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    Entries in conferences (107)

    Thursday
    Jun222017

    HRE Column: An HR Technology Conference Preview #HRTechConf

    Once again, I offer 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, as I have been wrapping up the program development for the upcoming HR Technology Conference that will be held at in October, I take a look at some of the more interesting trends and themes in HR tech that have emerged from reviewing about 450 proposals and talking with dozens of HR leaders and technology service providers. These issues demand continuing focus for HR leaders and the spotlight will be placed on them at the Conference this fall.

    So in this month's HR Executive column I examine a a few of these technologies and trends that are continuing to be top of mind for HR leaders and HRIT leaders and that will be on display at the Conference in October. There are of course a few other themes and trends that are important, but I could not fit them all into the HRE piece. I will probably touch upon some of them in next month's column.

    I am super excited of what is in store at the event and plan to share as many of the big ideas that will be showcased there in the next few months both at HRE and here on the blog as well as the HR Happy Hour Show.

    Here's a taste of the HRE piece:

    As I write this article, I'm in the process of putting the finishing touches on the program for the 20th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition®, which will be held from Oct. 10 through Oct. 13, 2017 at the Venetian Las Vegas. Creating the program for the HR Tech Conference is always a challenging but rewarding process, as working through literally hundreds of speaking proposals, participating in dozens of phone calls, and attending numerous events and conferences provides me with a valuable, interesting and, I think, unique perspective on the most pressing HR, HR technology and workforce challenges facing organizations today.

    Looking back on my five years working on the conference, and a little bit further back to the conference's founding 20 years ago, I can't help but notice the incredible change and innovation that's taken place. The power and promise of HR technology have never been greater.

    I've written before that we have entered the "Golden Age" of HR technology, with the capability, availability and affordability of HR technology solutions advancing in unison. Innovative start-ups, large enterprise providers continuing to improve their technologies, and the pressures of increased competition have all combined to create new and better tools for HR and organizational leaders. Nowhere is this "Golden Age" more completely on display than at the HR Tech Conference.

    Specifically, I'd like to focus here on three important HR technology areas and how they will be addressed at this year's event.

    Employee Engagement

    Consistently, or perhaps persistently, aggregate employee-engagement levels or scores have hovered at around "30 percent engaged" for years. The stubbornness of the engagement problem is surprising, given the time spent and investments made (largely in the form of annual employee surveys and subsequent analysis of survey results) to better understand and successfully address the employee-engagement problem. Despite these investments, it seems as if HR often falls short of the mark. Something has to give.

    Fortunately, in the past several years, two things have happened in concert that offer renewed promise that the employee-engagement conundrum can actually be cracked. The first is that progressive HR leaders have begun to think about the engagement challenge more broadly, moving past singular scores or levels on an engagement survey and framing the conversation around the overall employee experience.

    The employee experience encompasses all the interactions between the employee and the organization. By assessing and evaluating the touchpoints of the employee experience (including those occurring in recruiting, onboarding, training, benefits and compensation), HR leaders can identify targeted opportunities for improvement, and make sure that HR interventions and investments can actually positively impact the employee experience -- eventually driving greater engagement.

    Naturally, when HR and organizational leaders identify a new area of focus, such as the employee experience, new and innovative technologies are developed to help. Many of these, of course, will be showcased at this year's HR Tech Conference.

    The employee experience will be explored at the conference in several ways. First, there will be a panel, moderated by employee-engagement expert Jason Lauritsen, featuring executives from some of the leading solution providers in diverse areas such as wellness/well-being, performance and talent management, total compensation and rewards, and employee feedback and recognition. They will address the fundamental question, "Can HR technology drive improved employee engagement?" This conversation will be an important one, as it will set the stage for additional content and discussions about how specific technologies and strategies are impacting engagement in today's organization. 

    Read the rest at HRE Online...

    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 re-surface your driveway, take your dog for a walk, or help you weed the garden.

    Finally, I hope to see many readers out at HR Tech this October. You can save $200 off the current registration rates when you sign up HERE use offer code STEVE200. See, I am looking out for you!

    Monday
    Jun122017

    Notes from the road #22 - A long, strange trip it's been edition

    Writing this (brief) dispatch from the Delta Sky Club (again), as I wait for the final leg on the trip back from what has been a long, interesting, challenging, and incredibly rewarding two-week trip Phoenix - Shanghai - Tokyo - (back to) Phoenix - and then finally home.

    In Phoenix, I attended the Virgin Pulse Thrive Summit, which was a really fantastic event. In case you have missed them, you can listen to two HR Happy Hour Shows that Trish McFarlane and I recorded from the event here and here. Virgin Pulse is the leader in employee wellbeing, and unlike some other solution providers in the space, Virgin Pulse is making real strides on showing (with data), the connection between wellbeing and improved business results. Thanks as always to them for having myself and Trish out at the event, and for supporting the HR Happy Hour Show.

     

    Looking forward to a great #thrivesummit with my friends from Virgin Pulse #HRHappyHour

    A post shared by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on May 30, 2017 at 3:09pm PDT

     

    From there, we headed to Shanghai for the 2nd Annual HR Tech China Conference. The 2nd event was even bigger and better than the first. And I am convinced Shanghai is my new favorite city. You can read some of my thoughts about the event here, and later this week Trish and I will share even more from and about the event on an HR Happy Hour Show we will record later this week. All I can say to my Chinese friends, old and new, is "xiexie" - Thank You!

     

    @trish_mcfarlane and I Heading in to present at #HRTechChina

    A post shared by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Jun 5, 2017 at 5:42pm PDT

     

    From there, I headed to Tokyo for some business as well as some time to do some touring and sightseeing. Another amazingly interesting and fun place, great and welcoming people, and lots of opportunity to do more in the future. I liked it so much I may have to go back again soon!

     

    #tokyo

    A post shared by Steve Boese (@steveboese) on Jun 9, 2017 at 8:06pm PDT

     

    It has been the longest business trip I have been on in ages, and while I sit here in the MSP Sky Club anxious to get home, I also anticipate the next trip back to Asia - it truly has been, professionally and personally, the most incredibly rewarding trip I have taken in years.

    And to everyone who is waiting to hear back from me about something or other - I promise to dig in to the backlog of emails and texts and get back to you soon.

    That is if I actually get home tonight. If I get stuck here in MSP, then all bets are off.

    NOTE: In the time it has taken me to post this, I am delayed another hour...

    Tuesday
    Jun062017

    UPDATE: HR Tech China Day 1 - #HRTechChina

    Quick dispatch from Shanghai, China the site of the 2nd Annual HR Tech China Conference and Exposition which just completed a fun and successful first day. This is my third time in China and with each trip I come to love this place more and more. And Shanghai, so far, has been my absolute favorite place to visit in China. It is a combination of ultra-modern and high-tech, along with very traditional and historical. Kind of like the country overall.

    As for the event, it got off to a great start yesterday with a series of keynote speeches on a wide range of important topics for the HR and business leader in China - and for HR and business leaders anywhere I would suggest. We covered Artificial Intelligence, Data and Analytics for HR, Modern HR Technology in the Cloud, the Consumerization of HR and Enterprise Technology and more. It was a set of talks that would have fit in any HR Tech Conference in the world, and I was really honored to be a part. 

    China is the world's second largest economy, has over 700 million workers, and over 25 million enterprises. The numbers are staggering. And so is the opportunity for HR and for HR Technology, to make a significant impact on the wellbeing of those 700 million workers and the success of those 25 million enterprises.

    In our welcome dinner on Monday night, one of the local Shanghai officials said that by choosing Shanghai as the site of HR Tech China that the Conference organizers were "choosing the future" - for China, and I would argue the world as well. In my opening remarks on Tuesday, I shared that line with the attendees, and added that by choosing to attend HR Tech China, that they were also choosing the future - for their organization and for themselves as HR professionals.

    Ok, need to get ready for Day 2 in Shanghai - since Twitter/Instagram service has been a little spotty here, wanted to share a few pics from the trip and event so far. More to come....

    SMB opening the ConferenceTrish McFarlane from Infor speaking at HR Tech China

    Officials from LRP, China Star, Shanghai Foreign Service Center, and GuestsPanda makes an appearance in the HR Tech China ExpoSlightly foggy view from Shaghai Tower - 2nd tallest building in the worldThis has been an incredibly interesting, rewarding, and fun event. Look for more as the Conference wraps later today.

    Thanks to all my friends, old and new, (especially all the new followers on WeChat) in China for making this event so fantastic.

    Monday
    May152017

    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! 

    Monday
    Oct102016

    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.