Navigating the new normal — a conversation with Tracy Burns, CEO of the Northeast HR Association

The Northeast HR Association has over 2400 members on the East coast. In a recent conversation with our academic community of HR students, faculty, and alumni, Tracy Burns, the organization’s CEO, shared observations about the HR profession and the emerging trends we have to pay attention to.

Tracy has served as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer since November of 2010 and, prior to that, she spent nearly 20 years working in corporate HR, holding leadership positions across various industries, including financial services, higher education, healthcare, and publishing.

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Work that matters: An approach to change in the public sector

It has been said that the slowest systems to change are often organizations in the public sector.  However, it was interesting to hear how Accenture drives change in the public sector and the perspectives from Kristin McElderry, Accenture Management Consulting Executive based in Boston who works with Public Sector and Higher Education clients.  In this Thought Leader Series talk, entitled Managing Change in Public Sector Transformation, McElderry touches upon why change management is critical, how the public sector is unique, and highlights a framework to leverage the next generation of communication methods.

As McElderry voiced, “public sector work isn’t always the sexiest work,” … “but it is work that really matters.

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CommTech – what’s all the fuss about?

As communicators – and communication educators – staying on top of the trends that are driving our field is imperative.  One those trends: The explosion of digital technologies.

As organizations increasingly use data in all aspects of the enterprise, in how they make decisions, and engage all stakeholders, communicators will have to become more comfortable working with and interpreting data.

What are we doing about it?

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Diversity and inclusion — going beyond the slogans

As PR Week noted in 2018, like many other industries and professions, “the communications sector has a diversity problem, with too few people of color – and far too few diverse individuals in high-ranking positions.” PR Week also created a video that underscores what it’s like to be Black in public relations.

I discussed this situation with Dr. K. Dawn Rutledge, who, during a long and distinguished career in communication and PR, was often the first and only person of color in the room.

Dawn, who graduated from our program in 2012, is one of six members of the International Association of Business Communicators’ (IABC) Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which is exploring ways that our profession can bring about change.

Here’s what Dawn had to say.

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The eyes have it!

We often look at communication through an organizational lens: CEO messages to x number of employees, or collaboration platforms, or networks flowing vertically and horizontally. But the reality is that communication within organizations is based on building blocks of interpersonal communication between two or more people.

Which made me wonder about this: What affect does mask wearing during this period of Covid-19 have on interpersonal communication?

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Are you suffering from Zoom fatigue?

Meetings have been a fixture of organizational life for as long as…well, as long as there have been organizations. But the Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief why meetings can be so frustrating, unproductive, and stress-producing.

So, what can we do about it?

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Are you applying the principles of persuasion?

Persuasion. Isn’t that what communication is all about? Effectively and ethically applying Richard Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion can make all the difference in whether a message has impact, or not. The six principles – reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus – are motivational levers. If we have a deep understanding of our target audience, we can calibrate them for maximum effect.

In this podcast, I discuss stakeholder analysis and the principles of persuasion as I reflect on my career as a communicator.

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Why communicators should measure what matters — an interview with Katie Delahaye Paine

I recently had the opportunity to interview Katie Delahaye Paine, who has been a pioneer in the field of communication and PR measurement for three decades. You can read some her contributions to the profession at the bottom of this post.

Students in our program consider her book Measure What Matters an excellent and practical introduction to assessment methodology.

Here’s what Katie had to say about measurement and why it matters for communicators in all functional areas — and why the ability to demonstrate communication impact is a key to career advancement in our digital era.

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Fears & Failures – Part of the learning process #3 in a Three-Part Series

Can FEAR and FAILURES be part of a learning process? With all that has been happening, this seems to be a good time for the last of my three-part series.  As a brief recap from my previous posts, the series started with Why I chose CPS to pursue my dream!, then I shared Unlocking Opportunities! And the journey continues…

Source: https://www.roliedema.com/success-iceberg.html

In my final quarter at CPS, I focused my energies on the job search process.  I spoke with many recruiters, sent many emails, applied to many jobs, and gave many interviews. Sound familiar?  When I hear and see success stories, I keep in mind that I am only seeing the tip of the iceberg – there is so much underneath.  Trust me, the learning during the process is powerful, embrace it! 

Sahar Rehman – No fears, learning from failure!

Moreover, I love this quote from Robert Stevenson, “keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” Hence, I decided to explore how my fears were overcome by my courage and how my failures generated motivation.  By taking an inventory of my broad experiences, skills, and competencies, I prophesied that my career development goals are attainable. 

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My journey of resilience & its rewards

Am I Resilient?!

Starting in March of 2020, I have been consuming an overwhelming amount of online content in an attempt to track the labyrinth of chaos we are facing in our world today. While writing this piece, there were times that I felt paralyzed and unable to bring my words to light.

Professor Patty Goodman and myself at the Global Pathways Student Conference 2019

My struggle was mitigated when Professor Patty shared her observation of my recent educational experiences. She described it as a Journey of Resilience. I had never thought of myself as Resilient. Yet, upon reflection, she might be right.

Researching resiliency – My perspective

Before proclaiming myself as resilient, I had to learn more about the concept. I read a journal on resilience definitions, theory, and challenges, along with interdisciplinary perspectives. The most striking perspective on resilience is that it can be in different aspects of life.  One could be culturally, biologically, emotionally, academically, and/or professionally resilient (Southwick, Bonanno, Masten, Brick, Yehuda, 2014).

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