Meet The Disruptors: Tim Baker of DisruptHR Toronto

Tim Baker

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 Tim Baker – DisruptHR Toronto (Disruptor #11)

Websites – Tim Baker HR and The HR Gazette

LinkedIn – Tim Baker, CHRP, CHRL

Twitter – @TimBakerHR

Facebook – Tim Baker HR Consulting

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

I’m an independent HR Consultant & Coach. I work with start-up, small & mid-sized businesses who are in need of consultation, or outsourced HR work.

I’m also the Community Director for The HR Gazette, an online publication that brings together HR & Talent leaders to share content, and partnerships with HR events.

How did you first hear about DisruptHR?

Honestly, I’m not sure how I first heard about it, but it was probably through Tammy Colson (DisruptHR Cleveland organizer) or Steve Browne (DisruptHR Cincinnati organizer). Then my co-organizer Jeff Waldman mentioned it again and asked me if I’d like to join him and Kathleen Tiexiera to co-organize the first DisruptHR in Canada.

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

Firstly, I love the format of the event. The 5-minute presentations motivate speakers to create impactful and engaging presentations. The overall feel of the event is casual, fun and energetic.

Secondly, I’ve assisted in other events in many capacities, but it was time to step outside my comfort zone and lead an event. This seemed like the right time and opportunity, so I didn’t even hesitate to say “yes!”.

Finally, I believe that we need to continually redefine and rethink how we are doing things in the world of work. Bringing together “disruptive” thinkers within or outside the realm of HR & Talent is a catalyst for change.

How many events have you organized?

We held our first DisruptHR Toronto in June 2015. We weren’t sure what the response would be, so we estimated and budgeted for about 100 people. To our surprise, the response was overwhelming. We sold out in under 2 weeks, and had a waiting list of another 60 or so people.

The day after the event, we asked each other “So, do you want to do another one in December?” We booked the venue for December 2015, and sold out in less than 3 weeks for a total attendance of 230 people.

What types of people have attended your events?

We were pleased with the diversity of attendees. At both events, we had a mix of HR practitioners, consultants, recruiters (corporate, agency and independent), and other business leaders. Also, the range of professional experience spanned new graduates to CEO’s. We also noticed that there were private sector, public sector and non-profits represented in the audience.

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

Overall, we were happy with the feedback and responses from attendees, sponsors and speakers. Everyone had a great time, and in the end, that’s what it’s all about. People really enjoyed the range of topics that were presented. Often times we need to look outside our own industry to find solutions and opportunities.

What kind of feedback have you received from participants in DisruptHR Toronto events?

We had some great feedback – both positive and constructive. But one stood out to me. It was so genuine and motivating.

“Where do I begin?! This event was incredible! From beginning to end, I was engaged and felt each one of the speakers had something great to bring to the table. I cannot wait to attend another DisruptHR event!”

It’s feedback like this that keeps us going and reassures us that we’re doing great things.

What is your favorite DisruptHR Talk, and why?

There are so many fantastic talks from all the DisruptHR events, so I’ll choose one from our own event.

Ryan Porter (Wolves In The Workplace) was a last minute addition to our speaker line-up. His style and delivery were fantastic, and I agree with his message.

Wolves In The Workplace | Ryan Porter | 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?

The world of work is changing, and organizations need to shift in order to attract and develop the leaders of tomorrow. I believe that more organizations need to view work as “something you do, not a place you go.”

There’s still too much of the “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it” type of thinking. We need to stop getting caught up in catch phrases or buzzwords. There’s not one size that fits all.

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

I’ve been an independent HR Consultant for almost 2 years now. I continue to be excited about partnering with clients to create a great workplaces. I enjoy getting to know their business and what excites them about why they do what they do.

Whether it’s implementing plans to build a great foundation upon which engagement thrives, or perhaps just creating and editing a great Employment Contract. Yes, I said it…employment contracts.

I’m also that guy that enjoys sitting and reading through a contract to ensure legal compliance…but also ensuring the language fits the culture of the organization.

We’re also looking forward to presenting the next DisruptHR Toronto. It’s such a rewarding experience!

For more information about DisruptHR Toronto (#DisruptHRTO), and future events:

DisruptHR Toronto Community Page

DisruptHR Toronto Facebook

DisruptHR Toronto Twitter

#DisruptHRTO Twitter mentions

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