A Day In The Life of Kris Dunn- The HR Capitalist


August 13, 2009

Are you a HR blogger or someone who aspires to be?  Do you follow HR bloggers and wonder what makes them tick?  As we head into the next couple months leading up to the HRevolution, I will be posting each week (or so) highlighting different, well-known HR bloggers.  If you would like to be highlighted, or if you would like to recommend someone you’d like to learn more about, leave a comment, DM me on https://twitter.com/trishmcfarlane, or email me at trisham89@hotmail.com.

Ari GoldWhen I thought about writing this series of posts, the first person that came to mind as someone I wanted to know more about was Kris Dunn.  Kris is well known in the blogging community.  He is currently the VP of People at DAXKO, a software company focused on serving the best membership-driven organizations in America.  You can find him blogging over at the HR Captialist where he’s been sharing his views with us since 2006.  He is also the founder of the Fistful of Talent blog focused on all things ‘talent’ and is a collaboration of several HR pros from across the country. In addition to checking out Kris there, you can also find him on Twitter.

 So, sit back, grab a cold drink (or hot coffee if you’re reading this in the am) and here’s Kris:

  • What time do you start your day?  Are you a morning person or more of a late-nighter? 

I usually wake up about 3am to get a good start on my day…

Just joking. I used to post (automated) at 4am every day to get included on a couple of aggregators that matter and people used to ask me if I was up that early all the time.  The answer was and is “no”. Up at 6:15ish, out by 11pm.  Two young boys, so lots of my time gets soaked up by that.

  •  It’s time to head to work, how do you get there (car, train, bike)? 

Like Ben Folds, I’m rockin the suburbs.  I’m the classic ugly American, rolling down the Interstate in a SUV, no commute options in Birmingham.  Commute time = 30 minutes.  Aided by Sirius Radio and coffee.  Sirius tuned to ESPN, FOX News, Old School Rap or Alternative Rock.

  • What is one thing you have to do every day to start your day right?

 Sleep.  Coffee.  Quick run through email, then repeat – except for the sleep part.  I’m a terrible napper.

  • Where do you work?  How do you provide HR greatness there?

DAXKO – on-demand software company.  Greatness is such a strong word.  DAXKO is a Top-50 Places to Work in America company, so I’m blessed to have great tools to work with.  The quickest way to provide HR greatness is to go out and get better talent than your competitors, so I try to do that above and beyond all else.

  • Answer the question “If I hadn’t ended up in HR, I’d be ____________”.

Coaching college basketball or working for a big consulting firm like IBM Global.  Had early stops in both industries before I lucked into HR.

  • What is your favorite HR and non-HR reading?

HR Reading – Fortune, BusinessWeek and Workforce.  If you don’t think the first two involve HR reading, then we’ve got different definitions.  Non-HR reading, I go with Non-Fiction books that have a cultural or sociology bent to them.  Currently reading Traffic: Why we Drive the Way we Do by Tom Vanderbilt.  I like to read about what makes people tick, especially within certain subcultures.  Another favorite in the same vein:  Edge City by Joel Garreau.  Classic tome about the commercial real estate culture in America.

  • It’s lunchtime.  What type of food are you going after?  

Not much.  Makes me sleepy.  Have Power Bars and Twizzlers available in arms reach to get me through mid-day.  Anything more makes me sleepy. 

  • Afternoon slump?  What do you do to re-energize during the workday? 

It’s either Starbucks or Diet Mountain Dew, depending on whether I want to make a quick trip outside the office.

  • It’s quitting time.  What is your life like after your day job? 

Two boys, so most of the time I’m involved in sports, etc.   When I’m not doing that, I’m writing for the blogs or for Workforce.  Then there’s me time, which happens once a year whether I need it or not.

  • Bonus Question:  What is the best piece of HR or business advice you’ve received?

“The only product you have is the intellectual capital you put on the slides”… Quote from a partner at IBM Global, underscoring how crazy they were about the final documents, reports and slides on research projects we delivered.  Taught me a lot about pride and ownership in final deliverables at a young age.

Thank you to Kris for being a great sport and participating.  Be sure to check him out if you haven’t already.  And remember to tell me who you’d like to learn about next.  Thanks for stopping by.


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Ari Gold
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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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