Tuesday 6 April 2010

Connecting HR unconferencing


   We hope Connecting HR can grow to be much more than a tweet-up.

The next thing we thought we might work on is an unconference.

I suppose this is partly just because unconferencing seems to meet the spirit of the times:

  • I’ve posted several times on Bill Boorman’s Recruiting Unconference (TRU).  I attended and led some streams at TRU London last month and regret having to sit out TRU USA in a couple of weeks time
  • I’ve also mentioned the US’ HR Evolution unconference that I also missed last year
  • There’s also a new Learning unconference – Learning Camp
  • And I’m chairing an unconference day at informatology 2010 later this month.


But it’s also because unconferencing plays to the idea of connecting.  It’s not a format in which keynote speakers pass content onto passive attendees, but one in which active participants exchange knowledge and ideas (Gareth’s “keynote listeners”) and form and develop relationships.

When Gareth and I started talking about this, we were particularly attracted to the idea of a ‘conflab’:

“Conflabs are conferences where the audience decides what will be talked about. Not in a ‘Whose line is it anyway’ way, but in a way where those attending the conference state what they are interested in, challenged by, concerned with, or questions with which they are struggling.”


To a large extent, camps, unconferences and conflabs are all pretty much the same sort of thing (and are at least all clear about what they’re not, ie a conference).  But we do want to stress that we’re trying to get right over to the ‘un’-most side of things.

So this can’t be a Gareth and Jon show – we need to wider and broader involvement and ownership if this thing is going to fly.  So if you’re interested, and are based in or can get into London, give us a shout.  And I’ll share more ideas here (and probably link to them someplace else) as they develop.



Picture credit (Lakhovsky Conversation): AndreasPraefcke 


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  1. Jon

    I think what is interesting that whenever I ask any of my clients or active prospects about these kind of events, they are just not interested!

    They expect me to know what they need to know to do a better job and use social media in the workplace (internal or external) but don't see it as their job to go and find out; otherwise why would they need me.

    So the issue about too many suppliers being at these events may be never ending. I'm not saying we are wasting our time but maybe expecting too many clients to attend is missing the point. Not sure however what the point is these days :)


  2. Jon, you can count on me to be there (work permitting). This time I want a paper bag with holes for eyes though!

  3. Thanks both, I think it should go fine - I'm convinced we'll offer more value than a typical traditional conference does. Just seeing theHRD wearing a paper bag over his head should get quite a few people there!


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