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Shonette Laffy


Deputy Editor

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What we’re looking forward to at HR Tech World Congress 2016


As the next HR Tech World Congress approaches, we’re busily organising our schedules for the two day conference and picking out some key talks and sessions we don’t want to miss.

We’ll be live tweeting from the event, so follow our Twitter account on Tuesday 15th & Wednesday 16th March for up-to-date news and soundbites (we’re also likely to post pictures of the lunch buffet, so keep an eye out for that too).

Here are our key picks for the two day event – tell us if you’ll be there too, and which sessions you’re looking forward to.

Day 1 

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Come Together and Others Don’t – Simon Sinek
What it takes to create an environment in which people work as they were designed – together. 
Most of us are well versed in Mr Sinek’s philosophies around the ‘Why’ of organisations and how this can help shape the culture and purpose of a business for the better. We’re looking forward to hearing his thoughts around leadership, and what line managers in particular can do to create a better working environment.

[Breakout] How GE L&D Drives Culture Change – Tim Highet, GE
Insights into how GE has created a more personalized, real-time approach to performance management.
It’s always intriguing to hear examples of multi-national companies trying to implement strategies across a huge workforce – a lot of the inspiring ideas we hear are led by smaller, dynamic companies, so it will be interesting to see how a business on the scale of GE have managed to create a more personal experience for employees, and what challenges they’ve overcome in the processs.

Radical Innovation for the Age of Disruption – Peter Hinssen, Nexxworks
Survival in the age of uncertainty and complexity. It is about speed, what happens when markets are moving faster than ever before, and how control is a thing of the past. 
We really enjoyed Peter Hinssen’s talk at last year’s spring congress; he’s often focused on the subject of how quickly the world is moving, with businesses struggling to keep up. Will this be the year we have more examples of how some companies are doing it right, or are most of us still playing catch-up?

[Breakout] The Power of Leveraging Networks – Dave Bartell, United States Navy 
Hear how a network that leverages others networks is a very powerful tool, and how that combined with a very disciplined approach and vision can create success in record time. Young military veterans have one of the worst unemployment statistics of all demographics.
A big issue for service personnel in the UK, US and beyond is the rate of unemployment and lack of support for those once they have completed their service. It makes sense to harness the close networks and relationships created whilst individuals are still in the army, navy etc, and use them when they’re needed even more once the routine and support of the institution comes to an end.

Day 2

Workforce Technology 2016 – The Perfect Storm – Jason Averbrook
We live in a world where data is king, where employee experience is mandatory and where our measure must be now.  All of this combined with a new age of worker with different demands and expectations leave us realizing it is time to prepare for Workplace 2020.
Data and analytics are a huge opportunity for HR and business as a whole, but the technology surrounding them still remain a bit of a mystery to most HR leaders and management teams. How can organisations make more sense of what is expected of them by the ever-changing demands of the workforce, and how to most effectively prepare for the future? We’re hoping for some good food for thought from this session.

[Breakout] Trust – The Only Reward Your Employees Need – Anna Loew, Giant Swarm GmbH
Giant Swarm follows the approach “rather ask for forgiveness than for permission” so very few rules float around. The start-up has established a few concepts that contribute to trust, these concepts affect all areas of the company culture: Holiday, Working Hours, Payment, Expenses, Meetings…
Trust is an intriguing one, and a subject that comes up more and more now that a lot of the world’s most successful companies have put culture as one of their priorities. A sense of trust and openess is a large part of creating a strong company culture – but how much do people genuinely trust their employer? Are managers really ready to trust their employees with flexible hours and unlimited holiday allowances? This should be an intriguing case study – whether it’s going to be one many think they can replicate is another thing entirely.

The Internet – The Organising Principle of Our Age – Martha Lane Fox,
Our lives are increasingly orientated around the internet, but many organisations are not yet organised around it.  So how do organisations move from their old fashioned structures to the new era of networked thinking?  
A good keynote to end on, I’m hoping this will be as thought-provoking as Rachel Botsman’s closing keynote on the sharing economy last year. We’re all aware of the digital skills shortage across the globe, and as a new generation enters the workforce who are more internet native than ever before, how are we going to adapt our way of working, whether it be team structures, training or communication?

You can see the full agenda on the HR Tech World Congress website. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Shonette Laffy

Deputy Editor

Read more from Shonette Laffy

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