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Your HR Body Is an Acronym

john mayer memeOh, acronyms.

Shortening long titles. Capitalizing letters. Confusing newcomers.

What would I do without you?

Before I came to The Starr Conspiracy, I did a fair amount of research on the Human Capital Management industry.

Excuse me — HCM. What a wonderland you are.

I did this to study the language. I quickly learned that there is an acronym for just about everything. Not uncommon, but daunting nonetheless.

It can be overwhelming at first. But like Garth Algar from Wayne’s World would say, “It’s like a new pair of underwear. At first it’s constrictive, then after a while it becomes a part of you.”


I wanted to highlight some of the top associations and organizations in the HCM biz and start an open forum about some of their similarities and differences. They all have a lot to offer, but we will stick to the basics.

On the list:

  1. Society for Human Resource Management: SHRM
  2. American Society for Training & Development: ASTD
  3. Human Capital Institute: HCI
  4. Corporate Executive Board: CEB
  5. The Conference Board: TCB

They all exist to help people perform their work at a higher level. They exist to bring together different people, thoughts and innovations and pursue a higher level of business intelligence.

With the exception of the CEB, they all exist on a membership basis. The CEB consults within a traditional client relationship.

The quick and dirty:

  • While they all have similarities, SHRM, ASTD and HCI share a focus on HR
  • SHRM is dedicated to HR management and HR professionals
  • ASTD is dedicated to learning and development professionals
  • HCI is dedicated to talent management and new economy leadership
  • TCB and the CEB are dedicated to business but often cover HCM issues

The oldest of the group, The Conference Board, was founded in 1916, and is known for research, peer-to-peer learning and leadership development. TCB focuses on four main areas:

  1. Corporate leadership
  2. Economies, markets and value creation
  3. High-performing organizations
  4. Human capital

With these associations and organizations, you can expect annual conventions, access to research and niche expertise. You will also have the opportunity to network with other professionals in your field.

I could write multiple posts about just ONE of these organizations — so I realize I am leaving out a ton of information. What should I have included or omitted? Do you have any favorites within the list provided?