So then, social HR. What is that all about, eh?
Not content with beating ourselves up about our lack of a seat at the mythical table (get there early is my advice. There is nothing worse than having to pull up a chair) we now find the “social HR” community (what an awful label) turning in on itself and attacking each other for sheep-like behaviour, being fake and not walking the talk. In essence, the message seems to be “it’s all too cosy and there is no impact on real life HR practice.”
Now I have no problem with the authors of such pieces. In general, I enjoy reading their posts and respect their point of view. They make me think, and if I’m thinking I’m learning.
It’s great to ask questions and have a debate and agitate but come on. None of us can change the world in 140 characters or a blog post. That’s the tip of the iceberg.
And that’s partly the issue. Who of us really know what others in our profession are actually achieving, how they are in their real life job or how they are using what they learn online?
We just have to do it and know we are making a difference in our own little part of the world. Changing HR, one conversation at a time. There won’t be a massive mind shift overnight.
That said, some of the most strategic, challenging and thought-provoking discussions I’ve had have been with previously complete strangers who also know something needs to change. What brought us together was an online discussion or a chance tweet. That for me is social HR if such a thing exists.
Often it’s those bar chats or coffee conversations with like-minded souls that add the most value, that get us thinking and reflecting on what needs to be different. We leave fired up ready to take on the world but in the cold light of morning there is often a different perspective. The reality of the moribund organization with no real desire to change, or the ranks of managers who only do their jobs for the money and don’t really care about developing people.
Aren’t we all really just stumbling around trying to work out how to be better at what we do, knowing that mediocrity is not good enough? And working out how to deliver HR with attitude and impact in our organisations?
I often sit back and think. Do I make a difference to my profession? Have I changed anything? Am I authentic in what I’m doing and saying? Am I different? No idea really. All I can say is I try. That’s all any of us can do. I’m giving it a go and pushing myself, and I write about it because I believe in what I say. But I do know I feel a lot more positive and passionate about the future of my profession and less isolated than I did four years ago.
So let’s keep talking, challenging ourselves and each other. Lets not be afraid to share something we read and say if we think it’s good, or complete crap. Read, think, discuss. It does make a difference.
And let’s keep having those bar chats too. There is always time for another beer and, who knows, it might be a life or career-changing discussion.
The revolution starts at closing time.