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Hosted by Greg Morton, CEO, NCHRA
"Industrial Relations," "Personnel," "Human Resources," "Human Capital" -- it seems as if the terms are always changing! This blog spotlights those individuals who are shaping the science around people and their purpose, in an unparalleled intersection of technology and humanity.


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Insights from Mojo Master and CEO of HireMojo, John Younger

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Many HR professionals are still not sure what a robot means in the context of their industry, and they are concerned that their jobs may be at risk. I recently met up with John Younger, CEO and "Mojo Master" of HireMojo, to get clarity about robots in general, as well as get more information about the impact they might have on people currently working in the staffing and recruiting roles.

Read this article on the new CEO CORNER.




Tags:  CEO Corner  HRTech  Recruiting 

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Louise Welch, former Senior HR Professional at Google, in the CEO Corner: The Role of HR in Today's Organizations

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Monday, April 24, 2017

Senior HR professional, Louise Welch, who has been with Google for 14 years in a variety of HR positions, is now moving from California to Capital One in Virginia. During her time at Google, Louise's responsibilities included staffing, global university relations, human resources, career development, product management and talent management.

Most recently, she was Head of Talent Management at Google and lead talent management best practices, succession planning and top talent initiatives company wide. Prior to that, she was Head of Learning and Development Technology and lead product strategy for new company-wide learning technology systems.

As the Head of Career Development, she and her team built global coaching, mentoring and rotational programs. Louise was with Google in Mountain View, CA for 10 years and in London for 4 years. Prior to Google, she was in advertising at Bates Worldwide in New York and at start-ups in San Francisco. Louise holds a degree in Psychology from Sewanee, The University of the South.

I wanted to hear Louise Welch’s thoughts on her HR career, that has spanned several functions. I was curious to know how her experience has shaped her view of the role of HR within organizations.

Q. You have already had a rich career in roles ranging from HR Business Partner, to Career Development and Global Talent Management. From your vantage point, what is one insight you would share from having worked across these various functions?

A.  There is an advantage to developing breadth across several functional areas.

I've been able to reinvent my career every few years—virtually starting a new career each time in an area in which I hadn’t worked before.

I attribute my career opportunities to excellent leaders who were willing to take risks on me to do these jobs well even when I didn’t have a background in them. The insight I've gained--which has benefited me throughout my career---is an understanding of how all the aspects of HR work together and the build value in each other, whether it's strategic planning, staffing, university relationships, or people systems. Broad exposure has been eye opening and helps me operate as a strategically-minded HR professional.

Q.  What is the most important area of human resources or talent management that all leaders and managers should get more training in?

A.  One skill that leaders don’t exercise consistently is how to have development conversations. They tend to be good at the mandatory conversations around performance management, succession planning and compensation. 

However, I've found that great managers naturally and instinctively have development conversations as part of their one-on-one meetings with direct reports. 

They really take the time to get to know their employees, their long-term goals, and what skills they want to develop. I think all managers should take the time for these rich development discussions.

Q.  What is one area of HR that often gets overlooked and could benefit from more innovation?

A.  I think there needs to be more innovative improvement in the overall HR system landscape. For example, I've found that many HR departments use multiple systems for their operations, however most of them are not fully integrated and do not have a holistic picture of the employee or organization. 

By integrating systems and having effective data management practices, HR will have a more complete and strategic overall view of the organization. 

This will enable HR partners to better consult with business leaders and to help shape their people strategy.



You can follow Louise Welch on LinkedIn.  

If you'd like to comment or have further questions for Louise (or me), I welcome you to post here (below), on Twitter @GregJMorton or on LinkedIn (adding #CEOCorner).


Greg Morton  is a corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of the Northern California HR Association.

Tags:  Capital One  CEO CORNER  Google  Greg Morton  HR Experts  HR Leadership  HR Management  human resources management  Louise Welch 

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HRCI CEO Amy Schabacker Dufrane Shares Thoughts on the Present and Future of HR

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Amy Schabacker Dufrane, Ed.D, SPHR, CAE, is CEO of the HR Certification Institute, where she focuses on developing collaborative long-term partnerships with individuals and organizations looking to create and deliver change around human resources. Before joining HRCI, she spent more than 25 years in leading human resources functions within nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

HR practiced well – which is what HRCI is all about – ensures that organizations hire the best, support employees to perform their best, and align their human capital with the organization’s business goals.

I wanted to hear Amy’s thoughts on the present and future role of HR and how HRCI is raising the bar on how HR leads business. 

What does a 21st-century HR organization look like? What skills beyond traditional HR subject matter knowledge do HR professionals need if they are to be successful?

The most important resource of any organization – and in fact, business as a whole – is its people. The most powerful way an organization can differentiate itself is through its people – because people are what’s behind every product and service. To be successful, today’s HR professionals must understand the business they work for. They need to understand what they are selling, what their organization’s challenges are, and what their customers and employees are saying. In short, we need to be business leaders who can think and strategize. 

We can no longer just be the “rules and tools” people.  

We need to be able to look at data from finance and marketing and think about HR from the perspective of how do we hire the right people and how do retool the people we have. 

We need to be able to ask, and answer, the right questions: What do we need to do from a strategy perspective? Who do we need to be here to make the changes we need to make, not tomorrow, but five years from now? How are we going to get there? Do we work with colleges and universities to identify the talent we need so we can put the right training and education in place? It’s about being able to make recommendations about what the future looks like from a human capital standpoint. 

We also need to think about how we brand our company. It used to be “come and work for us, we have great benefits and we will pay you well.” Now, to entice people to come work for you, you have to clearly differentiate your workforce and your workplace and your products or services as something that that’s interesting and appealing to be a part of. 

What would you say to a CEO about the importance of the HR function in their company?

HR’s role in business is so fundamental. Never before have we seen this necessity for HR and anything that is going on in business to be 100% in alignment. Good HR people who have earned accredited professional credentials perform better and are more invested in their career and their profession. And there’s large-scale research that proves that. Professionally credentialed HR pros are in it for the long haul. They are committed to making sure they understand the fundamental elements of HR and how to protect their organization and move it forward. This requires competencies in leadership and development and analytical thinking, all of which are elements of being certified at a more senior level.

What do you think about the notion that with all this automation and artificial intelligence, robots will replace HR? 

I think that technology and innovation are presenting opportunities that greatly enhance HR. Think about how we used to do performance evaluations. It was paper-driven, once-a-year conversation whose impact was pretty much limited to the sphere of the supervisor and their direct report. Today, we have a rapidly growing array of technologies that allow supervisors and staff to deliver, receive and integrate feedback continuously and across entire organizations, enabling managers, employees, teams, departments and entire companies to learn, adapt, evolve and perform at the highest levels. While automation has reshaped and eliminated certain jobs and technology can be expensive, even the smallest companies are becoming more and more sophisticated. Automation and AI are allowing us to work smarter. With AI we now have technology that helps us figure out how work gets done and who is involved. It’s HR’s job to figure out how to put that technology to work for us. This is very exciting, and I see this as HR’s challenge in the digital age – how to put technology to work for us to help our employees work smarter.

To learn more about HRCI, got to: 

Follow (HRCI) on: 
LinkedIn –
Twitter –
Facebook –
YouTube –

Connect with Amy: 
Twitter – @HRCI_CEO 
LinkedIn –

Greg Morton is a corporate strategy and growth development specialist and Chief Executive Officer of the Northern California HR Association.

To comment on this article or ask (name of person interviewed) additional questions, please post below, tweet to @GregJMorton or connect with Greg on LinkedIn (using #CEOCorner with all social media posts).



Tags:  Amy Schabacker Dufrane  CEO  Ceo Corner  Certification  Greg Morton  HR  HR Education  HR Leadership  HR Re-Certification  HRCI  Innovation  innovators 

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Meet Clif Bar & Company CEO Kevin Cleary

Posted By Greg J. Morton, Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kevin Cleary is chief executive officer of Clif Bar & Company, a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks for people on the go. As CEO, Kevin focuses on expanding Clif Bar’s growth in the sports nutrition and healthy snacks category while leading the company’s day-to-day business operations.

Guided by Five Aspirations – Sustaining our Business, our Brands, our People, our Community and the Planet – Kevin has grown Clif Bar’s product portfolio, expanded national and international distribution, increased the company’s use of organic and sustainable ingredients and launched the company’s first owned and operated bakeries in Twin Falls, Idaho, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

I sat down with Kevin to talk about how he creates a great culture at Clif Bar as well as how the company sustains it.

(GM): Clif Bar & Company has appeared on lists touting "Best Places to Work" - what’s special about working there?


(KC): It starts with our purpose, best put by our owner and co-chief visionary officer, Kit Crawford. “We’re working to run a different kind of company: the kind of place we’d want to work, that makes the kind of food we’d like to eat, and that strives for a healthier, more sustainable world—the kind of world we’d like to pass on to our children. We measure success against our Five Aspirations: sustaining our business, brands, community, planet and people. Instead of a standalone CSR campaign that is bolted on, these five bottom lines are built into how we operate the business. The Clif team is challenged, inspired, and better connected to our work because we have shared goals that go beyond profit.


(GM): Tell me more about how Clif Bar sustains its people.


(KC): At Clif Bar, we think in terms of work life integration instead of “work-life balance”. The idea of achieving balance overlooks the dynamic nature of the lives we live and the work we do. It’s never as simple as work on one side and life neatly contained on the other. There is only life. And our lives, both at work and at home, should have meaning. That starts with work grounded in purpose.


We also want people to bring their passions to work, not check them at the door. There’s emphasis put on building an authentic sense of community here through our shared values and interests. I’ll give you an example; we have a weekly company meeting that is uniquely ‘CLIF’ in format. Every Thursday, we have breakfast together followed by an all-hands meeting. I don’t control the agenda. It’s an open platform. This is our time to socialize, catch up and share out – company happenings, new hires, successes both personal and professional. Thursdays help us stay connected to the things that are important to us as individuals, as a community, and as a company.


Another essential part of sustaining our people is thoughtful benefits. Notice I didn’t say extravagant or expensive. We ask ourselves, how can we give time back to employees or make their lives healthier and more convenient? We’ve answered these questions in many ways, from an on-site gym and childcare center to a pet-friendly office and time during the workday to volunteer.


(GM): As CEO, do you have the time to take advantage of the unique culture at Clif Bar?


(KC): My mantra is you’ve got to live it and own it. I bring my whole self to work and I want that to be visible to the team. I’m an avid runner and biker. I’m a coach and a father. On any given day you will find me working out in our office gym or fresh off a morning bike ride. On Thursdays, I leave work a little early to coach my kids’ Little League teams. I hope every person at Clif Bar takes time for their version of a bike ride each day. When you give people the space to connect to the things they love, what you get in return is so much more than eight hours logged at a desk. You get the best of them.


To learn more about Clif Bar, go to:
Follow Clif Bar & Company on: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Linkedin
If you'd like to comment or have further questions for Kevin (or me), I welcome you to post here (below),

on Twitter
@GregJMorton or on Linkedin (with #CEOCorner).

Tags:  Clif Bar CEO  Leadership  Success 

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It was an amazing 2016... We expect 2017 to be even MORE EXCITING!

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Thursday, January 19, 2017

2016 was a very busy year for our association as we launched a brand new event franchise, HR TechXpo, and took our famed HR West conference on the road to Seattle.

We added a new blog partner, Human Resources Today, a new social platform (NCHRA Connect) for our members to communicate, and a new innovative way for our members to earn recertification credit via our virtual book club from our new partner, PBC Guru. Finally, we also held a large in-person gathering of our membership to ask for their vote of support (which we received) to amend our articles of incorporation in a manner that will allow us to better serve our membership and the needs of our organization in the future.  

As a result of what we accomplished in 2016, I expect 2017 to be an even more exciting year for us. We’ll be hosting our 34th annual HR West conference, as well as a great line up of 1-day conferences and regional programming throughout the year.

It’s hard to believe that we are less than two months away from our annual HR West conference, but we are. Whether you are a past attendee or attending for the first time, you will not want to miss this year’s event. This year our Title Sponsor is no less than SAP SuccessFactors! We are proud and honored that they have chosen to partner with us to bring you the best HR conference in the West.

This year’s conference has a fantastic and diverse line up of keynotes and session speakers our community of HR professionals have come to expect. Each year, attendees share with us their appreciation of the unparalleled ability to earn continuing education credit towards a variety of certifications.  They also share with us how much they value the conference’s networking opportunities.  Whether it’s making a new connection or re-connecting with a colleague, the three days offer ample opportunity to grow and maintain your professional network. One thing to note is that this year, different than years past, we will be kicking off the conference in the morning. This is set to provide momentum and fuel our first day together.

This year’s sponsorship and exhibit opportunities sold out in record time and as a result, you will have an opportunity to visit and learn from a strong list of high-quality service providers. We are proud that our conference attracts the best service providers and that their presence and involvement with attendees is an appreciated part of our conference’s value.

If you haven’t gotten around to signing up for this year’s HR West conference, don’t delay. With the holidays behind us and another full year ahead, it’s time to start thinking about learning and trying new things, like participating in our #HRInnovators social media contest and being inspired with “HR in the most innovative place on earth!”

If you'd like to comment or have further questions, I welcome you to post here (below), on Twitter: 
@GregJMorton (#CEOCorner) or on Linkedin.

Tags:  HR TechXpo  HR West 2017  NCHRA events  PBC Guru  SAP SuccessFactors  Social Link 

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