Network - Summer 2009 - (Page 12)

Keynotes Take HR Conference The goal of the 2009 Alberta HR Conference was to explore different aspects of change to help delegates better capitalize on the remarkable opportunities it can present. The four world-class keynote speakers certainly got delegates thinking about the impact of change from very different perspectives. Words of praise during the two-day event confirmed the motivational and inspirational messages really hit home with attendees. Warren Macdonald’s Extraordinary Story If you were to ask Warren Macdonald what his top 10 challenges are in an average day, mobility is simply not on the list. Even though he lost both his legs above the knee in a freak hiking accident, “Going through life without legs is not that big a deal,” he said. “It’s not that big a deal because I choose not to see it as a big deal.” In fact, Warren doesn’t think about being disabled until it comes to parking Warren Macdonald changing perceptions. his vehicle in public – he really likes the parking! Warren believes life is too short to lament about how wheelchair unfriendly the world is. He once got himself through a full-height turnstile by taking apart his wheelchair and passing each piece through one at a time, then reassembling it on the other side. He could have let the incident ruin his day, week or life. Instead, he chose to solve a challenge by thinking outside the box. Perceiving obstacles as opportunities will allow each of us to achieve our full potential. Perceptions flow out to all aspects of our lives: workplace, personal life, the world. Warren’s message, “When you change the way you see the world, you change the world,” really hit home with delegates. In Warren’s experience, there are three types of people: • Those who see what’s coming and position themselves • Those who adapt to what has come • Those who say “what happened?” There are so many ways people hold themselves back. What are we capable of when we allow ourselves to achieve full potential? You need to decide if you want to see each situation as an obstacle or an opportunity. Warren shared the 70 percent rule: By the time you’re 70 percent certain, just go for it. The last 30 percent then starts to show itself. “It’s pretty amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it,” he said. It’s not about climbing mountains, it’s about understanding: • What you are capable of • What kind of world are you going to create • What kind of reality are you going to make for yourself Warren sees human resources on the front lines of what’s going on, experiencing the first-hand effects of the economic downturn. It’s even more important for HR pros to assess the current situation – is this an obstacle or an opportunity for your organization? He challenged attendees to really take advantage of the opportunity to learn from and help others. From the feedback we’ve received, it seems delegates really did embrace this two-day event as their chance to change the way they looked at the world. Dr. Janet Lapp Embraces Change “It’s absolutely the best time to be in human resources,” said Dr. Janet Lapp. Why? “When systems change and things are ambiguous, that’s when the executives are listening.” Janet’s keynote focused on managing change in a positive and proactive way. “How many of you came to the conference to get worse?” Janet said. No hands went up in an audience of nearly 1,000 delegates. Janet then quoted Plato, “Life becomes real at the point of action.” Her message? You have to risk something to get better. An analogy that resonated with delegates was Janet’s Q&A: “When you squeeze an orange, what do you get? Orange juice. Why? It’s what’s inside the orange.” Her advice? Put a little pressure on yourself to really 12 NETWORK Summer 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Summer 2009

Network - Summer 2009
HRIA President’s Message
Celebrating Excellence Award Winners
HRIA Conference Chair’s Message
Conference Wrap Up
Conference Photo Gallery
Leading Change Through Dialogue
Energy Management
Lessons Learned
All Work and No Play?
Driving Change with Behavioural Leadership
Index of Advertisers

Network - Summer 2009