted in neon yellow for “must attend” sessions and amber for “maybe.”

“You really have to be on your A game,” she says. “You’re networking and getting all that information, plus giving your pitch and telling people about your company. It’s exhausting.”

 

She works out to build energy, rising by 6 a.m. to lift weights and run 3 to 5 miles. On the treadmill, she mentally rehearses different versions of her opening pitch to suit different people. To help her resist the free candy and junk food that abound in most exhibit halls, she stuffs granola bars into her shoulder bag.

Ms. Stanley resists the temptation to befriend other new arrivals and travel with one group. “I have to stay focused on my goals, getting new ideas and new contacts,” she says.

 

She positions herself by the coffee pot for the first networking session; talking about the coffee can be a good icebreaker. She considers introducing herself to another attendee standing alone nearby, but she hesitates, and the opportunity is lost when another attendee approaches the man. Ms. Stanley tells herself. “You’re here to network. One, two, three, go!”

 

Meeting conference speakers, who tend to be high-level executives, is a key networking opportunity for Ms. Stanley in her search for corporate clients. She is nervous as she waits in line with a dozen others to introduce herself to Katrina Craigwell, global manager of digital marketing at General Electric Co., after Ms. Craigwell’s presentation on a successful digital-marketing campaign. Ms. Stanley plans to take Ms. Craigwell’s ideas, such as promoting GE research with videos on social media, back to her SAI team. She also hopes Ms. Craigwell will put her in touch with colleagues at GE who might be interested in SAI’s services.

 

Brazilian by birth, Ms. Stanley values Latin cultures’ emphasis on warmth and spontaneity. When her turn finally comes to speak with Ms. Craigwell, she says, “You were wonderful. I felt as if I knew you.” The executive responds with equal warmth and promptly emails Ms. Stanley’s contact information to a colleague.

 

Later, as she prepares to introduce herself to another speaker, Ms. Stanley gives herself a pep talk: “What’s the worst that can happen? He’ll say no. What’s so awful about that?” Her friendly approach sparks a conversation about how SAI might help his company, and they part with plans for another meeting. Ms. Stanley notes on each business card the follow-up steps she promised to take.

 

By late afternoon, her energy wanes. She downs her third coffee of the day. Hungry after having only a salad for lunch, she allows herself a bag of Doritos, then heads for the last breakout session of the day. Blocked at the door by a security guard and a sign, “Session Full,” Ms. Stanley talks her way in with a joke. The guard laughs and opens the door.

 

Ms. Stanley passes up an opening-night pub crawl. Networking with strangers over drinks “has never proven effective for me,” she says. The music festival on the second evening is unusual enough to lure her. She leaves after 45 minutes. “I prefer to go to bed early and be focused on the next day,” she says. Ms. Stanley once slept through a meeting because her cellphone died, she says.

 

She now arranges a wake-up call from her hotel, in addition to setting the alarm on her smartphone. At a breakout session on the last day, she finds a seat near the front, only to realize that she already knows the information being presented. Usually, she avoids sitting too close to the front so she can see who else is present, and also so she can slip out quietly if necessary. “I picked the wrong seat” this time, she says. On the last day, more than an hour before a closing keynote speech by actor Kevin Spacey, hundreds line up for seats. Ms. Stanley strides past them on her way to a panel discussion. “I’m not going to not network so I can be in the front row for Kevin Spacey,” she says. “You have to keep in mind your goal.”

 

Later, Ms. Stanley takes stock: She has reaped several good ideas and a grasp of emerging trends such as using journalistic techniques to attract customers on social media and the Web. She collected 20 business cards, initiated promising relationships with four potential clients, and made five “fair-to-good” new contacts. She isn’t done. Many people only took her card or gave her a colleague’s name. But she will follow up with them all.

 

 

Sue Shellenbarger is the creator and writer of the The Wall Street Journal's "Work & Family" column. The former chief of the Journal's Chicago news bureau, Ms. Shellenbarger started the column in 1991 to provide the nation's first regular coverage of the growing conflict between work and family and its implications for the workplace and society. Read more about Sue here

This article was originally reprinted in HR West Magazine November 2014 issue by permission of Wall Street Journal, Copyright © 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.  All Rights Reserved Worldwide. License number 3484300144322.

 

Register for HR West today - March 2-4, 2015 at the Oakland Convention Center, Oakland, California.
For more information contact, Amy Powers, NCHRA.

Tags:  Annual  Bay Area  California  Coast  Conference  HR  HR West  NCHRA  Oakland  San Francisco  SHRM 

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