Saturday, November 7, 2015

Are You Ready for The Future of HR?

"I feel like I have been brought out of the dark ages." That's the phrase that continually ran through my mind during my experience at the #IBMInsight conference. It was absolutely amazing! From learning about 3D printer cars that are made of a plastic that could save lives - Local Motors (whose CMO is a women) Elle Shelley +Elle Shelley to listening to an IBM Executive converse with Pepper the Robot built with Watson intelligence, to learning how analytics helped a cyclist win the Great American Road Race, to hearing entertaining back stories about several films made by Ron Howard & Brian Grazer, it was truly unforgettable!

It was also an honor attending as a representative of my corner of the world -- Human Resource/Talent Management as a member of the IBM Futurist-Influencer Program. Many from the program were there for the specific purpose of considering a #Newwaytowork. Pondering the question, "How can we have a #smarterworkforce?" (I use these hash tags so you can continue to follow the conversation on twitter) while also contemplating, "What's the meaningful intersections between this, mobile, social and commerce?"

We spent a full afternoon engaged in "masterminding". It truly felt like a "think-a-thon"! And what was produced reflected reimagining our future from the impact of wearable tech in human resources to new roles such as HR Analytics, which we dubbed the HR "data whisperer".

I learned new terms like "cognitive computing" while being reminded of terms that have been in the marketplace for a while yet not widely used such as predictive analytics. I saw how Watson Analytics  can enable talent management, recruiting and other human capital management functions to be easier, quicker, more efficient and effective. The future is bright!

But the point of this post is not only to share a few brief highlights (...there is sooooo much more!) but to also share some concluding thoughts for my fellow HR colleagues.  If you've heard me deliver my talk The Ripple Effect - The Power of Your Personal Brand in HR -- the following will nicely compliment it.

1.  Accept the fact technology is here to stay. I know "technology" is a broad term, but I'm intending its use as such because it's scope of impact in our industry is broad --consider: smart phones, email, apps, texting, mobile learning, software (for just about anything), the cloud, byod (bring your own device), tablets, data, video conferencing, video calling, webinars, e-learning, mobile learning, virtual collaboration, virtual classroom, tele-commuting, social connecting...and I'm sure you could add more.

Its now embedded in just about every aspect of our work -- how we interact, how we communicate and how we deliver work. Though many in our field have not been early adopters, if you've yet to be "an adopter",  I'm imploring you -- resistance is futile. Adopt or become irrelevant and inept as an HR professional. And, by the way, the longer you resist the more you impede the growth and profits of your company!

Please know, "Let's get the the tech person," will no longer fly -- you are the tech person, whether you choose to believe it and own it or not! Acceptance, adoption, and integration of technology into your role and responsibilities are now a human resource competency.

2.  Numbers and Measuring Matter - data will become the darling of effective talent management.  If you've never heard of "The Hawthorne Effect" that's a great place to start. Measuring is absolutely necessary to any business success. You cannot change what you do not see. You cannot manage what you do not know. Measuring changes things.

Everyone is familiar with the use of numbers in accounting to assess a business, how about numbers related to the people of the business. Those carry equal if not greater weight in that the people drive and influence the ultimate numbers of the business. People numbers can be anything from performance management to analytics for the best resource to recruit the most successful employees. (Watson can tell you that!)

Get comfortable with using numbers, learn how to collect and analyze them, make your knowledge and use of them a professional competency.  There's a section in my book 15 Shifts -The Essential Guide to Transform Your Talent Management, that shares 4 different and common examples of how to use numbers to determine roi. This and many other activities can help you become acclimated to the role numbers can play as a meaningful talent mangement companion.

The first 2 bring me to number #3.

3. Please don't be the kind of professional that has to be dragged into the future kicking and screaming, begrudging change. I invite you to be the kind of professional that leads the way, risks the blunders, embraces the potential benefits, saying, "see what happens when we do this!" ... all in service to those you manage, the success of the business that employees you and to your own career.

Why? The reality is the future of work is now! What you perceive to be in your future is already in someone's present and for some their past.  I have the opportunity to travel all over the country getting a realist view of the state of our profession and it is amazing the breath of differences in human resource knowledge as well as personal and professional technology adoption. In some cases, honestly, it's down right shocking!

So I say, "Rally the troops! Encourage the resisters, proudly display the banner - Let's Create the Future Now!" We have so much to gain and what we have to loose is what probably needs to be lost! Arm and arm HR brothers and sisters everywhere, with diligence, commitment and inspiration, let's march onward and future-ward!

If you're feeling as if you need some help accelerating your professional competencies, impact and value as a meaningful strategic business partner, you'll want to learn more about my Talent Management Practitioner Mentor Program to be launched in early 2016. Though in early stages of development, here's a link to let me know you're interested in learning more as the program unfolds - click here  By the way, this is not you're typical certification program. This is hands on realtime mentor/coaching experience where you and the powers that be will see tangible results.

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