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    Entries in conferences (104)


    HR Tech China #2 - Five Things I'm Looking Forward To

    In a few short weeks I am heading back to China to host and speak at the 2nd Annual HR Tech China event, this year being held June 6 - 7 at the Shanghai International Convention Center in Shangai, China.

    Last year's first HR Tech China event was incredibly memorable, interesting, and valuable, especially for the US-based folks that attended, as I don't think you can even begin to understand a place, business and organizational challenges, and its people without visiting in person. And even that, in a place as large, dynamic, and complex as China only gives you a first step towards really knowing a place and your opportunities there.

    And of all the places in the world where opportunity is present, I can't think of any one with more potential than China. The economy continues to grow and modernize, the appetite for new and innovative technologies are endless, and the desire by many US companies to expand both into the Chinese market, and out of the Chinese market by local firms, is dramatically expanding. 

    If you really, truly, expect to be a global company, then you almost have to be in China, I think.

    That said, I am incredibly excited to be heading back to China and for the 2nd HR Tech China event. And since no one asked, here are the five things I am looking forward to the most about the event and the trip.

    1. HR Tech China (the event) - last year's event was really incredible, and I am sure Year 2 will be even bigger and better. With an array of local Chinese HR leaders and experts, business and economic officials, and a wide variety of both local HR tech and services providers, as well as many of the large, global HR technology companies you know well, this event is perfectly suited for the Chinese and greater Asia HR leaders. The event is first-rate, and quickly becoming a leading event in the global HR tech space.

    2. The Food - Where to start? Easily three of the top ten 'best things I have ever tasted' have been on my trips to China. Peking Duck in Beijing, Hot and Sour Soup in Hong Kong, and spicy sea snails in Zhuhai I still dream about. I am going to eat everything on this trip. 

    3. Shanghai Disneyland - C'mon who does not love Disney? On the trip back from last year's HR Tech China I had the chance to stop in Hong Kong and visit the Disney theme park there. It was really fun and a great experience, and luckily on this year's trip I am going to make time to visit the newest Disney park, this one right in Shanghai. Everything I have seen and heard about Shanghai Disney is that it is really incredible and I can't wait to see it.

    4. The Flight - So a 14 or 16 hour flight might not sound like so much fun. But think of it this way - no emails, no text messages, no one bugging you for anything for the better part of day. A book, a movie or two, a glass of wine, a little sleep - sounds like a night you can only dream of having at home these days. Enjoy the solitude while it lasts.

    5. The People - I have met and look forward to seeing again, so many great people that are a part of HR Tech China. Nowhere have I felt more welcomed. Incredibly nice, generous, curious, motivated, and smart - that is how I would describe the people I have had a chance to get to know a little. Can't wait to see them again and make some new friends. Add me on WeChat!

    I know China seems like a far away place, and it kind of is, but each time I go, (and I hope that it will be more often than once a year in the future), it seems a little closer, and a little less far away each time.

    I know this blog does get readers from Asia and Australia and New Zealand, if anyone is interested in coming to the event in June in Shanghai, send me a note via the contact form on the left side bar and I will make sure you get the information you need.

    Have a great week! 


    My Top Five HR Technology Conference Moments #HRTechConf

    I am just back from another fantastic week at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago, which once again was a record-breaking gathering of HR leaders, technology executives, industry experts and thought leaders who convened in the Windy City to talk all things HR and workforce technology, and organizational success.

    As the Conference Program Chair, and the onsite host, I (sadly), don't get to actually see and enjoy as much of the Conference as I would like. I tend to have to run from a General Session, to a rehearsal for one of the next day's General Sessions, and then maybe to yet another rehearsal, with a few minutes here and there spent actually talking to folks and (when I had a little time), walking the floor of the Expo, (which if you attended, you know you needed PLENTY of time to see).

    But I did still want to share some of my impressions of this year's event, even if they are limited to the parts of the Conference that I actually did SEE, if not in their entirety, at least for significant amounts of time. And I also wanted to make sure I thanked and recognized some of the great people who shared their time, energy, insights, and expertise, to make the Conference a success.

    So a couple of disclaimers before I get going. I am not going to mention any element of the Conference I did not see in person, so that rules out just about all of the Concurrent sessions, (I think I was only able to peek into a couple of them over the course of the event), the below 'Top Five' list is presented in reverse chronological order, (to keep me from having to pick my absolute favorite), and if I fail to mention someone I should have, I promise it is completely an oversight, and not intentional.

    So with that said, here are my Top Five Moments from this year's HR Tech Conference:

    5. The first 'Women in HR Technology' Summit

    On the Conference's opening day last Tuesday, we held our first-ever 'Women in HR Technology' Summit. The Women in HR Technology Summit was designed for HR, business, and technology leaders in HR and HRIT to share strategies for enabling and supporting technology careers for women, learn from CHROs on the best ways to create and support more inclusivity in technology roles, and hear from successful Founders and CEOs on how they are breaking barriers for women in technology leadership.

    The discussions were incredibly interesting, as were our three panels moderated by the fantastic Cara Capretta, (women tech leaders, CHROs and talent leaders, and CEOs and Founders), along with our closing address 'Lead Like a Girl' from Tacy Byham kept our capacity audience captivated throughout the day. There were so many leaders who are talented, successful, and willing to openly share their experience and insights, that the session turned into an absolute highlight of the Conference.


    From last week's #HRTechConf at the Women in HR Tech Summit - a highlight of the Conference for me.

    A photo posted by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Oct 10, 2016 at 8:27am PDT

    To say that the inaugural event was a success could be a bit of an understatement. In my four years of being a Program Chair for HR Tech, I have never received more positive comments and feedback about any single element at the Conference. Stay tuned for more on this subject, as it has become clear to me that there is the need for and interest in, further programming, conversations, and networking in this important topic.

    4. Discovering the Next Great HR Technology Company

    While HR Tech, and plenty of other shows, have done startup tech company demonstrations and competitions in the past, this year at HR Tech we decided to introduce a new spin on the concept.  Borrowing from the format of the popular TV series "The Voice", we paired up and coming HR technology companies with their own expert 'coaches', (Trish McFarlane, George LaRocque, Madeline Laurano, Kyle Lagunas), who not only 'found' and nominated these companies for participation in the event, but also collaborated and coached them on their presentations and delivery for the event itself.


    I'm looking very serious on stage at #hrtechconf

    A photo posted by Trish McFarlane (@trish_mcfarlane) on Oct 4, 2016 at 11:27pm PDT


    At the session, ably hosted by Jason Averbook, each of the 8 participating companies, (InvestiPro, ClickBoarding, Chemistry Group, LifeWorks, Clinch, HighGround, RolePoint, and Qwalify), had 5 minutes to talk about their solution, and show it off a little, followed by about 2 minutes to answer a question or two from one of our expert coaches. After 8 fast-paced demonstrations and discussions, the audience got to vote for who they thought would be 'The Next Great Technology Company' - a vote won by LifeWorks in what was an extremely tight race.

    3. General Session - 'Engaging and Retaining the Talent of Tomorrow'

    An important benefit of HR Tech every year is the opportunity for attendees to hear from and gain insights from many of the most influential HR leaders in the world on the topics that are most important to all HR professionals today - areas like talent management, employee experience, development, and creating opportunity for diverse talent pools just to name a few. This year at HR Tech we held what was perhaps the most powerful panel of top HR leaders that we have ever assembled at one time - the highest ranking HR executives from Starbucks, IBM, Cisco, and ADP and that was narrated by award-winning journalist the TV host Soledad O'Brien.


    #Flashback to #HRTechConf 2016 Thursday's General Session with Soledad O'Brien

    A photo posted by HR Technology (@hrtechconf) on Oct 7, 2016 at 4:49pm PDT

    In the session, the panel hit on major themes impacting and shaping the workplace today - freedom, stability, information sharing, self-management, and fulfillment to name a few. These senior HR leaders reminded us all that the talent and engagement challenges that face their tens and hundreds of thousands employee companies are not at all unlike the ones you might be facing in your organization as well. But even more importantly they reminded us of the power and value of coming together in one place, at the same time, to talk and share openly about these challenges. I was able to spend some time talking with and watching this panel of CHROs interact with each other, and I was struck by how easy and natural their conversations were with each other, and how open and willing they were to connect. It was a fantastic group and an amazing session at the Conference.

    2. The 2nd Annual HR Tech Hackathon, (and first HR Tech Hacklab)

    A newer feature at HR Tech, introduced in 2015, is the HR Tech Hackathon. In our Hackathon several HR tech solution providers send small teams consisting of about four developers and designers to take on a development challenge and 48 hours later, present it to our audience. In 2015, the challenge statement to the teams was pretty generic, and while all the teams that year did a fantastic job interpreting and putting their own unique stamp on the development, I thought something was still missing - namely a connection between our HR leaders in attendance and each individual technical team.

    So this year, I was lucky to be able to enlist my friends Jason Lauritsen and Joe Gerstandt of Talent Anarchy to facilitate an opening day 'Hack Lab' were over 200 attendees worked in teams to generate their own 'hacks' or ideas for new and improved processes, solutions, and technologies that each of the technical Hackathon teams would choose from in order to guide their development. The teams, (from TMP Worldwide, IBM, Towers Willis Watson, and Ultimate Software), each selected a challenge and worked with that specific HackLab team to try and bring the attendee's concepts to life.


    Digital depiction of the #HRTechConf Hackathon demonstrations last week

    A photo posted by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Oct 10, 2016 at 9:21am PDT

    As you can see from the digital rendering of the Hackathon session above, each of the teams brought new, exciting, and innovative ideas to their solutions. I kind of like to think that I have seen it all in terms of HR tech, but even I was amazed at what I saw that these teams were able to create in such a short time. Thanks to all the Hackathon participants for their fantastic efforts, and special props go to the team from Ultimate Software whose 'Ultimatt' solution was voted as the audience's favorite.

    1. The Ideas and Innovators Session

    So we at HR Tech did not invent the 'Ignite' format, nor are we the first conference by any means to stage sessions using this format, but I think after seeing quite a few of these kinds of sessions over the years, in my totally biased opinion at HR Tech we do this format the best.

    And the reason why we do is 100% due to the speakers that we are able to secure for this session at HR Tech. We have the built-in advantage of having just about all the best minds in the industry already gathered in one place, so I have to say find 10 or 11 folks who are ready to rock the Ignite format really is not all that hard.

    We had talks on a wide range of topics - robotics, workforce fluidity, the gig economy, people as the center of the organization, disrupting your own career - and more. And we had what I think was the best collection of people at any event I have been associated with who rose up to this toughest of all public speaking challenges.


    Fantastic group of speakers at our Ideas and Innovators session at #HRTechConf

    A photo posted by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Oct 8, 2016 at 4:57pm PDT


    Many, many thanks to Lance Haun, Cecile Alper-Leroux, Jason Seiden, Jennifer Payne, Ben Eubanks, Michael Krupa, Adam Rogers, Ambrosia Vertesi, and Trish McFarlane for being awesome. And special thanks to Mike Psenka, who would have been awesome too. Mike had to head back to Charleston in advance of the approaching Hurricane Matthew to take care of his family, and graciously allowed me to step in to (try) and deliver his message on communication. (Mike would have been better!).

    As always with HR Tech, I do have to send out a blanket apology to anyone I forgot to mention above, who I didn't get a chance to see at the Conference, whose party I said I would try to make it to but didnt', or anyone else that I just was not able to spend the time with that I would have liked. I am still working on a way to get a clone ready in time for 2017.

    And finally, thanks so much to all of the HR Tech Conference attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and my colleagues at LRP who put on such an amazing show. I am indebted to all of you and hope to see you back at the show, back in Las Vegas, next year.


    HRE Column: Three Lessons Learned Programming the #HRTechConf

    Here is my semi-frequent reminder and pointer for blog readers that I also write a monthly column at Human Resource Executive Online called Inside HR Tech that can be found here.

    This month, I took a look back at what I learned, or have think I have learned, from the last four years of programming the upcoming HR Technology Conference, and tried to tease out some of the trends and themes that are important for HR and business leaders to keep in mind as they consider their current and future HR technology programs.

    I came up with three big lessons from all this thinking about and seeing HR Tech solutions that I tried to describe in my HR Executive column. From the HRE piece:

    The last four years I've spent as the co-chair of the HR Technology Conference and Exposition® (Oct. 4 through 7 in Chicago) have provided me with a unique perspective and view of HR-technology innovation, insight into the major trends and shifts in HR-technology solutions, and a better understanding of how the most successful organizations are applying these solutions in their enterprises to achieve superior business results. The last four years have been spent taking software demonstrations from hundreds of innovative HR-technology start-ups, meeting with and attending customer conferences and analyst meetings with many of the industry's leading solution providers, and perhaps most importantly, talking with HR and business leaders who have presented at the conference about their challenges and successes. These experiences have given me a large data set to consider when I think about how I would approach HR and workforce technology if I were back in the role of selecting, implementing and supporting such solutions for an enterprise.

    With this year's conference just about a week away, I thought it would be interesting and hopefully informative for HR leaders if I shared what I think are (at least some of) the most important pieces of advice about the HR-technology market and how HR leaders can best increase their chances of success with their investments and programs. These are not in any particular order of priority or importance, just a few things that come to mind as I think back on all the technology I have seen and people I have learned from these last four years.

    Lesson One: If the HR solutions in your organization can't communicate with each other, they are probably less valuable by half.

    There's been a big trend these last two years, in particular, for many of the leading HR-technology solution providers to create application marketplaces that are more open and easier for HR and HRIT leaders to use to better integrate different solutions from different providers. These marketplaces -- from providers such as ADP, CornerstoneOnDemand and iCIMS, among others -- are explicitly designed to make supporting and complementary solutions work more seamlessly with the "core" HR solutions such as payroll and applicant tracking, to name just two. This trend toward openness and easier integration is likely to continue as HR leaders recognize the additional value and cost savings of simpler, faster services supported and backed by the providers themselves, not just the customer's own IT resources.

    Lesson Two: Analytics may not have taken over HR, but what is coming in the next evolution of analytics just might.

    At previous HR Tech conferences, we devoted considerable time and attention to HR analytics. But even in 2016, it still seems that the organizations presenting their analytics success stories at the conference are still in the decided minority, and that most organizations have yet to embrace and implement many, if any, of these analytics-heavy technologies. But I actually think the next phase of innovation in this area will...

    Read the rest of the HR Exec column here 

    Good stuff, right? Humor me...

    If you liked the piece you can sign up over at HRE to get the Inside HR Tech Column emailed to you each month. There is no cost to subscribe, in fact, I may even come over and rake your leaves car or clean out your gutters for you if you do sign up for the monthly email.

    Also, if you are interested in the HR Technology Conference that will be held next week, (October 4- 7 in Chicago), you can learn more, see the full agenda, and still register to attend at the HR Tech website - www.hrtechconference.com.

    One final note: With the Conference next week the blog will be quiet for a little bit, I hope to get back to it the week of October 10.

    Have a great weekend and hope to see many blog readers at HR Tech!


    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 258 - HR Gives Back

    HR Happy Hour 258 - HR Gives Back

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Guest: Mollie Lombardi


    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve sat down with Molllie Lombardi, Co-founder of Aptitude Research Partners, co-host of the Research on the Rocks Podcast,  and a driving force behind the HR Gives Back effort.  We had the good fortune of recording live from IBM HR Summit in Boston event held last week. 

    On the show, Mollie shared the background and history of the HR Gives Back effort, how people can get involved in this year's initiatives both at and outside of the upcoming HR Technology Conference, and talked about the important work that the HR Gives Back organization is helping to support.

    In addition, Mollie talked about living and working with Parkinson's, and shared some advice and encouragement for both individuals, families and friends, and even organizations that can help them in their ongoing support and care of people diagnosed with Parkinson's.

    You can listen to the show on the show page here, or using the widget player below:


    This was an important and interesting show, and we hope you check it out. Many thanks to Mollie for all her hard work with HR Gives Back and please do visit the HR Gives Back website to get involved with this fantastic cause.

    I hope you give this episode a listen, and be sure to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, or your favorite podcast app - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to never miss a show.


    SLIDES: Digital Transformation and Talent - #Inforum2016

    I had the privilege to present yesterday at Inforum 2016, the annual customer conference for Infor, a leading provider of enterprise cloud technologies - including Human Capital Management.

    My topic was Digital Transformation and Disruption, and the impact that accelerating and profound technology innovation and change is having on talent and talent management. I also included and talked about the incredible Pokemon Go phenomenon, and what that suggest for HR and talent. My only regret from the talk is that I really didn't get in a solid 'Sport and HR' re-set, but I guess I can try and do better next time.

    Embedded below are the slides I presented at Inforum, and after the embed, (email and RSS subscribers may need to click through), I want to expand a little on the last slide - the recommendations that accompany the pic of Maxwell Smart.

    The tough challenge for HR and business leaders when faced with all this disruptive technology is just how to go about getting started, deciding on what types of technology in which to invest, and how to prioritize time, investment, and resources.
    On the Maxwell Smart slide, I offer three catergories of value that you can consider when evaluating new technology. Whatever technology you consider, it needs to meet a need in at least one of these three areas - two is better - but if you can find a project that manages to provide value in all three? Then you are basking in the glory forever more.
    1. Reduce or eliminate organizational barriers- these are the inefficient systems and processes that get in the way of your employees being able to do their best work. Things like convoluted approval processes, endless email chains with no one making a decision, or antiquated and disparate technology solutions that fail to integrate smoothly if at all. This is the proverbial 'low hanging fruit' that the smart HR leader looks to exploit for quick, easy, and visible wins.
    2. Improve and enhance customer service - HR is at the end of the day still largely a service organization providing support and consultation to the rest of the organization. How can you provide that service better, faster, with more inherent value tomorrow than you are doing today? Where can you leverage modern tools to allow employees to get access to tools, information, and people to enable them to focus on their roles and not on your rules? Technologies in this category don't just make HR better, they make the organization overall better as well.
    3. Create a differentiated and persoanlized experience - One of the themes that I touched on in the talk was the way many of these modern breakthrough technologies like Uber, Stitchfix, and even Pokemon Go succeed by creating individual and personalized experiences and do this at massive scale. Stichfix sends out thousands and thousands of 'fixes' - collections of clothes and accessories to its customers - and no two are ever the same. Most organizations send out a handful of offer letters in a month, and except for the salary, everything else about them is EXACTLY the same. The same can probably be said for benefits and perks packages, physical characteristics of the work environment, and the method and process for training, development, compensation, and evaluation. Is it easier to have uniformity in all of these processes? Sure it is. Does it make the most sense for you business? Maybe not. It would be easier for Stitchfix to send all its customers the same 5 garments each month, but would that make the customers feel special and valued? Would they keep coming back?  I doubt it.
    So those were my big three points that I wanted to leave the audience with today, and what I hope you think about when making the important organizational decisions around technology investment. Make sure you are hitting the best value category for you and if you can punch 2, or even 3 of the categories then you will probably be giving the keynote at Inforum next year!

    It was super exciting and fun to be a part of such a big event - many thanks to the team at Infor for having me!