Monday, February 18, 2013

What is the MAC? A "SHRM" Term

Rebecca, Donna, Paula, Deb, Kristine
As we approach the 5th annual SHRM Regional Leadership Summit to commence this week at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, AZ, I am reminded of the most common question I heard muttered about during the last SHRM Leadership conference in November.  I think the reason I heard it more so this year than any other was because I was attending MAC (membership advisory committee) meetings as was my four peers whom are pictured to the left.  So when we explained where we were heading, we heard the same question: "What is the MAC?"

The question does not surprise me at all because when I was a chapter leader, I had no idea what the state council was let alone the MAC.  Of course, back in those days it was called the Area Council or something like that.  Anyway, it's been a few months since I promised to write a blog post answering that very question so here it is.  Honestly, SHRM does a good job of explaining what and who the MAC is themselves here but there is another page on the SHRM site that will actually give you even more detail commonly named FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).  The most important question a chapter leader who is eager to do more with SHRM after their current volunteer position is up, might be: "How can I get on the MAC?".  That question is best addressed here but I can tell you it is best to move onto your State Council board which can lead you to a State Director position for which you can then be elected to the MAC if you decide to run. 

Basically, the road to the MAC is typically (not always) a step ladder approach like many job families in the workplace.  However, there are many other SHRM volunteer opportunities that don't involve the route that some of us take. 

My own experience started as chapter leader up to president and state council leader up to director.  Once you are a state director you are part of the regional council which consists of 10 state council directors, 1 MAC rep and the SHRM staff leadership for that region.  The previous links explain how MAC leaders are elected.  The one big difference that I see between the MAC and previous chapter and state council positions is that you no longer have your own agenda to make a difference.  Your agenda is that of the SHRM board and the membership you represent within the region. For example, the following is our focus at the moment:

2013 MAC Focus

 Our initial marching orders are to focus on SHRM's Strategic Priorities (pictured here) as well as find out the answers to the following questions:

1)      SHRM has numerous initiatives in development for HR professionals, ranging from a competencies model, and new business-related seminars, to the development of HR standards, and the promotion of workforce flexibility. What new things should SHRM be working on to better serve the HR profession?

2)      SHRM is leading efforts to address the nation's skills gap, and we are piloting a new survey to help you identify the specific gaps in your immediate geographical area. What do HR professionals in your area need to help them address skills gaps and talent shortages?

3)      Under SHRM's global strategy, the Society's first priority is to provide training and development tools to HR professional through its partners around the world. What are your perceptions of SHRM's global strategy?

4)      We will be meeting with our partners at the HR Certification Institute and the SHRM Foundation. What messages would you like for me to carry back to them?

5)      What else would you like me to share with the SHRM Leadership and Board?

We are all working hard to find out the answers to those questions within our region and I am pretty confident that I can speak for my peers.  Each of the MAC members I work with and those who have come before us are proud and humbled to represent such a large number of SHRM members.  We are honored that our fellow state council directors felt comfortable with us carrying the torch and representing them well.  For that we are thankful and look forward to a productive year. 

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