As the 2017 Zukunft Personal has already been covered in great breadth and depth through various summaries, articles or LinkedIn posts, we decided to bring you a new perspective and highlight those social media influencers who have profoundly shaped and determined the online conversation during the conference and exhibition.
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.
Foto: Gary Kildare
Before his much awaited presentation at Europe’s largest HR gathering, we interviewed Gary Kildare, Chief HR Officer at IBM Europe, for our interview series with the keynote speakers at the 2017 edition of Zukunft Personal.
One of the key secrets to IBM’s long-term success can be found in the company’s ability to constantly reinvent itself, to continually transform and to search for strategic technologies that enhance human labour. It is a 106-year-old journey that now takes IBM to its present top position in the Artificial Intelligence and cognitive computing market designed to support, inspire and lead current generations. Gary Kildare has spent much of his professional career with IBM as an HR leader and I was pleased to speak with him about AI, the history of HR, Germany’s AI talent shortage and many more.
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.
Could it be really possible that almost everything your organisation is doing to promote learning and development is a waste of time? Why is it that innovation and learning programmes don’t deliver the land of promise that is coupled with innovative, talented and self-driven colleagues?
To deliver increased productivity, organisations must be in a constant state of adaptation, planned and unplanned learning. The concept that is often left behind from this track of thought is unlearning. Why is this approach crucial? Why is it so relevant for any organisation to adapt its HR practices? Buckle up, in this post we will walk you through unlearning.
I would like to start this post by asking you to take a moment to think about a number of experiences you had recently, along the next paragraphs:
Think back for a moment: when was the last time you experienced great customer service? Did you buy something online, or went to an actual shop? Did you receive all the information you needed, on time, to make the right decision? Were you able even online to ask questions and be directed to the product that is right for you?
From fruit-baskets to corporate yoga classes, meditation rooms to mindful emails and meetings, the offer for wellbeing initiatives is growing exponentially. As HR professionals are bombarded by sales e-mails and calls with an overwhelming number of apps, fitness and health trackers, coaching and mindfulness training, concierge services and ergonomics, it is increasingly difficult to make the right choices, and use the scarce resources in the best possible way to maximise the benefit for employees.
As there are still a couple of months before the Zukunft Personal 3 days event in Köln, there are a lot of things you can do to be prepared, to make sure you make the most out of the presentations and the exhibition, by understanding your organisation’s needs first, so when you arrive in Köln, you will know what to look for.
Elon Musk famously said: “If something is important enough you should try, even if the probable outcome is failure.” In today’s VUCA world, there are hardly any guarantees anymore. Just as Whatsapp and other messaging services have bitten out billions from large established Telecom companies’ revenues, established businesses and sure-fire branches are under threat every day. If it’s not the curly haired guys in a garage, it may be an advertising fiasco, a new regulation, changing technologies, and even ageing population.