Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

Are HRINZ interested in the future of HR? The answer seems to be no.

Since we started advertising the HR Game Changer conference, we’ve had a fantastic response from senior HR & OD managers, academics and even non-HR people. We’ve had emails and phone calls saying that this is unlike any conference they’ve seen, that they want to be involved, and that this is finally something exciting and new.

It’s very different from other HR conferences out there – especially HRINZ conferences which very much focus on a specific area of HR and are very much about what is happening now. The HR Game Changer Conference is about the future. About innovative companies and people who are transforming how they do business and about what HR ideas can be sparked from this to transform what HR delivers. It’s a movement, not just an event. It’s exciting, and it will be unlike any other conference before it. We believe the HR profession in New Zealand NEEDS this conference.

I was hoping that HRINZ would see that there is a place for both. There are people who are very comfortable with HR as it is now and will want to go a HRINZ conference as they do every year. Then there are the people who want to transform and change HR, and they’re booking to come to our conference and have their thinking really challenged. 

Completely different audiences – but both need professional development. If HRINZ are interested in building our profession (as the HRINZ constitution says they are), they should support or be involved in other initiatives within NZ that are taking a different approach. We keep hearing that they rely on volunteers, that they don’t have the resources of bigger international bodies. The answer would be to embrace and support new approaches to developing and growing our profession.

Instead we’ve been banned!!

HRINZ have said that for commercial reasons, as they are a commercial business and need to make money, they will not accept our HR Game Changer advert for the HR magazine.

I will repeat that. HRINZ members (myself and our team at Elephant) are not allowed to advertise in the HRINZ magazine because we are running a conference that conflicts with a HRINZ conference and might impact on them making money.

I spoke with the new CEO and explained that the conferences are for different audiences. He said that he didn’t think members would support us advertising. I am a HRINZ member as are the Elephant HR team. Some of the people who are enrolling in our conference are HRINZ members. This is not how a membership organisation should act to it’s members.

It shouldn’t be about the money

As I understand it HRINZ is not a commercial business, and the constitution is not about making money, but about growing the profession. I understand that HRINZ need enough money to pay for the National Office staff. My issue is their goal then doesn’t seem to be about providing value to different types of members, about supporting what is happening in the industry, about being part of different HR communities out there, talking to HR people about the issues, working with business leaders to change how they think about HR – it just seems to be about doing exactly what they’ve been doing for the last 20 years, making money and seeing anything new as a threat. 

So now I’m torn.

I love HR. I want to change and grow our profession. I would like our professional body to be innovative and passionate about HR too. But I don’t see any sign that they are. I tried to be part of the solution by giving huge amounts of my time and energy to HRINZ, but I have failed to get them to understand what HR does, how we need to be communicating differently, providing different options to members and using innovate ways to grow HR.

I’ve had enough. I haven’t paid my HRINZ membership invoice yet and I know many others who have resigned or not paid either.

I know that if I don’t pay by end of June, I will be kicked out.

I think that might be for the best.

And if you want to be part of transforming HR, there’s a great conference happening in September. You won’t read about it through HRINZ because it’s been banned. But here’s the link to check it out:

12 comments on “Are HRINZ interested in the future of HR? The answer seems to be no.

  1. Amanda Sterling
    June 18, 2014

    I agree that they are different audiences but they SHOULD be the same audience!

    I too resigned my membership because I was getting nothing out of it. I don’t believe that HRINZ will change enough or fast enough to deliver value to the profession of the future.

    • angelaatkins
      June 18, 2014

      I agree and disagree (is that allowed??).
      I still think that there are two levels of HR work – the operational stuff (which you can still do strategically!) and the strategic, proactive HR (don’t like the name for this). Interesting talking to a marketing guru recently he said marketing actually split off from sales many years ago as sales is operational/reactive and marketing is strategic. In finance and accounting – accounting is the operational and finance is the strategic. I still think we need to define the two levels better which is what the conference should do.
      I think HRINZ sits very squarely in the operational. It doesn’t deliver value to senior HR people.
      But keen to hear others thoughts….

      • amandasterling
        June 18, 2014

        Of course it’s ok to agree and disagree!

        However, I don’t believe that there is value add for the operational stuff either. One of the main reasons that I resigned my membership was that I get all my learning from connecting and communicating with people – digital technology helps me do that. There is a generation storming into the workforce where that is their main form of learning – these are the ones that will be filling up those operational roles.

  2. Shaun Sheldrake
    June 18, 2014

    Nice work Angela – take a stand!

    Kind regards Shaun

  3. hrmannz
    June 18, 2014

    Exactly why I have also not renewed my membership. I was getting little out of it as a senior practitioner. I understand they are open to change but it will take time. The response to this conference is a little disappointing though. There should be a bigger picture, collaborative approach to improving and developing the profession.

  4. Well said Angela, if very disappointing (in HRINZ, not you!). I resigned my membership last year, even as someone who is fairly new to the HR world most of the HRINZ events left a lot to be desired, mostly the great discussion that surrounds events put on by NZLEAD and the likes of Elephant. Thanks for putting yourselves out there, it’s great to have an alternative!

    • angelaatkins
      June 18, 2014

      Thanks Richard and Claire – yes I’m over the stand and deliver type presentations. You have to discuss things to learn and collaborating and supporting other events like NZLead that understand and provide that too is what we need to continue to do. While I am disappointing in HRINZ, the great news is there are going to be so much better alternatives going forward!

  5. Pingback: Why I am no longer a HRINZ member | Learning to Fly

  6. dougshaw
    June 19, 2014

    My gut reaction – you know you’re onto something good when the establishment feels the need to ban you. Me – I’d use that as a way of driving more engagement and interest in your event. Come to HR Game Changer – so good that HRINZ had to ban it! 🙂 Sending you best wishes for an excellent event.

  7. katc1ark
    July 8, 2014

    Wow… Just – wow! Unbelievable!

  8. Julia WG
    July 14, 2014

    As a paid up HRINZ member, I must say that I am very disappointed by this stance. There should indeed be enough room for all in the market and the offering is indeed differentiated enough not to canibalise one from the other.

    Rather sad to see that this seems to be a a very narrow minded approach for an organisation that should champion broadmindedness… 😦

    • angelaatkins
      July 14, 2014

      Hi Julia,
      Yes I was disappointed too. I have been a strong HRINZ advocate for the last few years and have volunteered a lot of time to help them change and be HR thought leaders and innovators, but to no avail. Our smaller size (compared to AHRI or CIPD) should mean we collaborate and build a community of people doing great HR stuff. My membership is now cancelled. I’m looking forward to something new coming along!

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