Meet Charlie Judy. Charlie is a global HR executive and talent management blogger. Charlie is a Human Resources Executive with expertise developed globally in organizations recognized for their people-centric environments; he brings two decades of broad and progressive experience as a strategic business advisor and HR steward to organizations and their employees; he is the global director of HR strategic development and operations for Navigant Consulting, Inc. where he is responsible for optimizing the firm’s Human Capital function. Charlie Judy is also the author of the talent management blog HR Fishbowl and tweets at the handle @HRFishbowl.
Joey Baird, Sage: We are huge fans of the HR Fishbowl blog and frequently share your posts with our followers. How do you decide which topics to write about?
Charlie Judy: Most of my articles really are consistently focused on making HR easier, making it more of an extension of who we are as people. I try to speak to how people can just learn to leverage what is already part of their makeup and not waste time on stuff that doesn’t add a lot value to the career experience.
When I first started the blog, the online space, especially around social media, was dominated by people and groups who weren’t necessarily living and breathing the practice of HR every day. Their voice was crucial but only one part of the discussion. I really wanted to make sure the true “trench HR” practitioner had a voice.
You’re active in social media with not only your blog, but also on Twitter. Do you ever get to engage with any of your followers in real life at either Tweet Ups or HR conferences?
Yes, I attend several conferences each year. I’d love to attend more, but they are just really time consuming. I will be at HR Tech this week in Chicago, and I’m going to try to pop into HRevolution as well. I’d put those on everyone’s lists.
I also enjoy the national SHRM conference. It is a pretty amazing event. It’s hard to find an HR conference with that kind of scale. The level of vendor participation is great, the content is extensive. It’s important HR professionals hit this one every now and then. SHRM in general has also really done a good job of getting more plugged into the social space, and I’ve enjoyed supporting that foray.
I try to make it to at least one State SHRM conference a year – I was the emcee for the Illinois Conference again this year; there were close to 800 people and, as always, it really had a world-class speaker line-up. It’s amazing with the volunteer organizations for the State can put together – these are no small undertaking.
Many of the bloggers on your FishRoll are favorite HR bloggers of ours, as well. Are there any up and comers in the industry whom you haven’t mentioned yet on your FishRoll?
There are too many to even mention and I’d be afraid to leave someone out. I admittedly don’t read as much as I’d like. And I do all that I can to encourage others to get their voice out there…I wish there were more. The echo chamber is alive and well – we need to mix it up if we can. I’d encourage all of your readers to go out there and find a few blogs they love and follow them regularly – the goodness you can get from this space is first rate.
Do you have any other important initiatives that you support that you’d like to get on the radar of our readers?
Well, lately side project stuff has slowed for me; I like to front-load most of my speaking and other activities during the calendar year because my day-job gets tough towards the end of the year.
I’m involved in a longer-term project which will hopefully get some energy behind it here in the near future. Last year I spent three days locked in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with some of the brightest cats in the talent management, marketing, social media, and leadership space, discussing ‘the future of work.’ We put together a Manifesto around what we think it might or should look like. It is our fundamental belief that what work becomes is something we all have a large responsibility for and that only through strong grassroots efforts might a sea-change occur. We’re all getting together again soon to talk about where to take this next – stay tuned on that one.
We are running a Facebook contest right now giving away free access to HR training, and we’re asking people about their most important HR tip. What is your tip to share with others?
I have a list of well over 200 of them that I call “Fishbowl Logic.” One of my favorites is that “it’s hard making things easy.” If we want to be really good at delivering HR services to and enriching the career experience for our employees, we have to do that in a way that isn’t burdensome or extraneous or doesn’t bring any perceived value. One of the best ways to do that is to make it easy for them to access, take advantage of, and ultimately get something out of what we do for them. But that takes a real concerted effort. It’s partially about removing the clutter. But it also involves challenging every aspect of what we’ve done, asking why it is we do it that way, and sometimes not liking the answer.
I have to ask . . . do you or your family have any fish?
That’s a great question; I do not have any fish. I was home one day with the kids, and in a moment of weakness I succumbed to their urging that we go to the pet store and get a lizard as a pet. The kids were ecstatic. . But while we were there I realized that taking care of a lizard wasn’t anywhere as easy as taking care of fish. So we went home with the idea to try and convince my wife about getting fish. She didn’t like the idea of anything in a tank and set into how much of a pain my dog was already. So sadly we remain fishless (and lizardless).
The moniker HR Fishbowl comes from the notion that people are constantly on the outside looking into our profession; everybody thinks they’re an HR expert and with that comes a great deal of scrutiny and critique. It’s just like being in a glass bowl.