Laurie Ruettimann is a former Human Resources leader turned influential speaker, writer, and strategist. She owns a human resources consultancy that offers a wide array of HR services to human resources leaders and executives. You may know Ruettimann as the creator of The Cynical Girl and Punk Rock HR (retired), which Forbes named as a top 100 website for women. You may have also read her book, I AM HR: 5 Strategic Ways to Break Stereotypes and Reclaim HR.

Her talk at the conference will be called “Cult or Culture?”
Check out her newest website:

Can you tell us a little bit about what you plan on speaking about at Disrupt HR?

I hate the current fad about culture in the workplace. Most cultures aren’t cultures: they are manipulated, environmental choices to get smart people to work harder for the same amount of money. You think you have a culture. You may have nice people who do great work, but let’s not go overboard. Employees, just like your CEO, are capitalists. Even in the best companies with the sweetest benefits and most flexible work environments, most people wouldn’t show up unless they received a paycheck. 

If you think that the field of Human Resources is being or will be truly disrupted, what’s driving the change? 

I don’t think HR is being disrupted. I think HR is being eviscerated by SaaS platforms and cynical consultants.

And what are some sub-optimal aspects of old-guard HR that need to be revised?

I don’t hate the old guard. Compliance is important. I just wish the “old guard” had a better set of sales and marketing skills to explain why complying with fair pay and civil rights legislation, while inconvenient, is important.

If you could assign one book for everyone in attendance to read before attending, what would it be and why?

I like Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. That’s a book about America. It’s about work, life and the enduring struggle to be loved and seen when you’re unlovable and ugly.

*If this whet your appetite for more HR talks, buy your tickets to the first-ever Disrupt HR NYC

Here’s a video of Laurie speaking at an Ignite event to whet your appetite!