Collaboration with Strangers


Earlier this year at the HRevolution conference I was asked “what does disrupting HR mean to you?” I didn’t have a flawless answer (in fact I might have rambled a bit which isn’t shocking to anyone that knows me) but I said something to the effect of being willing to disrupt yourself.

 Collaboration with Strangers

We also had a spirited debate about if we even needed to disrupt HR at all or if the whole disrupt movement wasn’t another cliche in the waiting but the more I thought about it the more I wanted to revisit the theme of disrupting yourself or for those who think disruption is a cliche: challenging yourself.


This month when Chris Ponder asked us to discuss our advice for the new year, I decided to give you the same medicine I’m taking in 2015: Challenge Yourself.


That seems like a fairly easy concept right? You could challenge yourself in any number of ways:

  • trying new food
  • trying a new workout
  • driving a different way to work


Those are all good ways to challenge yourself and just small amounts of change can increase creativity.  But I don’t want you to settle for the small, I want you think big: .


  • I want you to challenge your long held beliefs and assumptions.
  • I want you to challenge your perspective on the world, your work, your team, your family.
  • I want you to think about one challenge in your life and what you can do to change it, resolve it or remove it.


That is what I want you to do. Here is how I am going to challenge myself this year:


I will take the meditation class I’ve been talking about taking for a year. Meditation can be difficult but dedicated practice produces great benefits. I’ve put off taking a class for a number of reasons (I’m moving. I just moved. I’m organizing. I’m whatever…) but that stops now.


I will write more. I know that you can only become a better writer through practice but I don’t write enough and I have a steady stream of excuses (see above). I will write 3-5 times a week,  even if it is junk.


I will stay in touch.  I confess that I am not good at staying in touch with people. I don’t send Christmas cards or I intend to call people “just because” and then I don’t. Going forward I will deliberately and actively stay in touch.


How about you? What are you doing to challenge yourself in 2015? Tell us in the comments.



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Melissa Fairman

Melissa Fairman is the author of the blog HR Remix and has five years experience working in HR. She's super awesome and has an MBA with an HR concentration from Baldwin Wallace College and a PHR certification from the HRCI institute. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter at @HRRemix.

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