HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 15

Why Being

"Authentic"
By Melanie Spring,
Chief Inspiration Officer &
Approachable Badass, Sisarina

B

usinesses talk about building "authentic"
cultures. They talk about having "authentic" relationships with their clients. They post
"authentic" photos on Instagram. They even
post "authentic" tweets. Except, in reality,
most businesses create a staged idea of what
authenticity looks like. They talk one way and
walk another. (Yeah, you know the businesses
I'm talking about.)
Most businesses care more about the hustle
than the people. They care more about pleasing their investors or their board of directors. They care about their bottom line, while
humans on the front lines are being told to "be
authentic." And these humans know exactly
what the company means by that-if they
were TRULY authentic, they'd be fired.
Well, guess what? "Authenticity" is
nonsense.
The true definition of authenticity isn't
just about being genuine. In fact, authenticity is defined by Dictionary.com as "relating
to or denoting an emotionally appropriate, significant, purposive and responsible
mode of human life." Hold on...appropriate?
Responsible? What happened to authenticity
meaning real? When we say we want people
to be authentic, we really mean that we want
them to fit into social norms.
I honestly don't think we need to teach
leaders how to understand what authenticity means. We need to create environments where being genuine and real is
celebrated. Where people aren't afraid to be
themselves. Where people are encouraged to
come up with new ideas, to get outside the
box, color outside the lines and do more with
the infinite possibilities rolling around in
their brains. That is how we create incredibly
innovative organizations (and don't even get
me started on the word innovative).
2017 MISHRM State Conference * Oct. 11-13

is Nonsense

When we set up incredible organizations-
businesses, non-profits, social enterprises,
start-ups-we invite incredible humans to
join a club. Once we know who we are as a
company, we can make sure we have the right
culture and the best possible humans to join
us in our own uniqueness. And when that
happens, there's a place for everyone.
I once heard "There's a shoe for every foot"
in relation to dating and I have to say it fits
perfectly into the world of business. We're all
a little crazy-we just have to match our crazy
to something (or someone) else's crazy. First,
though, we have to know what our particular
brand of crazy is-personally, professionally
and organizationally.
We have to be ourselves. But how? Here are
a few ways to create genuine culture:
1. Understand your purpose.
Go back to the very beginning-why
your company was founded. Before the
money, before the employees, before the
"shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" showed up.
What did you really want to do? And how
does that affect the world? Now come back
to the present-what has changed and
what needs to change to make sure your
company purpose is at the forefront?
2. Define your core values.
Get your team (or a diverse cross-section)
in one room and ask them what you always
do and never do as a company, as well as
what you always say and what you never say.
Have them create a list of the things you
want to be known for and then shave that
list down to who your team is at its core.
3. Rewrite the rules of success.
Repeat after me: There is no rulebook for
business. Outside of paying taxes and following the law, you get to (and have to)
make the rules. Have you set up systems

because someone said you had to have
them? Or can you rewrite what success looks
like? Are you grinding and pushing your
people hard for the right reason? Are you
working for the money or for the purpose?
What really matters to you and how can
you be sure that's always front and center?
4. Hire for culture first.
OK, everyone says this, but few actually do
it. Look at your culture and look at your
hiring process. Do they match each other?
Do you follow the same old guidelines of
sorting out resumes and boring cover letters and asking the "what's your greatest
weakness" question? What needs to change
in order to find, hire and keep the right
people? Skills can be learned-you can
teach them. But culture and personality has
to fit from the get-go. It has to be inherent.
5. Celebrate your humans.
Celebrating is something most business
owners forget to do for their employees
and definitely forget to do for themselves.
What styles of celebration fit your culture?
Public recognition or awards? Silly dressup parties? Company field trips? Pizza?
Find ways to celebrate your accomplishments as individuals and as a team.
Whatever you do, be yourself. You don't
need to keep up with the (Dow) Joneses of
the world. Be yourself as a human AND as
an organization-the rest will follow. And
don't forget to help those lovely humans be
themselves, even if they don't know what that
means yet. Don't be authentic-be real. Now,
go rock it!
■
Melanie Spring is Chief Inspiration Officer &
Approachable Badass at Sisarina (www.sisarina.
com). Contact her at 202-854-8964 and follow
her on Twitter @sisarina and @melaniespring.

All information including registration is online at: www.mishrmconference.org 15


http://www.Dictionary.com http://www.sisarina.com http://www.sisarina.com http://www.mishrmconference.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Connections Michigan 2017

Save the Date – “HRevolution”
Welcome Message
Frequently Asked Questions/Sponsors List
Don’t Manage Your Millennials: Coach Them!
Support the SHRM Foundation
Becoming Mindful Healthcare Consumers
Employment Law: 5 Little-Known, But Important, Updates
Why Being “Authentic” is Nonsense
The HR Department of the New Millennium
Index of Advertisers/Advertisers.com
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Intro
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover1
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover2
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Save the Date – “HRevolution”
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 4
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 5
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Welcome Message
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Frequently Asked Questions/Sponsors List
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Don’t Manage Your Millennials: Coach Them!
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 9
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 10
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Support the SHRM Foundation
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Becoming Mindful Healthcare Consumers
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Employment Law: 5 Little-Known, But Important, Updates
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 14
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Why Being “Authentic” is Nonsense
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - The HR Department of the New Millennium
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - 17
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - Index of Advertisers/Advertisers.com
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover3
HR Connections Michigan 2017 - cover4
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