Michael Carty has a round-up of comments from the SHRM conference (the US equivalent of our CIPD conference) in San Diego. The event might be an ocean and a continent away but the reports have a ring of familiarity about them. The prevailing theme, it seems, is HR self-doubt and pessimism about the profession’s future.
This is nothing new. We tend to get similar fallout from our HR conferences. Three years ago Louisa Peacock expressed her shock after sitting in a hall full of HR folk whooping with delight as speaker after speaker gave their profession a damned good kicking.
Mark Stelzner’s report carries a quote from Conrad Venter, Deutsche Bank’s global HR boss, who predicated that HR will be obsolete in ten years if it stays on its current course. Heather Vogel draws a similar conclusion; if HR carries on with the same people doing the same stuff year after year, it is screwed. Again, we have been saying similar things over here.
Everything I have read about the SHRM conference sounds strangely familiar, right down to the HRDs rat-arsed on free margaritas, the fashion disasters and the thirty-something middle managers throwing up outside.
We might be divided by an ocean and a common language but American conferences sound more or less the same as ours.