The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

World HRD Congress 2015, Mumbai, India

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A week in India lead to some interesting observations about the field of human resources around the world. I rarely talk about personal adventures in my blog, but the past week was too fascinating not to share!

In October I received an odd email letting me know that I had been selected as the Woman Super Achiever 2015 for the Global HRD Congress.

They were inviting me to speak at the event, and receive my award in their evening award ceremony on February 15, 2015 in Mumbai, India. I had no idea what to make of such an invitation – so I began a bit of investigation. Contacting past participants via LinkedIn, I heard that it was, in fact, a very good conference. This was then confirmed by the global conference team at the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). So, I decided to go!

After a long 24 hours of travel I arrived in Mumbai a few days early. I did a bit of touring and found the city to be fascinating. The Dhavari Slums (home of the movie Slumdog Millionaire) were amazing. I learned that over 60% of the population of Mumbai lives in slums – yet everyone there was happy; all the children were in school uniforms and most of the citizens had well respected jobs. My guide was actually a college graduate who had always lived in the slums and stayed to honor his family tradition. An interesting fact he shared is that in the slum there are all religions and ethnicities. Living side by side are Catholics, Muslims and Hindu – from India, Pakistan and other parts of Asia. They never have issues and all live together peacefully. Isn’t that a lesson to be learned?!

The city of Mumbai was a bustling cosmopolitan center with a mix of business and tourism. As it was Saturday, I especially enjoyed watching the cricket matches across from Univ. Of Mumbai on the “The Oval”. If I didn’t know otherwise – you could have told me I was in Lincoln Park watching softball.

Extra5I was excited to present the topic I created specifically for the event: Staying Strategic: Megatrends of Business that Impact HR. What I found most interesting from a business perspective was that while the audience was primarily Asian, we all faced the same issues. The presenter before me was speaking about retention, others spoke on performance management and leadership. Throughout the conference it was clear that we are all looking for top talent to support corporate initiatives and drive results.

I had one woman approach me who had recently moved into HR. She wanted recommendations for training as she was “An HR Department of One” and had never been in HR. Her company was growing and the owners thought she’d be good at HR because she’s good with people. Sounds pretty common!

I was excited to meet participants of the event. My first encounter was with two professors from the San Diego area – Nina Woodard and Kathy Bates. Nina runs a global HR Consulting firm and had attended the event for many years. Kathy is a Professor at Brandman University. A fellow speaker at the event was Sharon Ferrier, a noted Powerpoint expert who shared amazing tips with the crowd. There were many speakers from Asia – with a total of 167 countries represented at the conference.

It was a whirlwind 5 days, with 3 full days of travel, but I am thrilled to have had the adventure. As we continue to talk about diversity in the workplace it really drove home to me that we aren’t all that different. Regardless of where we come from or the ownership we represent, HR is here to move strategy forward and connect the management team to the employees.

Photo: Steve Evans used under the following license.

6 Comments
  1. Dear Lori: We are so proud of you for being selected as The Woman Super Achiever 2015 for the Global HRD Congress and not at all surprised! Congratulations on that honor and thank you so much for sharing about your global travels with us. Can’t wait to see you and learn from you as we continue to share our passion for speaking via the National Speakers Association of Illinois. Thanks for being a world ambassador!

  2. Lori – you are simply amazing! I am so happy to have the honor and priviledge to know and learn from you.

    Linda Murphy

  3. Hey Lori,

    Great to meet you in Mumbai at the World HRD Congress – it was indeed a fabulous experience!
    Cheers Sharon

  4. Lori – congrats on your achievement! And thank you for sharing your world travels with us. I do find it interesting to hear that the challenges we face in HR are global. Also for sharing a bit of their culture with us!

  5. Wow, what an opportunity and honor. Congratulations Lori!

  6. Congratulations! An amazing honor!