Why I am no longer a HRINZ member

I wrote the majority of this blog some time ago and didn’t publish it. I’m disappointed in the lack of support being given to the HR Game Changer conference, an event that is about pushing the boundaries for HR professionals. So the time feels right to share this.

Without abridging, here is my written resignation from my HRINZ membership:

I’d like to cancel my HRINZ membership.

I feel that I spend more time and energy trying to get the institute, including national office and my local committee, to open their minds to new and better ways of working. I am passionate about what I do. But I’m also a young HR practitioner trying to learn and find my way in the world. I get more barriers from HRINZ than I do support. So that I can grow, I need to focus my energy with people who will help me change the world of work for the better. 

These are the people who are supportive, positive, challenging, open and enthusiastic. I meet these people through working with awesome HR practitioners in my line of work, forward thinking conferences, events organised by other providers and, yes, through social media. I can connect to HR people from NZ and around the world to collaborate and share ideas. 

There is a lost opportunity for HRINZ to help practitioners do that. There are dedicated and passionate people on the committees, Rebecca Clarke & Anna Sage spring to mind, working towards that. But, for their work to really have impact, they need support from National Office. Including, leadership, openness, and accessibility. HRINZ operates with a hierarchical model that is quickly becoming antiquated in a world of connection, collaboration and communication.  I’m not seeing anything that makes me believe that this opportunity will be realised for some time to come. 

Tash and I did a presentation on Social Media for HR in Wellington last week and no-one from HRINZ National Office came along. Despite it being at your offices (please do correct me if I’m wrong?). This disappoints me more than anything else. There is such an opportunity to engage with a growing group of members on social media. Yes, it’s still small but believe that HRINZ should be a thought leader in this space. There are practitioners who are willing to help with this voluntarily and with no expectation of pay. I’ve put my hand up on a number of occasions with little success. 

I’ve tried to give as much as I can to HRINZ and have been a volunteer on and off for about the last five years, helping create an institute that myself and other young HR practitioners can benefit from. I did benefit from HRINZ a lot when I first started my career. But that was 12 years ago. The offering has not changed, but the environment has. I’m not sure I would get the same value starting out now. 

As I have just started my own business I have to question the cost of everything I do. Do I get my money’s worth for my HRINZ membership fee? The answer is a resounding no. I give more in my time and effort than I receive. I can’t afford to do that anymore.

I’m sharing this because I really do want to be a pain in the ass for HRINZ. Unless we speak up and take action nothing will change. Because the world is changing and you don’t need to look  far to realise that.

Yesterday I counted 6 HR related conferences that have taken place in New Zealand in the last 12 months – none of them were run by HRINZ. We run NZLEAD events regularly, a tweet up every week, a networking event every three months and a social drinks about every four months. Other organisations are doing similar things in the HR space. You can go to a Blacksmith event on something cool and thought provoking, a Rice networking event to meet some new people, an Elephant conference or training workshop to learn great stuff and the list goes on.

HRINZ does not have a monopoly anymore. A hierarchical competitive model is not the way of the future. The future is collaborative, organically constructed, based on relationships not rules, continually changing and innovating and not based on one organisation holding the reins.

We work together not apart, we’re still exploring what this looks like  but there’s no room for those not open to this.

10 thoughts on “Why I am no longer a HRINZ member

  1. Pingback: Best Blogs 20 June 2014 | ChristopherinHR

    1. amandasterling Post author

      Good question. I felt like I was hitting my head against a brick wall inside the tent. Outside, I’m able to concentrate my energy and make much more progress.

    2. TashHR

      I was on the inside too and like Amanda, felt like I was hitting a brick well. It is unfortunate – but best spend energy where risks and innovation are the lifeblood of moving forward!

    3. lizziet

      Amanda tried working from inside the tent and volunteered hundreds of hours of service to the HRINZ – a number of us did. But there comes a point when you just have to banadage your head and move on to more constructive and positive pursuits.

  2. Kat Clark

    I also didn’t renew my membership as I didn’t see additional value other than a magazine with related articles that could be found on the net and the nights of talks. Good for you to voice fustrations, as challenges aren’t broadcasted widely.


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