AI, smart machines, digitalisation – not a day goes by without an abundance of articles or news items about these latest tech developments. If the threats about robots stealing jobs were not enough, now the fear about data and its farming may have caused further alarm in citizens and businesses all over Europe. How can companies keep up with the rapid shifts in technology?
Samuel Thomas Johnson was a young boy when he wrote a letter to the CEO of LEGO telling them that working at the company was his dream job, and what does he need to do to be hired by them. He received an encouraging answer with a list of qualifications a design engineer may need to be hired by LEGO. 15 years later as a young graduate he pursued the company and landed his dream job, working on projects like Ninjago and the smash hit the LEGO movie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Foto: Bastian Unterberg
A podcast interview with Bastian Unterberg
What if you could solve your complex challenges by asking the top talents from all around the globe to help you out? You can! It took a couple of years before the market was ready to embrace Crowdstorm as a concept and service, but it was worth the wait and patience for Founder Bastian Unterberg.
As a young design student at one of Germany’s top Universities, Bastian Unterberg found himself contemplating his career options. Looking at his peers, top creative young talents ending up in rigid organisations with hierarchies, he understood that he imagines his life differently. He was dreaming of a place where young creative can be mobilised for exciting projects for them to truly unleash their talent and accelerate innovation. At the time such a place didn’t exist, so he went ahead and created jovoto.com in 2006. To date they have solved over 400 challenges with a community of 80.000 creative professionals from non-profit campaigns to physical spaces, packaging or service design.
Podcast with Chris Roebuck about his key principles of transformational leadership
We are in a situation where the world chances significantly. But organisations are not adapting that fast. “One reason is that we have the amazing ability to make things more complicated than they really need to be”, says Chris Roebuck, Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership at Cass Business School in London. He has held senior roles at UBS, HSBC and KPMG, has served in the British Army, and is one of the top Human Resources (HR) thinkers in Europe. He is a sought after advisor and the developer of “Mach 2 leadership” – “twice the speed of sound, going to the limits of what’s possible”.
We talked to Chris Roebuck ahead of his keynote speech on “Mach 2 leadership” at the HRM Expo in Cologne, on the 16th September.