What I learned at the Inaugural DisruptHR in Kitchener/Waterloo

What I learned at the Inaugural DisruptHR in Kitchener/Waterloo

March 12, 2017 | Rob Catalano

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I attended my fourth DisruptHR event today, and this time it was at the inaugural Kitchener/Waterloo event! If you’re not familiar with DisruptHR – definitely check it out. With the plethora of events and conferences out there, we all struggle to choose where we to spend our valuable time, but this is a disruptive event (ugh, couldn’t help the punniness) that’s fun, entertaining, educational and just a great experience as an attendee.

On top of that, it is affordable (this time it was free!) and easily accessible on one morning rather than a whole day event. The way it works is ten quick 5-minute talks of how we should be disrupting HR. Quick, engaging, fun… and these days, all we really have attention for! You get to network with like-minded disruptors and speakers that hang out and are accessible after as well. I learned some amazing things listening to the speakers this morning and wanted to reflect on what I learned from each one of them to take back to my personal life and the WorkTango family.

Kurtis McBride, CEO of Miovision – loved the three things needed to win in leadership and grow a company: Coaching, Strategy and Execution – and structuring it as functionalized leadership. A lot to take away as I grow my company.

Lindsay Gibson, COO of TextNow – It’s all about authenticity. I couldn’t agree more! Oh, and if you lie to your kids, it may come back to bite (or pierce!) you!

Olivia McIvor, Olivia McIvor Consulting – kill them with kindness.  I truly do believe it is a leadership competency, and love you brought it to the forefront.

Suzanne Hyatt, VP HR at Axonify – I couldn’t agree more that we need to re-think learning. Current LMS systems are broken, and we need to leverage new technologies. Love the quote: “employees expect continuous learning. It isn’t a one-time event.”

Jackie Cooper, EVP Sales & Marketing at InteraXon Inc – thanks for the reminder about mindfulness. I am so guilty of starting with fitness from the neck down, but important to not forget about the neck up: “Healthy mind. Healthy body.”

Jackie Lauer, Heart of Culture at AxleTree Consulting – First off, BRILLIANT presentation, and learned a lot from the Wizard! Show c-c-c-courage as HR leaders if we want to disrupt things! And one of the best titles I’ve seen – “Heart of Culture” – I may steal that one?  Oh, and never could tell you were up there!

Grail Noble, Founder & President of Yellow House Events – I love the talk of culture fails, and being open about your story. Love how you focused on simplifying and treating employees like adults. What you said is still ringing in my head: “Replace rules with values!” Love it!

Elijah Moore, CEO & Founder of Collage – One of the best 1-liners: “Axe Body Spray was cool when it came out to the world, but ultimately, it just covers a bad smell.” Referencing how perks at work can’t mask true culture and authenticity of your company.

Neil MacGregor, CoFounder of Plum – I couldn’t agree more: Culture isn’t something you put in a box… and there are so many variations, but ultimately it is the collection of the values, beliefs and principles. Culture isn’t one-size fits all.

Jeff Waldman, Founder of SocialHRCamp – You’re right, we suck at assessing people, and suck more because we use first impressions when hiring. You’re unfortunately too right. I agree… hire more Warrens! Amen buddy.

Jamie Good, Training Manager at Sortable – So… never have had to sing or view a live strip-tease at DisruptHR – there are firsts for everything, I guess! Great talk about how we should hire disruptors if we want to improve our companies. I’m going to show you my shredded resumes one day ????

Hats off to the DisruptHR KW team for creating an awesome event! Expectations are high after your first one! Fantastic day – I had a blast!

And while we’re at it, there were about 150 people there today… any of you mind sharing what your biggest takeaways were? I would love to hear it, and I’m sure the rest of the community would love to as well.

Rob Catalano

Rob Catalano

Rob Catalano is WorkTango’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer. Rob has spent the last 17 years building HR Technology companies.