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    Entries in HR Tech (273)

    Thursday
    Apr262018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 320 - The Business Impact of Learning: A Skillsoft and Florida Blue Case Study

    HR Happy Hour 320 - The Business Impact of Learning: A Skillsoft and Florida Blue Case Study

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest Co-host: Ben Eubanks

    Guests: Apratim Purakayastha, Skillsoft; Stephanie Dale, Chris Jimenez, Florida Blue

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve and guest co-host Ben Eubanks report live from the recent Skillsoft Perspectives event, and talk learning technology and how learning can drive business outcomes. In this two-part podcast Steve and Ben first talk with Apratim Purakayastha,  CTO at Skillsoft about the latest trends, developments, and capabilities in learning technology, and how learning technology is adapting to meet the changing needs of workers and organizations. 

    In part two of the show, we hear from Stephanie Dale and Chris Jimenez, from Florida Blue, a large health services provider about their award-winning employee learning programs that have had a direct and measurable impact on organizational results. Their program to streamline and improve the delivery of learning content to their front line staff has driven both cost savings and improved revenues, and serves as a great example of how HR and learning leaders can help drive strategic business outcomes.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    This was a really fun and interesting show - thanks to Ben for co-hosting, and thanks to Skillsoft for having the HR Happy Hour at the Perspectives event.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour.'

    Monday
    Apr162018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 319 - HR is About Making Predictions: Understanding AI for HR

    HR Happy Hour 319 - Understanding Artificial Intelligence for Business and HR

    Sponsored by Virgin Pulse - www.virginpulse.com

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guest: Joshua Gans, University of Toronto

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, Steve is joined by Joshua Gans, Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Toronto, and co-author of the new book, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.

    On the show, Joshua gives his easy to grasp definition of Artificial Intelligence, how AI is really about lowering the costs of and increasing the availability and ability to create more predictions about outcomes. These outcomes could be about predicting tomorrow's weather, teaching a self-driving car how to react to changing conditions, or even helping HR and Talent leaders predict who might be the best candidate for a job, or who might be a better fit on the team.

    Joshua breaks down how HR and business leaders should think about AI, how and where to see and understand its impact on business, the need for human judgment, and how to assess and be aware of the hidden dangers and potential biases in AI technology. This was the most lively and engaging (and accessible) conversation about AI I have ever had, and I think any HR or business leader will appreciate the easy, casual way Joshua explains complex topics.

    We also talked 'War Games', (the movie), Moneyball, the pain of teaching a teenager how to drive.

    Listen to the show on the show page HERE, on your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    Thanks to Joshua for joining us!

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour'.

    And here is the link to Joshua's new book, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence.

    Have a great day!

    Wednesday
    Apr112018

    PODCAST: #HRHappyHour 318 - Virgin Pulse Thrive Summit Report: Helping Employees Thrive

    HR Happy Hour 318 - Virgin Pulse Thrive Summit Report: Helping Employees Thrive

    Host: Steve Boese

    Guests: Aimée Dodson, Thrive Director, Movement Mortgage; David Osborne, CEO, Virgin Pulse

    Recorded live at the Virgin Pulse Thrive Summit in Miami Beach, Florida

    Listen HERE

    This week on the HR Happy Hour Show, we return for our annual visit to Virgin Pulse's customer conference - the Thrive Summit where Steve sat down with Aimée Dodson from Movement Mortgage, and Virgin Pulse CEO David Osborne to talk wellbeing, engagement, and how organizations can help their people thrive at work and at home too. David shared an update on what has been happening at Virgin Pulse, but more importantly how the goal of helping organizations and their people succeed with their goals - health, financial, and more - and how leading companies are thinking about wellness more expansively and holistically - and how that drives important business and personal outcomes.

     Aimée then dug into some very specific details on Movement Mortgage's "Thrive" program - a comprehensive approach centerered around caring for their employees in four areas - health and wellness, family and relationships, personal finance, and community service. Movement is doing some incredibly innovative and successful things in their employee wellbeing efforts and Aimée shared examples like their 'Couch to 5K', 'Lose $1M in debt', and how they used social media to engage employees in these programs.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, with your favorite podcast app, or by using the widget player below:

    Thanks to Aimée and David for joining me and thanks as always to Virgin Pulse for all the support.

    Subscribe to the HR Happy Hour wherever you get your podcasts - just search for 'HR Happy Hour.'

    Tuesday
    Apr102018

    HRE Column: Getting Personal with HR Tech

    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, after having attended several HR technology solution provider user conferences, I look at the major ideas, themes, and directions these providers, (and others) are talking about, using as design cues for their latest innovations, and are becoming more important for HR leaders to think about and understand. I am not looking directly at individual bits of functionality or capability, but rather more fundamental and cross-product ideas and concepts in HR tech.

    These are some of the major themes that we will be focusing on for the next HR Technology Conference - the nature of the most innovative HR technology solutions are putting user experiences, personalization, and embedding more intelligent recommendations to users and HR leaders.

    In the piece, I talk about each of these themes in some detail.

    Here's an excerpt from this month's piece in HRE Online:

    A major part of the planning process in creating the program for the upcoming HR Technology Conference and Exposition® is attending as many industry and HR technology solution provider customer conferences as I can. The primary benefit for attending these events are the conversations: with product executives about their current and future plans, with HR leaders who are using these products in their organizations, and with industry analysts and influencers about what they are seeing in the HR tech market.

    In the last month or so, I have had the opportunity to attend three such events: Ultimate Software’s Connections conference in Las Vegas, IBM’s Think event (also in Las Vegas) and Oracle HCM World in Dallas. (As an aside, while I do believe Las Vegas is the best place for any large conference, kudos to Oracle for choosing a location with great weather and great barbecue.)

    Rather than producing an event report for each conference, I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight some common themes across all three events. While every HR technology provider approaches new trends, technologies and customer challenges in its own way, it is useful to assess what kinds of technology developments and “big picture” considerations are being seen across the industry, as these tools and developments are likely to shape much of the HR technology conversation for both solution providers as well as in customer organizations this year.

    Here are the three major themes I took from those recent conferences.

    AI-powered Solutions

    At HR Tech last year, artificial intelligence was the one theme that seemed to emerge out of almost every conversation with a solution provider. This is a good thing for HR leaders, but potentially problematic as well. While the promise of AI and AI-powered HR technology is amazing, the confusing blend of terminology, technology and marketingspeak can make AI in HR tech a difficult concept to grasp, as well as challenging to understand its practical applications.

    At the recent events I have attended, one major theme seems to be communicating more clearly in this emerging HR technology area. Currently, the primary way this technology is being deployed in HR tech is in the form of using AI to create more specific and tailored recommendations to support HR and HCM processes (for example: job matching, targeted employer value proposition messaging to specific, desired candidates, and recommended actions for managerial coaching and development opportunities for current employees). These and other AI-powered capabilities are demonstrating how this advanced technology can be put to work by HR and organizations without having to “learn” how the AI really works or hire AI-savvy HR staffers.

    Expect to see more AI usage, and more examples of AI becoming the “fabric” of HR technology platforms as this technology evolves and organizations become more comfortable with AI-powered HR tools. From what I heard at the three recent conferences, AI offers HR leaders tremendous opportunity and promises to dominate the discussion in HR tech in 2018 and beyond.

    Read the rest at HR Executive 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 plant your spring garden, take your dog for a walk, or change the oil in your lawn mower.

    Have a great day!

    Monday
    Apr092018

    Is every company soon to be an 'Artificial Intelligence' company?

    A few years back the quote 'Every company is a technology company' made the rounds on social media and in presentations on the workplace, the future of work, and in probably too many TED talks to try and compile.

    But while some work and workplace sayings, at least to me, don't necessarily become any more true just because they are repeated all the time, ('Culture eats strategy for breakfast', I am looking right at you), this notion of just about every kind of organization becoming much more reliant, dependent, and committed to more and more advanced technologies as a means to survive, compete, and thrive still seems valid to me.

    Can you think of any business, small, medium, or large, that has not had its processes, products, services, communications, administration, customer service, and marketing significantly impacted by new technology in the last decade? Aside from perhaps a few of the very smallest, local service businesses, I can't really think of any. And even those kinds of places, say like a local barbershop or pizza joint, are likely to have a 'Follow us on Facebook' or a 'Find us on Yelp' sticker in the window.

    I thought about this idea, of every company being a technology company, again recently when I saw this piece on Business Insider - 'Goldman Sachs made a big hire from Amazon to lead its Artificial Intelligence efforts'. While it isn't surprising or revealing at all to think of a giant financial institution like Goldman being transformed by technology like so many other firms in all industries, this specific focus on AI technology is I think worth noting.

    Here's an excerpt from the piece:

    Goldman Sachs has hired a senior employee from Amazon to run the bank's artificial-intelligence efforts.

    Charles Elkan has joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director leading the firm's machine learning and AI strategies, according to an internal memo viewed by Business Insider.

    Elkan comes from Amazon, where he was responsible for the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Amazon Web Services, according to the memo. He previously led the retailing giant's Seattle-based central machine-learning team.

    "In this role, Charles will build and lead a center of excellence to drive machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy and automation, "Elisha Wiesel, Goldman Sachs' chief information officer, wrote in the memo. "Charles will work in partnership with teams across the firm looking to apply leading techniques in their businesses."

    The key element I think to the announcement of Goldman's new AI hire is meant to work with groups across the entire business in order to find ways to apply AI and Machine Learning technologies. Almost as if Goldman is not looking to create the 'AI Department' akin to the classic 'IT Department' that exists in just about every company, but rather to find ways to infuse specific kinds of tech and tech approaches all over the company.

    And thinking about AI in that way, much differently to how most companies have looked at most of the major technological advances in the past is what leads me back to the question and title of the post. If the Goldman, (and plenty of other companies too) example of looking for ways to embed AI technology and techniques all across their businesses, then it is not really a stretch to suggest at least in some ways they are seeking to become 'an AI company' at their core.

    What's been the most significant single technology advance in the last 25 years or so that has done more to change how work and business get done?

    Email?

    The web?

    Mobile phones?

    Probably some combination of these three I would bet. And has any company you have known decided to 'brand' or consider themselves 'an email company?' Or a 'mobile phone' company? 

    Not really, these were just tools to try and get better, more efficient, more profitable being whatever kind of company they really were.

    So I think the answer to the 'AI question' for Goldman, or for anyone else going all in with AI at the moment is 'No', we aren't really trying become an Artificial Intelligence company. We probably should just consider AI and its potential as just another set of tools that can be leveraged in support of what it is we are really trying to do.

    Even if it is tempting to try and create the latest management/workplace axiom.

    Have a great week!