Thoughts on HR Florida 2011


I write this on Wednesday afternoon from Orlando airport, heading home from my first HR Florida conference.  There will be something tomorrow for you that will be a little fun (I hope), but for now, here are my takeaways from the show…


I only caught Tony Hsieh and Dan Pink, and they were very different.  Tony had interesting stories from the CEO chair, talking about building a culture and letting people create their own destiny inside your company.  Dan talked motivation, what it means, what it doesn’t mean, and how to pursue it.  Both were interesting, and I took a few things away from the speakers (not the content, though I learned from that too):

  • Despite the accolade heaped on him, Tony Hsieh is not, in my humble opinion, a natural “people person.”  In the videos and the short personal interaction I had with him, he was reserved, quiet, and a little uncomfortable.  He performed fine as a speaker, to be sure, but seemed less comfortable with one on one communications.  That’s not meant as a slight, though.  I think it’s amazing he’s built a company famous for culture when he seems to introverted.  Maybe I read him wrong.  But I don’t think so.
  • Dan Pink is a really interesting speaker, and brought up some research I’ve read before.  But I really liked that he focused on low or no cost actions everyone can take right away.  Really good stuff in there, including, a site that sends automated daily emails to help record you progress on, well, anything.  Check it out.

Concurrent Sessions

I will admit that I often attend sessions based on who is leading them, not the topic.  I managed to catch Jennifer McClure, Kris Dunn and William Tincup this time around.  We had some fun, shared some laughs, and learned a bit, which is fun.  But I generally attend to watch style, interaction, and overall presentation methods.  I learned something from each of them, and I hope it makes me a better presenter.


A huge state conference put together completely by volunteers?  You bet there is some passion in that house.  Sponsors had it, too.  The feeling across the board was upbeat, even when fixing problems.  I enjoyed interacting with them, and made sure to thank them for their work.  They deserved at least that much.


If there is ever a time to see how deep the connections run in social media, it is a state conference.  When the “SoMe” people get together, we check on each other, then check on those that aren’t present.  Through our network, we keep track of who is in town, who is not, who is well, who is happy, and who needs a boost.  Then we reach out to that last group and see what we can do to help.

I loved this week.  And having come on the heels of IL SHRM, it makes for a rich full couple of weeks.  I consider myself lucky to have been part of them, and am already looking forward to the next round.


  1. […] Thoughts on HR Florida 2011 by Dwane Lay […]

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