It is typically the gorgeous summer weather and the vibrant beauty of Budapest that draws people from all over Europe to the city, but this time those factors were only a part of the icing on the cake for Human Resources professionals joining The HR Congress on 6-7 June.
The HR Congress’ moments were:
Among the many thought-provoking presentations throughout the two days, we were witness to a high-energy and tremendously engaging opening keynote delivered by Tammy Erickson, Adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior at London School of Business.
Tammy elaborated on the new direction HR should take in order to follow its changing function. She also highlighted a range of areas that are going through a significant change such as; technology, digital, leveraging intelligence, “fit-for-purpose” staffing, and re-designed work processes.
These changes are affecting the way we work, the way we hire, and, most importantly, the way we lead.
According to Tammy, the leaders of the future do not only need to understand how the organization works but also need to possess four very important skills: the ability to disrupt, engage, intrigue and connect. These skills are needed to be open to new ideas, new approaches, diversity, to ask questions and to make collaboration easy within the organization.
Next up, the audience was treated to an entertaining and eye-opening keynote by Cisco‘s Senior HR Director, Gianpaolo Barozzi, who focused his presentation on the crucial importance of teams over individual performance.
According to Gianpaolo, “everything that happens within organizations happens through teams” however, this is the first thing that is forgotten during, for instance, a performance review. In response to this issue, Cisco created an organization called ‘Leadership and Team Intelligence’, as well as a platform for team intelligence (Team Space), an innovative solution that is breaking down hierarchies and accomplishing the goal of having the best minds on the most relevant projects. This tool is designed to serve teams and team leaders, to unlock the power of teams and, ultimately, accelerate team performance.
Following the morning keynotes, attendees could join two elective tracks for the afternoon. Running parallel to the masterclass with Tammy Erickson on Winning Tomorrow’s Talent Battle, these tracks provided four modules centered around four important areas of HR: Talent Management, HR Transformation, Leadership & Succession Management, and Employee Engagement & Culture.
One of the afternoon’s many highlights was a brilliant case study presentation on Leadership by our returning speaker, Andre de Wit, Vice President of Learning at Carlsberg Group, who talked about his company’s views on finding their future leaders by assessing their ‘learning agility’, rather than conducting old-fashioned personality tests or MBTI. VUCA times require Learning Leaders Click To Tweet who have the ability to “stay flexible, grow from mistakes, and handle a diverse range of challenges”.
According to Andre, the best way to counteract VUCA is using VUCA: Vision, Understanding, Clarity, Agility. The Learning Leader should possess all of the above, but most importantly they should have learning agility, which enables them to lead others in an open, democratic, inclusive and efficient way, and also lead the organization through developing a strategic agility.
The second day of the HR Congress kicked off with a rousing keynote by David Allen, renowned productivity expert, and creator of the GTD method.
Centering his talk around the above quote, his message about creating space and finding the right location for the myriad of things that are rushing through our minds each day was simple yet forceful.
According to David, at any given time the mind is only capable of holding 4 ideas, therefore the rest of the thoughts need some serious organizing. For this purpose he developed a five-step model: Capture – Clarify – Organize – Reflect – Engage, which is the perfect tool for business leaders to become more efficient in leading people and organizations.
The second morning continued with two elective tracks in Talent Management and Performance Management, including great presentations by our Congress chairman Paul Turner, Professor of Management Practice at Leeds Business School, and László Nagy, HR Director of Nielsen among others. The elective tracks were followed by more plenary sessions that ran parallel to a high-energy masterclass with Gianpaolo Barrozzi on Talent Management In A Connected World.
In one of the plenary sessions Daiga Ergle, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at airBaltic talked about aligning leadership, culture and succession at her company. While according to conventional wisdom job happiness is related to the what, why or how of work, Daiga and airBaltic firmly believe that job happiness comes down to working with great people - and, most importantly, with great leaders Click To Tweet Volunteering projects, passion projects, gamified internal processes and peer rewards are all part of the environment at airBaltic that helps hidden talents emerge, and enables the organization to get, retain and develop great leaders.
Volunteering projects, passion projects, gamified internal processes and peer rewards are all part of the environment at airBaltic that helps hidden talents emerge, and enables the organization to get, retain and develop great leaders.
Next up, Laura Bendekovic, Head of HR for the CEE region at UniCredit introduced the audience to how the company has been building up an international and cross-functional leadership pipeline.
By launching a cross-country succession pool initiative within UniCredit, the HR function gave employees the opportunity to ‘pitch’ in an informal way for the next available position, thus creating more opportunities and integrating people’s aspirations and business needs.
At the end of the two-day event came a closing keynote that touched upon a very timely and sensitive topic: employees’ mental health – and, in response to that, the building of resilience at the workplace.
It comes as no surprise that happier employees are more productive in the workplace, andIn order to keep higher level of productivity, the no 1 necessity is a high level of resilience. Click To Tweet
Low resilience, i.e. not being able to handle stress, setbacks and difficulties in the workplace can, in more serious cases, lead to absenteeism, depression and poor mental health. Business Psychologist Jack Broadley from Pelorus Consulting led us through his 6-step method to build and maintain a resilient culture in the organization.
The impact of leadership behavior on resilience is fundamental, and thus teams – and not just individuals – need to be ‘led by example’. According to Jack, “it’s not about what we [as leaders] do, it’s not about what we say, but in the bottom line it’s how we make people feel in our organizations that is going to make the difference”.
Leaving you with this last thought above, we would like to thank everyone who attended the event, and extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors and partners, Develor and HB Reavis, for filling these two days with inspiration, training, knowledge-sharing, and new ideas.
See you in Brussels on 28-29 November 2017 with 900 of your peers and an unparalleled line-up of keynote speakers including Dave Ulrich, Herminia Ibarra, Gareth Jones, Garry O. Ridge and many more!
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