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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Price

Who me, a disrupter?

On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, I got disruptive. Yes, me. The guru of “the compliance voice” made some noise. I was one of 15 speakers at DisruptHR DC at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. DisruptHR holds events internationally and this was the first DC event pos-pandemic. My topic was:

The Human Side of Benefits Compliance: Finding Your Compliance Voice

For those that have read my other blog posts, you already know this. If you haven’t, I invite you to check them out. As a quick summary, I am a career HR professional who has worked in employee benefits for the past 12 years. It’s my sweet spot. Benefits Geek is my version of being a Trekkie.

The format of DisruptHR is unique. 5 minutes. 20 slides. 15 second transitions. Yes really. Henry David Thoreau wrote "Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short." This describes preparing for DisruptHR. It also must be part of the human experience as others such as Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, John Lock, and Blaise Pascal have written the same sentiment. Don’t be too impressed, I’m a famous quote buff and I knew these quotes were out there but had to do a quick google search.


Energizing, informing, and empowering is almost an understatement. Talk about doing a 180 from cowering to confident. As it was nearing my turn as the 9th of 15 speakers, I was thinking back in my figure skating days. I would jump up, rotate twice in the air, and land delicately on the toe pick of my right ice skate. Yet, when it was my turn, I wasn’t sure I could walk up four stair steps in a pair of black patent leather flats. 180 vs 720, you do the math. I’m not even sure what that means, but this is my blog.

Once I made it up the stairs, it was magical. I gained confidence with each step towards the center of the stage. The panic of the DisruptHR’s presentation format gave way to a controlled yet airy and giddy feeling. I took center stage, nodded to one of the organizers that I was ready. And, the slides started to roll, I clearly remember talking about my first slide, and my, “Don’t Make Me Use My Compliance Voice” coaster. I vaguely remember talking about slide eight on acronyms and how they dilute the meaning of what they represent, and then I was wrapping up explaining that my compliance voice is the balance between employee support and benefits compliance. Phew. I described the experience like going under anesthesia. I was very aware at the beginning, mildly aware in the middle, and before I knew it, it was over. I was awake. I was done. I did it.

It was an honor to be included among my amazing 14 fellow speakers and to know that there were passionate HR colleagues in the audience. Each speaker inspired me, and I relished hearing the unique and likeminded ideas. I loved that with so many diverse topics, there were common themes and even some similar slides.

What a rush to be swept up in such passion, expertise, and disruption. Compliance and disruption have a seat at the table!

Thank you to the organizers of DisruptHR DC and to fellow speakers (strangers before 4pm yesterday) for sharing your experience and saying it would be ok if I ended up on the bloopers reel.

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