Nutritional. Raw. Basic. Brutal.
An interesting choice of words don’t you think? And I bet they are not the kind of words you would use to describe the last HR conference or event you went to are they?
These, however, are the very words used by Sarah Foster, Chief People Officer of Talis Information Ltd to describe last October’s ConnectingHR 1 day Unconference. Here’s how she put it:
"As an event it was nutritional, raw, the venue was stunningly basic almost brutal, the energy was maintained. There was progress, information exchange, connection and energy for the next opportunities to develop.
The ConnectingHR unconference I think exceeded everyone’s expectations. Informed, opinionated and still open minded people wanting to communicate and share the energy and passion to get good things done. I came back with a head full of things to think about and a longer list of thoughts to think about after that.."
Powerful stuff, and she wasn’t the only one. Will Claire, HR Business Partner, www.figleaves.com had this to say:
“What played out at the ConnectingHR Unconference was nothing short of inspiring! The creative energy was palpable and what drove it was that every single (un)delegate was there for the same reason – to make a positive difference to others. I’d never experienced that kind of energy instantly ignite from a room full of strangers.
What did I come away with from the day? Well certainly no goody bags with pens, post-its and stress balls (thank god). More importantly what I did come away with was a head buzzing with potential and full of ideas for what I could bring back to the Business. The 3 things that stuck with from the day were community, collaboration and social media and the part all play in facilitating a more engaged workforce.”
Some were understandably nervous, after all, what is an unconference?! Alison Chisnell, Group HR Director at Informa Publishing sums up nicely how many felt when they first walked through the door:
“I must admit for the first 10 minutes or so I wondered whether it was the maddest thing I had ever done! It was a real revelation though to see how an Unconference can work, how engaged and passionate the participants all were. What an amazing day it was! “
But, as mad as Alison appeared to be at the time, she stayed. And the unconference left a legacy with her as it did with many others. Alison not only delivered her own inspiring call to action for her internal HR team when she got back in the office, she also went on to become an active blogger and member of the ConnectingHR community.
Ailsa Suttie, Group HR Director at the Panther Group was one of the many attendees who also felt compelled to act following the day:
“As a result of the ConnectinghHR un-conference during the course of this week I have taken some action which has created change and energy across my organisation. It’s only a small change just now but it will grow and develop and people are excited by it, what’s more it was free! The catalyst for it was #CHRU and I am so glad I went."
At a traditional conference, its usually the sponsors or oganisers who tell you what you are going to learn and how good the event is going to be. The difference with the ConnectingHR unconference is that its you, the attendee, who is the ultimate judge. Not only that, you also get to decide what happens on the day too.
Your agenda? Your choice? Your decisions? Sound too good to be true? Not at the ConnectingHR unconference. But don’t take my word for it – the attendees are the ones to listen to.
If you only attend one event this year, make sure its on that challenges your thinking. Get involved…
The ConnectingHR Unconference – Thursday 5th May 2011
Book Tickets here: http://connectinghr.eventbrite.com