Meet The Disruptors: Nicole Dessain of DisruptHR Chicago

Nicole Dessain

Who are the people that are taking the lead in disrupting the future of work?

They’re the official Disruptors (Organizers) of DisruptHR events held in cities around the world.

Each week, we’ll introduce you to one of these intelligent, inspiring, and beautiful people (okay, pick two) who have stepped up, and volunteered to organize a Disrupt HR event in their city.

Meet Nicole Dessain – DisruptHR Chicago (Disruptor #30)

Website – talent.imperative

LinkedIn – Nicole Dessain

Twitter – @NicoleDessain

Who are you, and what do you do in your “day job”?

Nicole Dessain, Founder & Chief Talent Strategist at talent.imperative inc.

How did you first hear about DisruptHR?

I clicked on a link in Steve Brown‘s legendary newsletter!

After that, I binge watched the DisruptHR videos and decided speaking at one of these events would rock. I found out Chicago did not have a chapter, and the rest is history…

Why did you decide to raise your hand and become an organizer for DisruptHR events in Chicago?

Chicago has become a hot bed of innovation and entrepreneurship in recent years. I thought the timing was great to tie this spirit to innovation in HR. DisruptHR seemed to be exactly the format that could become a catalyst for this.

How many events have you organized?

We just had our first event in April 2016, and we really did not know what to expect, but were blown away by the reception.

The event was sold out four weeks in advance, and we sold 250 tickets – packing our venue to capacity. It was hard that we had to turn away about 40 people on the wait list. But fear not, the next event is near!

[Editor’s note: DisruptHR Chicago 2 is on for October 19, 2016!]

What types of people attended your event?

We had a good mix of HR practitioners of all levels and from various industries, as well as business leaders and the start-up community represented.

What are you most proud of that has come out of organizing DisruptHR events?

We’ve shown that there is an appetite for innovation in HR in Chicago and are starting to build a community that is passionate about creating meaningful change in our profession.

What kind of feedback have you received from participants in the first DisruptHR Chicago event?

Here’s some comments we received following our first event:

  • “Hands down the best HR event I ever attended!”
  • “It was GREAT! Kudos to you and the team, what a fantastic debut!”
  • “It was a great event… great job coordinating. You drew a HUGE crowd… Well done!!”
  • “Congratulations on a hugely successful evening last night. You can be proud of the inaugural DisruptHR Chicago. People were uniformly impressed and grateful to be included in the dialogue.”
  • “Thank You for all your DisruptHR efforts! …what we heard last night, the speakers showed me that I’m on the right track to keep going.”
  • “I was fortunate to attend the DisruptHR Chicago event last night and wanted to thank you (and the other event founders) for putting together such an amazing event!!! I went to the event specifically to network with other HR and business leaders in Chicago, and to challenge and expand my thinking with regard to best-in-class HR practices and imperatives. This event did not disappoint and I can’t wait for the Fall event.”
  • “Thank you all again for an absolutely wonderful evening. I’m so honored to have been a part of the inaugural DisruptHRCHI. And how wonderful to meet and hear the other speakers. The evening was perfect.”
  • “Disrupt HR – sooooo impressed with what you have done! Congrats on a great event.”

What is your favorite DisruptHR Talk, and why?

I love Elena Valentine‘s talk “Your Jobs Are Dynamic. Your Job Postings Are Lame.

Not only is the content provocative and innovative, she also understood and mastered the challenging DisruptHR presentation format formidably!

Your Jobs Are Dynamic. Your Job Postings Are Lame. | Elena Valentine | DisruptHR Talks from DisruptHR on Vimeo.

Based off of the Talks and conversations at your event(s), what do you feel are the areas with the biggest opportunity for disruption?

Really, they exist across all areas of HR!

What excites you or frustrates you about the future of work, your career and/or DisruptHR?

Overall, I’m incredibly excited about the future of work! We’re at a tipping point where major changes in how we work are upon us and that’s exciting to me.

What frustrates me is that most companies and HR organizations are still catching up in some very basic areas.

I think the biggest challenge that we need to tackle is to figure out how we can level the playing field in HR at an exponential pace.

For more information on DisruptHR Chicago (#DisruptHRchi) and future events (next one is October 19, 2016:

DisruptHR Chicago Community Page

DisruptHR Chicago Facebook

DisruptHR Chicago Twitter

#DisruptHRchi Twitter mentions

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