The future of work. A topic that dominates the corporate agenda, headlines global conferences, and makes the biggest global think-tanks, such as the ILO or the OECD, set up working groups, with the participation of the brightest minds of policy and the business world to respond effectively and understand better the challenges that come with it. Are machines and AI going take all our work away? Is Amazon going to deliver our orders with the latest drone technology to our doors soon? Will 5G going to be available on our smartphones in the next year?
Questions, we all want answered.
One thing is certain: innovation and technology are changing the way we work and live in a rapid pace. Even the most obvious things, such as waking up in the morning or getting a ride midtown, have all completely got new meaning over the last couple of years.
Photo: negative space
In an e-mail to his Tesla employees sent in April this year, CEO Elon Musk instructed colleagues to “walk out of meetings if you are not adding any value”. He goes on to say, that it is not rude to walk out of a meeting, rather it is rude to stay and waste somebody else’s time. He is not the only mogul introducing policies to help employees navigate the modern world of work with an intention to increase productivity. Jeff Bezos of amazon has introduced the “weirdest meeting culture you will ever encounter” and ended PowerPoint presentations, and now requires the employee to prepare a 6-page narrative memo, a sort of story-telling, which meeting participants spend 30 minutes reading and taking in at the beginning of the meeting – in silence.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Companies are under pressure to come up with innovations: strategic investments in holistically designed working worlds aim to strengthen competitiveness. In the exhibition area “Workplace of the Future | Design by HCD”, the Zukunft Personal is developing visions for the working world of the future in the Koelnmesse from 18 to 20 October. In cooperation with the company HCD Planungsgesellschaft, Europe’s largest exhibition for human resource management is giving visitors the opportunity to experience individual room and design concepts live for the first time on an area of more than 500 square metres.
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.