These have not been the best of times for SHRM. Departures from the C-Suite. Blogger peanut gallery. Rival factions. SHRM is so under siege, I half expect Steven Seagal to be elected next CEO.
Yet, the highlight of the SHRM year (at least that is what they have said at each of the previous 10 opening sessions) is the descent of the SHRM volunteer army attending the SHRM Leadership Conference. Presidents, President Elects, Core Leaders, and District Directors will be at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington developing professionally, networking and sharing best practices.
So, what will be the reaction to the recent SHRM hubbub? I have two theories:
1. It will be the centerpiece of the conference and SHRM will attack it full force. A defensive tone will be taken by Robb Van Cleave in his opening remarks at Thursday's opening session. An agitated volunteer group (already hypersensitive after passing through a series of TSA agents to get to DC) will take out their frustration by prodding and poking the SHRM staff demanding satsifaction. An uprising will occur at the SHRM Breakfast and Annual Meeting as concerned constituencies want more transparency. Jose Berrios will wonder what he got himself into as his presents his closing remarks.
2. Mere murmurs in the corners. There will be silence on the issues on the part of SHRM . There will be some at the hotel bar pontificating into the late hours, but all of this intrigue is too "Inside SHRM" for many. But, most of the volunteers attending will be ignorant or apathetic about the issues being discussed and simply want to know how to do their volunteer job better.
While #1 would be much more interesting, my hypothesis is that #2 will be a more likely outcome.