Ignite HR 1: I’m Sorry You’re So Ugly

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: Sometimes, you find great talent management insights and forward-looking HR thinking in unexpected places.

I found that to be true again last November at the 3rd annual HR Reinvention conference in Omaha. TLNT is the media sponsor of the event, and unlike so many HR and talent management conferences, it continues to do two things very well:  It delivers sharp, relevant, and insightful information; and, it gives a little window into how engaged and vibrant the Omaha area HR community really is.

How many HR conferences can you say THAT about?

The beauty of the Ignite HR format

Part of what I really like about this HR event — and what sets it apart from the many others I attend in the course of a year — are the presentations made under the Ignite HR banner.

What makes Ignite HR work is that it is a presentation that is unlike any other you have seen at any HR event anywhere. The format is the key, and presenters get only five (5) minutes, 20 slides and exactly 15 seconds per slide, maximum. Although that may sound like an odd way to present, I find that the tight format makes the presentations memorable because the presenters have to get to it very, very quickly.

Here’s what the conference web page says about the Ignite format:

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Fast-paced, fun, thought-provoking, social, local, global — Ignite is all of these and more. Basically, Ignite is a series of high-energy, 5-minute talks by people who have an idea — and the guts to get onstage and share it with the world. Ignite is a force for raising the collective IQ and for building connections. And, due to the marvel of digital video and the Internet, the archived videos of Ignite talks can share an individual’s knowledge and passion with the world.

Imagine that you’re in front of an audience about to present a 5-minute talk on the thing you’re most passionate about. You’ve brought 20 slides, which advance every 15 seconds whether you’re ready or not. You have a few last-minute butterflies, but off you go — and the crowd loves it. Welcome to Ignite.”

Video No. 1: I’m Sorry You’re So Ugly

With Ignite HR, great presentations whiz by and make you really want more. No-so-great ones whiz by too and are gone before you know it. This all makes for a system where getting the very best content crammed into the format is what separates the very good from the not-so-good.

The 2012 Omaha HR Reinvention conference included seven (7) Ignite HR presentations that were each in some way related to the theme of “putting the human back in human resources.” We’ll be featuring them here on TLNT this week and next. Please dig in, take a look, and decide what you think about them for yourself.

Today’s first video is from Dennis Mann the administrator in the Omaha office of the law firm Woods & Aitken LLP. His presentation probably had the most provocative title of all them under the Ignite HR banner at the November conference — I’m Sorry You’re So Ugly. It sort of defies a simple explanation of what it is about, so just take a look and see what I mean.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of TLNT.com. A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and workforce.com, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at johnhollon@ere.net, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.