MEHRC14 Reflections


Another Maine HR Convention. It goes with saying that the Maine HR crew – Bud, Heather, DJ, Becky, Chanel & Cathleen have pulled off another extraordinary event. The is now to reflect on and share my personal/professional experience.

The convention theme was Making a DifferenceThe biggest difference this year was the Mobile App for that.  A very useful tool before, during and after the convention.  MEHRC has always sought to use technology.  I remember way back in the day when I used my Dell PDA with Wifi to register for the convention.

My supporting role at the convention is videography with some photography.  Basically, I stand behind the camcorder, shoot the videos, make introductory and credit slides, cobble them together into an iMovie for uploading up to YouTube. In the past, the last part – uploading – was always the ultimate challenge. Not all Wifi systems are created equal and have robustness & capacity challenges.  Hardwire connections are preferred and have become scarce. This time, the Samoset Wifi system shined. All videos were processed and posted the same day as the Keynote. Only a few remain to be processed and posted.

Zero Day – MEHRC14 Eve.  Mark and Bud hosted a dessert social.  Sumptuous treats & networking.

Day One: The event opened with the Maine HR awards.  Congratulations to all the nominees, and Amie Parker & Susan Ouellette for winning.

Amie Parker & Susan Oulette

Amie Parker & Susan Ouellette

The Headliners

Jackie Freiberg: NOTICE, LEAD, and DISRUPT: Creating a Culture of Innovation

  • Best idea (borrowed from Southwest Airlines): “You will never have all the resources you think you need to get the job done.”
  • WTF really means, “What’s The Future?”
  • YouTube interview

Bette Francis, SPHR: The Science of Leadership: Become an HR Change Leader

  • Best idea: “connect with the people you want to influence before you need to.”
  • YouTube interview

Day Two: Vy Higginsen: Embracing Unexpected Harmony

  • Best idea: “Playing is what matters, playing makes a difference,,,, fingers are the keyboard to your brain.”
  • YouTube interview

Chester Elton: The Orange Revolution; How One Great Team Can Change an Organization

  • Best idea: “The employee experience should never exceed the customer experience.”
  • YouTube interview

Day Three: Don MacPherson: Around the Globe in Sixty Minutes: What the World Can Teach Us About Work

  • Employee Engagement Formula
    • 50% genetic set point
    • 40% intentional activities – the choices the employee makes
    • 10% circumstance
  • YouTube interview
  • Note to self: Further research & reflection is needed on the Employee Engagement Formula

Cy Wakeman: A Counter-Intuitive, Reality-Based Path to Strategic HR

  • Best Idea – have an exit strategy to difficult conversations. “Wow, you’ve given me a lot to think about. Can we get back together tomorrow?”
  • SBAR problem solving template
    • S:     Situation: in one sentence
    • B:     relevant Background
    • A:     Analysis & Assessment: critical thinking v judgment/drama
    • R:     Recommendations – the plural is intentional
  • YouTube interview


The book list – there is always a reading list:

  • nanovation by Kevin & Jackie Freiberg and Dain Dunston
  • All In by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton
  • The Carrot Principle by Adrian Gostick
  • David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath & Barry Conchie

The convention spirit lingers on past the going home.  The ideas need to be digested, tested, and learned from. Yes, the day to day fundamentals, demands and commands impose constraints.  Take some time each day, every day, for your personal and professional self. This time is needed. Over the value of the ideas will percolate and assimilate into leadership behaviors that add further value.  Create your own wisdom.

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Viktor E. Frankl


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