Photo: negative space
In an e-mail to his Tesla employees sent in April this year, CEO Elon Musk instructed colleagues to “walk out of meetings if you are not adding any value”. He goes on to say, that it is not rude to walk out of a meeting, rather it is rude to stay and waste somebody else’s time. He is not the only mogul introducing policies to help employees navigate the modern world of work with an intention to increase productivity. Jeff Bezos of amazon has introduced the “weirdest meeting culture you will ever encounter” and ended PowerPoint presentations, and now requires the employee to prepare a 6-page narrative memo, a sort of story-telling, which meeting participants spend 30 minutes reading and taking in at the beginning of the meeting – in silence.
Photo: spring Messe Management GmbH
With the warmer weather the conference season is also upon us. If you are like us, you are also looking forward to the events of the HRM conference calendar of 2018. Where is the most useful place to learn about the latest HR industry trends, get inspired by opinion leaders and network with like-minded professionals? The Zukunft Personal events, of course! On this blog we talk a lot about Zukunft Personal Europe, the international flagship conference and expo of the Messe Management events, but did you know that the organiser team pulls together several other top HR gatherings as well?
Employer review sites have made an incredible progress from a platform catering to disillusioned employees and turned-away jobseekers, where they could vent their frustration and disappointment. The last years have seen these sites, and their member base growing in confidence and maturing into a reliable source of labour market insight for both job hunters and HR managers, even supply chains and researchers.
Photo: Andrea Enderlein – Zukunft Personal Europe
Please raise your hand if you’ve ever felt paralyzed by a conference call for paper. When you open up the application document you are hit with the stark black Times New Roman font on a white background, bumping off any creative writing you may have felt a moment ago. It’s a daunting-enough task to create a 20-slide deck to report your monthly business metrics – never mind putting together a 600 to 1000 words topic proposal for the Zukunft Personal Europe call for papers to be competed with thousands of similar applications.
Photo: Peter Porst – Zukunft Personal
To cater to the ever changing needs of their attendees, HR events, just as much as other meetings are constantly pressured to broaden their spectrum of topics covered and pump up the volume on everything they do from conference design to participant engagement strategies. The same trends that are shaping the world of work, like digitalisation, globalisation, demographic trends among others, are also influencing how HR conferences can best deliver on their promise to educate, inform and inspire visitors.
Talking to the main sponsor of Zukunft Personal 2017, SAP, represented by Stefan Schuessler, Business Development Manager Human Capital Management, one thing becomes blatantly clear: Digital transformation is in the hands of people. It needs to be embraced, explored and used by humans. So in a way, even technology platform providers and enablers, just like SAP, need to reach out to the professionals and engage them in learning about the technology and the role of people in making technology useful and a value add to businesses.
Illustration: Studio Fee Overbeeke
When you ask CEO’s and CHRO’s what their key priorities are for the coming year, talent management always is one of the issues high on the list. Talent management is an easy and safe choice. Nobody will argue that talent management is not important. Supervisory Boards love to talk about succession and talent management. Talent management is generally seen as something long-term. When you hear terms as “strategic”, “long-term”, “future” and “investment”, you must be careful. For talent management this means: it is important, but not urgent. For the CEO, it means: I have ticked the box, but now HR can deal with it. Of course, I will visit the final session of the senior management program, of course, I will personally mentor one or two high potentials, but please, do not bother me too much about talent management, I have more urgent matters on my plate. A big challenge for organisations is to make talent management urgent, and to make it a priority of today, not of the future.
Photo: Nell Watson
In the second episode of the interview series in which we welcome some of the keynote speakers of the Zukunft Personal in 2017 we spoke with Nell Watson. In a truly mind-opening conversation we touched upon human resource management, her experience in teaching in Brazil and many more. Nell is a super insightful, inspirational, imaginative and broadly-aware communicator whose talk you surely don’t want to miss at the conference.
A much quoted Workforce Management article, HR 2018 Future View, from 2008, famously predicted that in ten years time “An HR executive will become CEO of a Fortune 100 firm”. What do you think? Did the prediction come true?
Actually, it has never been a typical career path, still the prophecy came to light. Albeit, it might be important for us to underline at the beginning of this blog post that for HR executives to reach the top of the top has been a pretty unique pattern. Also, in terms of the corporate landscape it is worth mentioning that HR has always been considered to be a “backwater area” with lots of administrative and repetitive tasks to attend to; a label that held HR hostage for decades and against which the tide has recently started to turn.
Photo: Thorben Albrecht
A podcast interview with Thorben Albrecht
In a one of a kind process, the German Federal government involved its 80 million citizens in co-creating the future of work. The process, which started in late 2014, involved experts, citizens, business, trade unions and artists, and culminated in a policy White paper at the end of 2016. Taking us into the details of Arbeiten 4.0, or Work 4.0 is Thorben Albrecht, Permanent State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Germany.
Anyone who followed the process since the beginning, perhaps at the annual Zukunft Personal HR exhibition in Cologne, where the Ministry and the stakeholders regularly presented the progress of the Work 4.0 dialogue, surely gets a sense of the forward-looking and innovative nature of this initiative. Perhaps one of the key aspects worth mentioning is the underlying motivating factor, namely not to let technological change shape the way people work and live, but to be more in control of these changes and trends, and find out first how do people want to live and work, and then ensure that technological change is an enabler for that.