E30 – HR Famous – Is Johnny Taylor good for @SHRM and HR?

(Shout to the Tim Cook, Ivanka, Johnny selfie above – I had to put that one because it’s totally a pic I would have gotten if I had the chance!)

In episode 30 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Kris Dunn, Tim Sackett, and Jessica Lee link up to discuss Senator Tom Carper’s senate hearing mishap, Tim’s most embarrassing leadership moment, and Johnny Taylor’s time at SHRM. In this episode, KD talks about the worst boss ever and the crew answers the question “is Johnny Taylor good for HR?”. 

Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)! 
1:30 – Do you like “what’s up?” or “how are you?” better? HR Famous prefers what’s up as a greeting!

2:30 – Do you have any monster.com swag from an HR conference? Tim still has it on his desk! KD isn’t a swag guy and wants to avoid the lines at all costs. 

5:00 – First topic of the day: tech mishaps in US Senate hearings! Senator from Delaware Tom Carper didn’t realize he wasn’t muted and was caught using some profanity in this video. KD wrote about this occurrence on his blog and called him the worst boss ever. 

9:15 – Tim calls this the most embarrassing leadership moment that a leader can have around their staff. What is your most embarrassing moment as a leader?

11:30 – KD thinks the abrupt nature of Senator Carper’s three f-bombs to a staffer gives the signal that he’s the worst boss ever. He thinks the nature of the interaction gives off bad boss vibes. 

14:00 – Second topic of the day: is Johnny Taylor good for HR? Business Insider discusses the reign of the CEO of SHRM in their new article and the cutthroat culture he has created for SHRM employees. 

17:00 – Although some may call Tim a Johnny Taylor fanboy, he praises him for turning a company around and helping SHRM start to turn a profit again. Tim says that the out of touch SHRM of the past is being transformed under Johnny and the new culture he’s creating is trying to update the company.

19:20 – JLee thinks that it’s important to try and bifurcate some of Taylor’s accomplishments from some issues that have arisen at SHRM. She says that it’s hard to deny some of his results even though there have been issues with SHRM’s work culture and their handling of certain situations with their employees. 

22:00 – So, is Johnny Taylor good for HR? KD mentions a past potential book that Taylor was going to write called “Fire half your staff then hire and keep the staff you need”. Tim is glad that the title is up for grabs!

25:00 – Johnny’s wins: financial turnaround, diverse leader of an organization, speaking out about recidivism, DEI programming among others. Tim comments on his charisma and how his dynamic presence may positively affect membership. 

29:15 – Johny’s losses: alignment with the Trump administration, SHRM’s slow response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of George Floyd, and a relationship with the Koch brothers on issues of recidivism. 

32:00 – Tim thinks the messaging about police brutality and the BLM movement is something that SHRM could’ve clarified in order to create a more clear message. 

35:15- The crew answers the question of the segment. What do you think?

3 thoughts on “E30 – HR Famous – Is Johnny Taylor good for @SHRM and HR?

  1. SHRM’s mission and vision:
    “Our purpose is to elevate the HR profession.
    Our mission is to empower people and workplaces by advancing HR practices and by maximizing human potential.
    Our vision is to build a world of work that works for all. ”
    Is Johhny good for SHRM?, I don’t think that he acts alone….The board has a say (or maybe not enough) and all 300,000 members do too.
    Tim, they are no longer in the red, they also are a non-profit association….they are not a business. Lets not forget that profit is not at the center of their charge, except to insure they are fiscally responsible (he did well on that). As a member and professional, I want great products and services to support all of us. and affordably, not just for big companies but for all of us.
    Full disclosure, I teach the SHRM cert, speak at their conferences too, and been recipient of a couple of major awards….so I may be biased in protecting the mother ship. Some of us have even had them publish our books.
    So we all have skin in the game one way or another. No one gets to say they are objective in this discussion…
    I would like them to be less political, at least visibly….I want more learning at an affordable price, research, and help lines for assistance for practitioners without internal resources.
    As Kris said, some wins and some losses. He could have handled their communication and execution of the layoffs better as highlighted in the Business Insider article. That was a miss with terrible optics….the Money from Koch brothers is nothing new…welcome to the world of philanthropy….
    He would be a great turnaround CEO in industry….but this is OUR association….I love the energy, and the results, but the process and optics need some work….
    great podcast!

  2. I don’t know if Johnny Taylor is good or bad for SHRM. I like him, but he has some issues. My biggest issue is that SHRM – the Society of HUMAN RESOURCE Management has culture problems. The professional association of thousands of HR professionals, telling us culture is king, has a bad work culture. Something just doesn’t seem right about that, does it?

    • Elisa,

      Are you sure they have a work culture issue? Or, like every organization, are they working to try and change their culture and some folks are upset over that? Those are two very different things. SHRM was losing money! Things had to change. Tough calls had to be made.

      Employees tend to hate the leadership who needs to make change, but once they survive it and the organization is successful, all of sudden they love being apart of a successful organization.

      Culture is a tricky business! Which is why it’s so hard.


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