I find it fitting that the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Walls falls squarely one day after the end of the first ever Human Resource HR Evolution (un)conference.
The Human Resource industry is at an impasse. For years, HR has been the voice to deliver the message often controlled by the actions and decisions of others far up the food chain or from the executive suite with or without our opinions or input. Unfortunately, I have had to deliver my share of layoff announcements, reorganizations, and terminations to the employees I represented as a member of a company and business.
HR Evolution and social media are seeking to change that. I seek to be free to engage others, express opinions, and have an opinion outside of the organization who I support. As a collective group, we have the power to tear down the walls of the traditional vision of Human Resources and be free to be ourselves. We certainly know that it won’t be easy and I know we will encounter some resistance along the way.
And yet I see this resistance as an opportunity to educate, develop relationships, and join the conversation with others both inside and outside the field of Human Resources. I see an opportunity to engage executive teams and leaders or businesses and organizations as way to begin those conversations.
A little over twenty years ago I remember seeing video and pictures on the news as I watched President Ronald Reagan call for Mr. Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall.” And twenty years ago today I also watched the whole world celebrate as the Berlin Wall was torn down. At the time the wall signified oppression, control, and a divide. And now the Berlin Wall means something completely different. It stands for freedom, individuality, community, and possibility. These were the very same things that brought 50 human resource professionals together at HR Evolution in Louisville, KY November 6-8, 2009.
While I don’t believe that the HR Evolution has the same historical significance that the Berlin Wall does, I do think that HR’s Berlin Wall is the same in a metaphorical sense. The message from the HR Evolution (un)conference is clear, “Tear down this Wall.”
Photo credit Destination 360.