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Your mission, our SHRM conference highlights

Reading Time: 5 minutes

We’ve traveled to NYC twice this summer to meet with several innovative companies. Another highlight: these tacos.

SHRM Conference at a glance

By Lauryn Sargent

I attended my first Society for Human Resources (SHRM) conference in July.
15,000 people! That’s a loooong line at Starbucks, friends… but it also meant that SHRM attracted some really interesting speakers.

Most of the breakout sessions I attended featured experts presenting research they conducted and applied their data to leadership and organizations. Still thinking about:

  • Nicholas Epley: You’re actually terrible at “reading people,” and body language isn’t a real thing. Even couples who have been married for ten years, often can’t predict what their partner thinks about important topics. And you think you know what makes Matt in accounting tick? Stop assuming people know what you think about work related topics: they don’t unless you’ve told them, plain and simple.
  • Mika Brzezinski: She told the story of when she discovered her male cohost at MSNBC was earning 14 times what she was. What! Now she speaks publicly about knowing your value.
  • Bruce Tulgan: After conducting thousands of independent exit interviews, he boiled down several manager mistakes that cause turnover. A few I’m still thinking about: not teaching people how to follow, and confusing empowerment with lazy management. Bonus: I asked him a question and he mailed me his book (haven’t read it yet).

Were you there? What are you still thinking about?

Stories at work: Catalyzing innovation in healthcare

The MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2) is the innovation center within MedStar Health, a large health system based in Washington, DC. MI2 provides a broad innovation infrastructure to help MedStar’s 30,000 associates and 6,000 affiliated physicians invent the future.

Together with MI2, we created The MI2 Story, a piece of a larger toolkit for MedStar’s practitioners. The project brought the diverse success stories, within this large health system to life for the practitioners who can choose to work with MI2 on specific healthcare challenges and to inspire innovation in the care they provide everyday.

After interviewing 30 practitioners across several MedStar hospitals and MI2 service lines, we got to know an organization serious about catalyzing innovation that advances health.

Storytelling for ultimate engagement

Our own Lauryn Sargent recently wrote a guest blog post for Great Place to Work’s blog about the importance of storytelling in employee engagement. With less than one-third (31.5%) of U.S. workers being engaged in their jobs in 2014, there’s a lot of room to grow. But how?

Enter storytelling. One of several ways we use storytelling for engagement is to substitute the word “Story” for Proof. Data drives most decisions in business, and discerning candidates and your team members are looking for proof and data to use when making professional decisions: Should they join your company? How worthy are you of their continued time and talent (engagement can be a choice)?

Check out what else Lauryn had to say about engagement or share your thoughts with her at [email protected].

What’s your mission?

One common theme among the organizations we work with is adherence to mission. We feel so strongly about its importance that our three most recent blog posts all revolve around the various aspects of a company’s mission.

How do you make your mission live and breathe within your organization and for your customers or clients? Let us know at [email protected].

Cool things…

  1. Summertime trips: Our team members have taken advantage of recharging their batteries with trips to the beach, the mountains, and boogying at bluegrass festivals. Here’s some inspiration to remind you of the importance of unplugging, and how to maintain that post-vacation glow.
  2. Radical transparency: We love this First Round article about the importance of transparency, in particular for startups, and practical ways to achieve it.
  3. Harvard Business Review shares some great questions to ensure you’re recruiting for a good cultural fit.

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