TIME TO TAKE RED PILL, COBBLER. Part 2 of Mission report from HR Tech 2014 Amsterdam

(Continued from LET’S TALK PASSION, COBBLER. Part 1 of Mission report from HR Tech 2014 Amsterdam.)

transparencyIf I were to squeeze out just one thought from the whole richness of the conference – that would be: “THE WORLD HAS CHANGED. ADAPT OR PERISH. YES, YOU ALSO, HR.”

Transparency is the most dramatic aspect of this change. When you have always took professional pride in weaving the emperor’s new clothes, you’ll feel like your world is being kicked from under your feet by those immature millennials liking and sharing the fact that your emperor, in fact, isn’t wearing much. You could fight it and lose.Or you could start taking pride in doing something about those clothes.

Have you heard of a Glassdoor? It’s kind of Tripadvisor for employers and jobs. Think now what is more crucial for your employer image – to be among 100 of top employers in Trendence  list, or to look good on such peer-to-peer rating site?

Glasdoor CEO and co-founder, ROBERT HOHMAN was at HRTech. Talked about TRANSPARENCY AND THE FUTURE WORKFORCE. However, for reading on my own, I prefer another Robert’s presentation, describing what will the future workplace look like. And the  truth (about the future workplace) is:

futureGOOGLE is the company that already embraced that future. It scores well on both Glassdoor & Trendence and attracts crowds, also to the conference rooms. There was no shortage of GOOGLE’rs on stages of HrTech. I’ve seen THOMAS DAVIES, director of all Europes (except western one) giving TIPS & TOOLS FOR BUILDING A COLLABORATIVE WORKPLACE and KIM WYLIE, transformation and change manager in Google For Work team talking about MAINTAINING CULTURE THROUGH CHANGE. Both quoted Stacy Sullivan, Google’s Chief Culture Officer (have we got one?): “If you engage people, they will amaze you”. From Thomas I retained that organic ideation is fuelled by being relevant*. He also said that today is the slowest rate of change we will ever experience. Enough to whine about not being able to catch up with the change. It will get worse.

Kim had 5 tips and a bonus:

  1. find leaders that would walk the talk;
  2. uncover the ‘what’s in it for them” rationally, emotionally, behaviouraly; rewarding and recognising collaboration instead of personal achievements (remember Yves, first keynote?)
  3. engage your employees in the project: create a network of change champions or/and “the worst things we do” forum (my favourite);
  1. make it fun: they had “news in the loos” campaign, and a very visual poster inviting to flush your old communication habits – just above the toilet seat;
  2. celebrate the new beginning; celebrate success; but ALWAYS respect the past.

Bonus: keep giving attention to the project until it becomes business as usual.

And since we didn’t have here any video yet, that’s the one Kim showed to put us into the context of inevitability of change:

the evolution of the desk by the harvard innovation lab from designboom on Vimeo.

Then came early Halloween teaser: NICK HOLLEY, Director Henley Business school declared TRADITIONAL TALENT MANAGEMENT DEAD. Stated that war for talent is over. And talent has won. It now has a choice. The best performers with the highest potential won’t sit within contractual walls of an organisation. They would rather opt for their own freelance business and strengthen external online talent ecosystem, where Linked-in is a king.

Linked-in does know more about your employers than you do – you can’t fight it, but you can up-skill as HR to become a more efficient user of this ecosystem. And you should learn to treat employers as customers, because right, we’ve said it already: talent has a choice. We need a new breed in HR: pragmatic, agile, data driven, future focused, self-confident. I didn’t capture original Nick’s slide, but illustration of future HR heroes was this:

The_Matrix_soundtrack_coverAnd this is where cobbler** comes into the picture. It’s HR a cobbler who’s children have no shoes. So busy in helping other parts of organisations to transform and adapt to the new reality HR professionals somehow neglected to upgrade themselves into the heroes of the future.

Blue pill will do you no good, cobbler Neo. You need to make a leap into the new reality. We all do.


ideation = the capacity for the act of forming ideas. You always learn something from native speakers.

** cobbler = a person whose job is mending shoes” is a second English word I learned at the conference)


One Response to TIME TO TAKE RED PILL, COBBLER. Part 2 of Mission report from HR Tech 2014 Amsterdam

  1. […] And here comes the 2nd part of it: Time to take red pill, cobbler.  […]

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