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The best insights from our time at Unleash Paris 2019


I post­ed about this on Linkedin just the oth­er day, but I couldn’t quite fit every­thing in. So after catch­ing up with our Direc­tor of Prod­uct, Ali Hus­sein, I decid­ed to get our notes down as a blog. 

Last week was Unleash Paris, although there wasn’t time to hear every­one I want­ed to, I heard some fan­tas­tic ideas. Not every­thing has con­text but they’re all per­ti­nent to us as HR peo­ple and they all deliv­er excel­lent food for thought. Feel free to send me yours: I must have missed plen­ty. Apolo­gies in advance for any minor mis­quotes or misattributions… 

From Peter Hinssen’s ses­sion Indus­try 4.0: A New Vision of Globalisation

  • Don’t get too hung up on how to add val­ue in data ana­lyt­ics. Start col­lect­ing the data, then con­nect the dots and turn that into value. 
  • Accord­ing to IBM’s Chief Peo­ple Offi­cer, only 10% of jobs will dis­ap­pear in the next cou­ple of decades… but 100% of jobs will change.

From Heather E . MacGowan’s ses­sion Prepar­ing for jobs that do not yet exist

  • Peo­ple grad­u­at­ing today will have, on aver­age, 17 jobs across 5 indus­tries. Help­ing peo­ple adapt to change is the num­ber one issue for HR.

From Josh Bersin’s ses­sion The HR Tech Mar­ket Dis­rupt­ed: What’s com­ing in 2020?

  • Employ­ee expe­ri­ence is now everything. 
  • HR tech­nol­o­gy needs to focus on enabling employ­ees, man­agers and HR to take action on the data we col­lect. There’s too much noise, not enough action. 
  • We need to start think­ing about sus­tain­able per­for­mance. This means all the things that sup­port high per­for­mance and help it thrive: well­be­ing, psy­cho­log­i­cal safe­ty, health and so on.

Josh (I think!) also shared a sto­ry about Pepsico’s process shred­der, where employ­ees vote to get rid of old process­es or ways of doing things. It remind­ed me of our Break and Remake ses­sions at Clear Review, where we look at our lega­cy sys­tems and habits and ask if they still serve the right purpose. 

Net­gu­ru have rev­o­lu­tionised their com­pa­ny cul­ture of the back of mul­ti­ple ses­sions they did with their employ­ees. They work to a quar­ter­ly focus, but after three quar­ters of work­ing they ded­i­cat­ed their fourth quar­ter to con­sol­i­da­tion, clean­ing up unfin­ished OKRs and visions, val­ues, meth­ods, obsta­cles and met­rics (V2MON). It’s an inter­est­ing way of ensur­ing that noth­ing gets missed. 

Diver­si­ty, as a con­cept, can eas­i­ly be tak­en in too nar­row a way. We think of it as some­thing that relates to age, race and so on. But there are exter­nal dimen­sions that have a bear­ing too: think loca­tion, mar­i­tal sta­tus or reli­gion. We need to think more flex­i­bly about diverse workforces. 

Pre­vi­ous­ly we learned in order to work. Now, we work in order to learn. Advances come quick­ly: you need to be able to con­stant­ly rein­vent your­self and keep pace with rapid change.

Mon­ey­su­per­mar­ket have adopt­ed a per­son­alise” approach to cul­tur­al change. For exam­ple, at their annu­al com­pa­ny awards, prizes are always per­son­al and tai­lored to the employ­ee receiv­ing them. 

In 2016, the IBM Glob­al Skills Sur­vey showed that the #1 and #2 skills in demand were STEM and com­put­er skills. In 2019, those are #6 and #8: Agili­ty, time man­age­ment and flex­i­bil­i­ty are lead­ing the way. Rapid change, yes, but note that two of those are about react­ing to change. 

I realise there’s a lot here and it’s rather dis­parate: the chal­lenges of try­ing to cap­ture thoughts from lots of peo­ple in a short space of time! Feel free to share what I missed on my Linkedin post.