The Digital HR Innovation Week – Daily Summary and Final Thoughts (May 22nd)

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The Digital HR Innovation Week has reached its fifth and final day – so let’s take a quick look back at some of the main sessions, themes, and topics we discussed today and review the event’s parting messages.

The final day was opened by Sangbreeta Moitra, a TEDx award-winning speaker, and strategist on human behaviour, change and transformation. Sangbreeta delivered an engaging presentation on Creating an Employee Tribe of Powerful Brand Ambassadors in the Age of Social and Digital, which focused on how to build an authentic presence as an individual and as an organisation in a time where human distancing is the norm. She also discussed the importance of embracing vulnerability, and why putting yourself in the mind of customers (both internal or external) to create a more accurate representation of the world around you is crucial today.

Next up, Filip Moriau, the Founder and CEO of Stragilon presented a session on Strategic Agility and Innovation in the Digital Organization. Filip’s presentation explored the features and competencies that organisations will have to manifest to re-structure their new normality – and ultimately what tomorrow’s competitive advantages will look like (universality, resilience, and sustainability). He suggests we must all be learn to consciously disrupt silos and closed thinking patterns to build the organisations that will be able to embrace the emerging new normality of the business world.

Following Filip was an engaging presentation on Rethink, Rebuild, Rebound – 7 steps for HR in a Crisis, by Nigel Barlow, Innovation Speaker, Business Rocker, and Author. Nigel passionately outlined the logic behind why HR professionals must become modern alchemists – re-framing the current crisis to give employees the tools needed rebuild and rebound. From self-starting and actualisation, busting biases, to being a beacon of hope – Nigel argues HR can help give meaning and purpose to the organisation, finding beautiful questions to ask when ‘as-usual’ thinking often leaves us flat footed.

Next, Eva Åkesson, the Global Lead – HR Technology Projects and Process at Tetra Pak, delivered a case-study on How Digital HR Supported Tetra Pak in Creating Business Value. In her session, Eva provided in-depth detail on Tetra Pak’s HR transformation journey from humble, inconsistent beginnings, to the ‘completion’ of the project. Tetra Pak’s ongoing journey of over 10 years saw a total functional overhaul and capability expansion for more than 3000 HR leaders. The transformation built clarity and conviction on HR’s purpose, made systemic simplifications, overhauled technologies, implemented skill development initiatives and much, much more.

The final session of the event for this year was delivered by Dr. Jennifer Jordan, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour at IMD Business School on the prescient topic of Leading in the Digital Age. Jennifer’s session outlined a seven-competency model for successful leaders in the digital age – comprising the core skills of; humility, vision, adaptability, engagement, hyper-awareness, the informed ability to make decisions, and fast execution. She also presented a quick guide as to what this might practically mean for organisations and business leaders today.

The Digital HR Innovation Week – Some Final Thoughts and Parting Ideas

It’s always quite difficult to sum up an event such as this, given the large numbers of topics covered, and immense detail of the presentations. But it is usually possible to uncover a few common threads that tie the last five days together.

  • Digital maturity is a much vaunted term, and yet getting to such an end state (if it is even possible) seems to rely on more than just advanced tech implementations, building speed into the business model, and endless experimentation. Organisations do need to build these characteristics or capabilities, but to ensure that digital maturity is developed in an organisation, companies need to first close essential talent gaps with good fundamentals – a great employee experience, evidence-based decision making, a healthy company culture, adaptive learning and so on.
  • People are not only your adaptive advantage – they build and give life to your digital advantage. It’s important to re-iterate that innovation exists in the productive and creative potential of people and their skills – so great talent simply needs to be nurtured around the creation of competitive and purpose-driven organisations.
  • Organisations must also possess the kinds of leaders and cultural blueprints sufficient to guide them through times of crisis and lean periods of growth. So, HR should focus on the why and how of creating value with people and culture, and then look to branch out into any functional or systemic transformation projects as required.
  • HR is at a unique crossroads. It has become ever closer to the business over the few years – but now with the Covid-19 outbreak, current events have forced businesses to take stock, re-calibrate, take chances, and at times, dive into uncharted waters. If HR is to prove its value as a business driver and talent powerhouse, and not just a business partner, the time really is now to make it happen!
  • In an age of digital organisations, new careers, social distancing, and hyper-modern workplaces, a great employee experience is going to be an indispensable part of how organisations are able to navigate potential paradoxes and pitfalls. HR leaders should therefore prioritise building functional EX systems, processes and principles to help managers and leaders navigate the new world of EX data, employee journeys, touch-points, and perhaps most importantly, knowing when to lean into essential human relationships.

There’s probably a lot more we could discuss on the topic of digital HR innovation – so please feel free to jump into the conversation and engage with us, we would be more than happy to hear your ideas, comments, or feedback!

If you want to watch the entire event again and have access to the presentation slides on demand, you can purchase access here for a small monthly fee. We will be uploading the entire event to our HexaMind Community platform within a few business days.

Finally, on behalf of the HexaSpirit team, I would like to thank all of our attendees, and in particular our sponsoring partners: Tandem, Effectory, TI People, Starmind, and for their support in helping us put this event together – without all of you, this event would not be possible.

While The Digital HR Innovation Summit has come to an end – we’re not stopping! The HexaSpirit team is already hard at work on our next events, including The Strategic Employee Experience Virtual Summit on June 17-18. Read more about our new virtual event portfolio here!

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