ConnectingHR is entering its next phase of evolution and I think makes sense to reflect on what it is / could be.
When Gareth and I first met, our intent was simply to organise tweet-ups and unconferences – the idea of a community ‘emerged’ later. So this group could just be a vehicle to bring people together to organise tweet-ups and unconferences.
But it could be more than that too.
The reason for organising the tweet-ups and unconferences was because we were both interested in connecting within the HR profession hence the name 'Connecting HR' people together.
But at a deeper level we had an interest in connecting people in organisations too – hence the focus for all our unconferences on topics like the social organisation. So Connecting HR has been partly about helping raise the need and opportunities to connect people within organisations and to share this across HR (seeing systems like Twitter and events like unconferences as opportunities to do this).
At a still deeper level still, for me at least, Connecting HR itself has been an experiment in community building – a vital new skill for HR. So we’ve provided people an opportunity to be part of creating something in a similar way to what we believe HR people will increasingly need to do in their organisations. Ie we’ve tried to model community building as well as talk about it.
I think we’ve got a basis for a self-managing community here, but there is clearly the potential for much more self management. (BTW, I understand true self-managing communities are very rare, and that in most communities, even if there isn’t a natural leader, one tends to emerge – that’s fine – we’re testing the limits of what’s possible, not trying to do something which is impossible).
Of course ConnectingHR also offers a range of other potential benefits eg providing a forum for research, a voice / movement for broader change in the HR profession, etc etc. But in my mind, it’s these three things which are most important:
That’s my belief / perspective of course – and others may have different and equally valid views (though in my mind the fact that we do have different views about what we’re trying to do also provides some evidence that we really are a self-managing community).
More soon, but I’d be interested in whether you agree / disagree and whether you have other views about what ConnectingHR is / should be, which I’d encourage you to post here too...