ARHI National Convention Wrap Up

Wow!
What an incredible week at the 2015 AHRI National Convention – three days of non-stop learning, collaborating, meeting new people, hearing new ideas and being challenged on what is happening in the world of HR and how we need to rise to respond to it. A strong theme that came through many sessions was the changing world of work – due to globalisation, technological shifts and generational changes – and how the business world, and HR professionals in particular, are, and need to, respond. 
A real highlight for me was Julia Gillard who, on top of having a great tale of becoming a laundry expert at school due to her ‘electives’, had an incredibly interesting perspective on the changing world of work and HR’s great opportunity in adapting to the new environment. The global rise of the Asian economies and the massive technological disruptors are becoming an increasingly important driver in the world of work. Julia challenged the attendees as HR professionals to take advantage of the opportunities and changes being presented to us and lead the way in how Australia responds to this change. Our economy is going to have to change in response to traditional sources of employment changing, and we have an excellent opportunity to help ensure that business is ready to adapt. 

Dave Ulrich was an absolute star – I can see why he has been named as the #1 Management Educator & Guru by Business Week (along with a host of other awards and recognition). The message of relationships being much more important than structure hit home for many in the audience (it resulted in a flurry of tweets). 

Speaking of tweeting – social media interactions at the convention were huge. A massive number of attendees were tweeting, sharing and collaborating online – being able to see what was happening in other sessions was great. There is also an incredibly nerdy part of me that loves it when a speaker I idolise retweets or responds to something I’ve shared online. Given the focus on the changing world of work, this was proof that HR professionals are leading the way with engaging online, expanding their personal learning networks and seeing the possibilities of interacting with employees and future employees was fantastic. Many conversations were had with both people I’d met online and those curious about the tweeting. Due to Twitter (and spotting the Soceroos account giving a happy birthday shout out to Ange Postecoglou) we managed to arrange Richard Morecroft lead the hall in singing Happy Birthday to Ange for his 50th. What a legend for turning up to give a keynote!

A summary article cannot be written without reference to my personal highlight of the Expo which was HROnboard’s genius decision to bring in Guide Dogs Victoria ambassadors Ariel and Sparky on Thursday. Many a photograph was taken with the honorary HR pros, who seemed more interested in cuddling attendees than engaging in strategic discussions. 

Many speakers were really active on social media which was fantastic (loved Jon Ingram’s selfie with the crowd after the New HR session). I’m really interested to see how we increase the opportunities for this at next year’s #AHRINC to encourage more HR professionals onto social media and collaborative tools. It is going to become more and more critical for HR professionals to lead the way in engaging with employees (and potential employees) through social media, organisations are looking to us for leadership in this space and we need to take the bull by the horns and own our brand.
I attended the AHRI National Convention as a guest blogger. The post was originally published on the Official AHRI National Convention Blog

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