4 min read

The Golden Age of Community in HR

In today’s complex world of HR and people operations, your network equity is as valuable as your skills. The Redefining HR Accelerator community was specifically designed to help modern operators expand their networks, thinking, and connections.
The Golden Age of Community in HR

In today’s complex world of HR and people operations, your network equity is as valuable as your skills. The Redefining HR Accelerator community was specifically designed to help modern operators expand their networks, thinking, and connections.

com· mu· ni· ty
: a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society

The power of community is core to so many things - but especially HR. The events of 2020 were a clear reminder of that power as we leaned on each other and our peer networks to navigate some of the unchartered waters we face with a global pandemic, shifting to remote work, addressing systemic inequity, navigating polarized political discourse, and more.

As difficult as each of these challenges were to navigate - they would have been nearly impossible without peers to lean on and learn from.

The Growth of Community in HR

I've been building and benefitting from peer communities since the early days of my career in the early 2000s in Los Angeles when I was part of the Entertainment Human Resources Network (EHRN).

The value was always clear to me. The ability to harness a collective intellect of experience and perspectives was invaluable and helped me solve so many new challenges I faced at work. The same was true in the early 2010s when I was leading digital talent transformation at NPR.

As the field of HR and people operations continues to become more complex, the need for rapid dissemination of ideas, benchmarking, and practices are increasing beyond the capabilities of traditional HR organizations to educate and support practitioners navigating these new waters. That limitation has fueled a groundswell of new communities, conferences, and networks to fill that gap.

That was certainly our intent when I co-founded HR Open Source (HROS) in 2015 and it fueled our efforts in building a global community of over 8,000 members in 100+ countries before we turned it over to a new operating board in 2019.

The past several years have seen a huge spike in peer communities, from progressive HR groups like HROS, Hacking HR, Disrupt HR, to specialized functional communities like CXR, Talent Brand Alliance, and PAFOW, to communities tailored to CHRO's like People Tech Partners and CPOHQ.

We're in a golden age of community in HR.

A New Type of Community

I've been spending a lot of time over the past year examining communities, cohorts, and networks outside of HR. I've learned a lot about building vibrant communities over the last 10 years of my career, but the truth is I knew I had much more to learn.

I wanted to build a new type of community tailor-built to support the modern people operators and leaders of today. Something that went beyond the Q&A nature of many online forums and was designed to be a place of real connection, kinship, and growth.

I've built communities in Slack, LinkedIn Groups, Facebook groups, and other custom forum platforms in the past. While they have adoption and reach based on familiarity, they often evolved into Q&A platforms that lacked real engagement beyond transactional support. That's what I was intrigued when I discovered Geneva.

Introducing Geneva

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Geneva is a new platform purpose-built for communities. It combines the capabilities of text-based platforms we're all familiar with including channels (Slack), chat (WhatsApp), feeds (Facebook), and upvoting (Reddit) - but adds dynamic room capabilities designed to support interactive connections within the community.

  • Audio Rooms - similar to Clubhouse or Twitter spaces
  • Video Rooms - video rooms where members can meet live, any time
  • Webinar Rooms - host internal webinars and fireside chats within the community

There are so many possibilities for connection with these interactive channels so I'm excited to see how the community uses them.

We've already started using the video rooms to host weekly "office hours" each Friday 12-1p EST where any of the community members can hang out, talk about their week, ask questions, or just find some connection and peer kinship during these isolated times.

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Benefits of the Accelerator Community

I'll be focused on creating a premium experience for members of the Accelerator Community, which is why I'm building this as a membership model. Membership will be $15/month or $150/year.

I realize there are a broad range of free communities that are also valuable and worth your time. Here are some of the value drivers for the Accelerator that I'll be focused on as differentiating factors.

A Place Where You Belong

There’s no shortage of communities in the HR and talent space. Some are largely transactional and centered around Q&A. There’s value in that, but the Accelerator community is being purposely designed to be a destination where you want to spend your time and build your network.

Your Support Network

Let’s be real. HR can be a tough job - and a lonely one. Having peer sets that you can go to for support when you need it is critical for longevity in this field. When you need someone to listen or share how they’ve overcome challenges you’re facing, your community will be there for you.

Building Blocks of Learning

Share and consume content, join weekly live “office hours” video chats, attend exclusive webinars, access highly curated resources and tools, and more. The Accelerator community will connect you with HR and people ideas, inspirations, connections, and community, unlike anything you’ve experienced in the field.

Go Beyond Text

We’ve all been members of Slack and Facebook groups dominated by text-based conversations. The Accelerator is hosted in Geneva, a platform purpose-built for community including text posting and chat features you expect, but adding interactive features to help you connect with your peers.

Ready to invest in yourself? Join the Accelerator Community below.
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