It’s been a bit since I highlighted someone in this series of posts. Just to recap, I am highlighting different HR bloggers so we can get a better understanding of why they got into blogging, what their daily HR job is, what inspires them, and some general day-to-day information. So far, I’ve been thrilled to have interviewed Kris Dunn (The HR Capitalist), Mike VanDervort (The Human Race Horses), Laurie Ruettimann (Punk Rock HR) and Lisa Rosendahl (Leadership, Growth, & Human Resources).
This week, I am excited to be sharing information on a HR blogger who’s work I love to read, who is fun to collaborate with, and who is always one of the first people I talk tweet with early on weekend mornings! Many know him only as Victorio M or the Creative Chaos Consultant. He is a HR pro in the retail industry and he brings a completely new spin to looking at HR issues. He is a creative writer and someone who is very giving with his fellow bloggers. The HR blogging community is better because he is part of it. If you’re not following him on Twitter, you can find him as @Victorio_M.
With that, I give you……Victorio!
What time do you start your day? Are you a morning person or more of a late-nighter? I wake up at 5 AM (yes, I did say that) and get to the office between 7:00 and 7:30 am. I prefer early mornings to late nights, work-wise.
It’s time to head to work, how do you get there (car, subway, bike)? I’m guessing because you live in New York it’s not by car. Until someone makes teleporters (or I have more money than some small countries to afford parking in Manhattan) I’ll take public transportation. Besides, it’s my secret weapon-my commute is long enough for studying. It’s what helped me get my SPHR this past December.
What is one thing you have to do every day to start your day right? Coffee!
You work in Human Resources in the retail industry? How do you provide HR greatness there? HR is there to support the business, so I work to make things easy for those in the field. Have you ever worked in a retail store? It’s hard; these guys should have gotten a stimulus package, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve worked in that environment for a lot of years so I understand.
Simple really is better when dealing with a diverse workforce. Clear communication is probably the biggest challenge, so I work to provide effective methods of transmitting critical information to those that need it. Also, I work behind the scenes to reduce or eliminate processes from the field’s workload. Something as simple as updating a form or creating a better report can make a difference in terms of time and energy saved. We want everyone to be focused on the customer.
As the Creative Chaos Consultant, you sound like you embrace change. How do you think HR is changing and what are some key areas HR as a field should really focus on in the next 3- 5 years? I’m still pretty new to HR so I’m only going to make an educated guess. HR is going to be a profession dominated by two groups. The bigger one will be composed of administrators, while the smaller (and more lucrative) group will be composed of those that master the art of persuasion and innovation-how to organize and motivate people to accomplish critical organizational goals. So if you want to make money you’ll either control the first group (e.g., as a provider of outsourcing services) or you’ll go into HR consulting or freelancing. Generalists like me are becoming dinosaurs.
Answer the question “If I hadn’t ended up in HR, I’d be ____________”. Probably still working in the stores. I’m only 4 years removed from working in that environment. Retail is what I know and love.
What is your favorite HR and non-HR reading? I have about a dozen HR blogs on my Google Reader and it’s getting to the point I can’t read them all. They’re too prolific and I’m too busy! As for non-HR stuff, I’m a comic book/speculative fiction geek. Some recent books I’ve read include Gentlemen of the Road (by Michael Chabon), Wikinomics (Don Tapscott/Anthony D. Williams), and Cerebus (Dave Sim).
It’s lunchtime. What type of food are you going after? My wife’s an excellent cook so more often than not I’m eating great home cooking! The other benefit to bringing my own food (aside from saving $$) is that it frees up my time to do other things, such as meeting up with other HR pros. Once you’re able to line up your schedules, it’s as simple as finding a Starbucks that’s convenient. So far I’ve done this with Jessica Lee (not Starbucks, but close), Matt Cholerton, Lisa Macabu, and others.
Afternoon slump? What do you do to re-energize during the workday? Coffee!
It’s quitting time. What is your life like after your day job? I go home and immerse myself into my family life-wife, two kids, and a cat. The hour or two leading up to my kid’s bedtime is more exhausting than work, if you can imagine. I want to be a good parent, so I’m running around trying to do 20 different things-bath, teeth, dishes, homework help-and not fall asleep on the couch while watching TV. I fail at that last task more often than not.
What got you into blogging and how do you find time to work that into your day? How do you come up with your ideas for posts? Like a lot of bloggers I thought I had something to say beyond the comments I was leaving on other people’s sites. My perception changed also, in that I used to believe that blogs were narcissistic. I still feel that way about most of them but I see the value of that mind-set if it’s combined with a strong desire to deliver something valuable to your readers.
As far as time and ideas, I secretly have this genetically engineered chimp that does the blogging for me. I just do the quality control. Seriously? I take a lot of notes and when one of them resonates with me I’ll develop it further until a blog post is born. Also, I put some pressure on myself to deliver fresh content so part of my brain is constantly thinking in ‘blog’ mode. However, the biggest source of ideas are other HR pros. I love to learn from them and when they agree to collaborate with me it just continues to keep me excited about what I do!
Bonus Question: What is the best piece of HR or business advice you’ve received? I haven’t gotten it yet. I’m not a big believer in that ‘1 big moment’ where you obtain a certain clarity and things magically get better. I’ve had “Ah-ha!” moments, but I notice that the world still continues to revolve after, so just get back to living. I’ve been inspired by, and continue to be inspired by, so many people that I can’t distill it to a single incident. The good, bad, and ugly lessons of retail, HR, and life has been the greatest teacher for me, and I’m still learning.
Thank you to Victorio for sharing with us all. 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 at https://twitter.com/trishmcfarlane, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.