Accidentally Innovative

by John on May 16, 2012

It all started with a lie.

No, I wasn’t the one telling the lie. Instead it was a line manager who sat two rows over from me who, as I learned later, was insanely jealous of everyone. In retrospect all the warning signs were there we all chose to ignore them (funny how that happens in HR)

I was slated to attend a work related conference and was bumped from the schedule at the last minute. From a conference perspective, it was slated to be a cross between a sales rally/awards conference/fraternity formal, with the dress code to match.

Promises were made, tickets were purchased, hotels were booked and I was all set. Then my req load changed. All of a sudden I had 10 new ones hit the board and in the immortal words of the line manager who didn’t officially manage me “Sorry, you can’t leave the desk with that series of mission critical reqs on the board”. In my brain the dialogue was more like “Ummm, yeah, I’m not going to recruit on that crap so I’m taking your place. Sucks for you “

It was a huge blessing in disguise. About 6 months later, I get the gumption to say to my new director “Hey there’s this social recruiting conference I’d like to attend and oh by the way I already have an unused plane ticket.”
A few years, and several recruiting conferences later, I’m making my way back to where it all started.

I still remember the names and the initial awkward hellos at the “tweet-up”. DeVaughn, Oxford, Ruettimann, McClure, Hogan, Winegardner, Hoyt… amazing professionals and practitioners in the industry space. I remember walking back to my hotel room wondering just what in the hell I had gotten into and asking myself where would this take me?

I left California full of dreams, ideas, and a group of like people who would eventually become friends.

In the years that have passed, technology has changed, techniques have changed, and even the conference has changed, but the end result remains the same.

The choice is yours, become an innovator and lead, or follow the innovators. Me? Well, I’m gonna choose to be accidentally innovative.

It’s served me well in the past, why start changing now?

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