FROM THE CEO
UPPING OUR GAME
By Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., SHRM-SCP
I’m writing this column after returning from the Society for Human Resource Manage- ment’s (SHRM’s) record-breaking 2018
Annual Conference & Exposition in Chicago.
It was my frst as CEO, and I was blown away
by the huge attendance, the more than 700
exhibitors, the hundreds of packed concurrent
sessions and our fantastic keynoters.
What impressed me most, however, was
watching 22,000-plus members and friends of
the HR profession come together to show the
world the true impact and value of
Now, we could congratulate
ourselves and start planning for
the same results next year. But
that’s not us. SHRM is striving for
even more exciting and rewarding
moments in Las Vegas in 2019.
Our team at headquarters is already brainstorming how to bring
you experiences you’ve never had
That drive to accelerate and
elevate is exactly what I’m asking
our profession to do. At SHRM18,
I challenged attendees to “chase
their lion”—that is, to go after a
dream, no matter how scary it is.
I asked them to think about what
they want the HR profession—and their part
in it—to be in the future and then to chase it
vigorously and courageously. I’d like for you to
do the same.
SHRM is chasing its lions, too. In recent
months, we have been creating a platform
to talk about what HR is and does for work,
workers and workplaces. At the highest levels
of government and in the marketplace of ideas,
we are being consulted on hot-button issues
such as sexual harassment, paid leave and
workforce readiness. We’re stepping in, stand-
ing up and speaking out as never before.
However, we can’t do it without you. “
Together Forward”—my charge to SHRM and
HR—means we all need to invest in this profession of ours. This is a team efort, and you are
on the front lines—the grassroots to SHRM’s
treetops. It will be you, not SHRM, who will
have a monumental impact on your organizations and workforces.
So, I’m asking all of you to reach for the
next level, wherever that may be for you. To up
your game. To get ahead of the challenges your
organizations face and ensure that HR drives
My challenge does not minimize the hard
work and passion that have gotten you where
you are today. “Upping our game” means maximizing our capacity to always improve what
we do and how we do it. This is how we will
adapt and grow, elevating HR as the expert on
all things work and a source of solutions to the
people challenges facing the future of business.
As a SHRM member, you’re already ahead.
From certifcation to trusted resources to
world-class events, your Society is always creating new and better ways to guide you on your
ascent. As we get better at our job, so can you.
Although upping our game may mean
stretching and even failing sometimes, we
must all have the courage to keep reaching and
learning. Let’s rededicate ourselves to excellence and accountability, settling for nothing
less from ourselves, our peers, our partners and
‘Upping our game’ means maximizing our capacity to
always improve what we do and how we do it.