In the past couple of months my professional world has been turned upside down by two different organizations calling for changes. The first was the Society for Human Resource Management making the decision that after 130,000 certifications they needed to bring the process in house. The second was the National Speakers Association to change their brand to Platform.
I am not going to weigh into the discussion on either issue or either side of those issues. No matter which of the changes we are referring to, the discussion brings up another whole point in today’s global workplace. This other point is what is in a name? I have many business colleagues who make their living off of creating brands for organizations and even in some cases individuals. I have heard all of the arguments about branding and using that brand to attract clientele. But seriously, to professionals does a name really make that much of a difference? I recently read an article in which the author made the statement that “work is no longer a place or activity, but it is a state of mind. “ So, if work or our professions are a state of mind, which is more important – the image we present or the name of the organization that provides us with the brand.
I would contend that the real key here is from what source does our authenticity come. To answer that question let’s look further at the two organizational changes. The first was the announcement at the beginning of June that the Society for Human Resource Management was going to break off the arrangement where the separate and independent Human Resource Certification Institute where they were responsible for the national human resource certification program. If we look at the various help wanted ads for HR help many of them require the PHR, SPHR or GPHR certification. Employers take these certifications as a sign of the professionalism shown by a candidate for the available position. Employers see the “alphabet soup” as a sign that the individual has obtained and is using the knowledge gained pertaining to the critical workplace issues. They are looking for evidence that the professional is using this knowledge regarding the human capital management issue facing most organizations. If you ask the typical HR manager if they know what HRCI or SHRM is many would say they are not concerned with the organizational name.
The second change in my world occurred during attendance at the 2014 National Convention for the National Speakers Association in which the announcement was made that the name of the organization was going to be changed to Platform. Again, there are a number of people who don’t know about the NSA and may or may not take it into consideration before hiring a speaker. The key to a successful presentation is whether we engage the audience through authentic interaction.
My ultimate take on these changes is that in the long run it does not make any difference whether you claim to hold the PHR, SPHR, GPHR designations or you claim to be part of the National Speakers Association, what is important to our clients is whether we are authentic in what we portray to our customers as to what we can deliver to the organization. Are we truly meeting the demands of the voice of the customer? Can the customer depend on us to deliver what we say we will deliver? When the end of the day arrives can we go to sleep knowing that we have strived to meet all the terms of our contracts as to services delivered?
In the final analysis, the true indicator of our destiny is found in the degree of authenticity we bring to the table not in a name. The true indicator if our destiny is not found in any place or in an activity. The true indicator of our destiny is found in the cavities of our mind. Napoleon Hill told us that what ever the mind can conceive and believe it will achieve. So the attitude in our minds as to what our contributions are to our clients, dictates the professionalism we deliver in return for that attitude.