You’re Invited: HR Executive Forum

I want to talk to you about your professional development.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely a leader in your organization.  You may have staff that you are responsible for developing.  The good news is there are a whole host of conferences, summits, and webinars to develop staff.  But what about YOU?  Who is developing you?

The conversation I have the most with anyone in a leadership role is around the challenge of finding a conference that is geared toward the executive level.  I have those same challenges.  So I want to personally invite you to consider the HR Executive Forum.

You’re Invited…

What: The HR Executive Forum

When: March 14- 16, 2011

Where: Grand Hyatt, New York City

Register: Click HERE to register

Discount Code: RING11 (Receive $130 off registration. The code expires 2/25)

If you’re a practitioner like me, you have limited time and funds for learning and development each year.  This will be one use of resources you won’t regret.  You’ll hear how some of the top global corporations are handling succession planning, the ROI of wellness, emerging HR technologies, and more.

The 2011 program includes two keynotes and five executive-level panels of today’s leading HR visionaries including: Dr. Peter Cappelli, Professor, The Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania; Susan Meisinger, former president and CEO of SHRM; Libby Sartain, former Chief HR Officer of Yahoo! and Southwest Airlines and Bill Conaty, retired SVP of HR at General Electric Co.

So join me in NYC!  And, if you’re attending, be sure to let me know so we can meet.

HR Executive Forum: Real Value for Your Career Development

It’s January and that means that most of us are trying to decide if there are conferences or events that will benefit our career development in 2011.  As a practitioner, speaker, and blogger, I’ve been to more than my share of events.  Some were good, some were mediocre, and some were less than what I’d hoped.  What I have learned over the years is that it’s important to discriminate when deciding what to attend.  This year is going to be one where I make some hard choices about where I invest my time and effort with regard to conferences.  What that means for anyone who reads my blog is that if you hear me talk about a specific event, you’ll know a couple things:

  • That I believe in the event
  • That I personally think the content is top rate
  • That there will be networking opportunities beyond the typical meeting 4- 5 people
  • That there is real, substantive value worth the cost

I’ll be updating my events page soon with my 2011 line up.  In the meantime, I want to highlight one event I believe in that has registration open now.

The HR Executive Forum

This event is one that brings HR executives and leaders together to share ideas on a wide array of topics.  As one of the premier events that HR Executive Magazine promotes each year, it is a top notch learning event.  My experience attending in the past provided that perfect blend of traditional HR conference with opportunities to speak and network with some of the top HR executives from the largest global-companies.  The event is being held in New York City on March 14- 16, 2011.

You’ll have opportunities to hear panels speak about:

  • Driving innovation and growth through HR’s role
  • Building a leadership pipeline
  • Managing the employer brand
  • Achieving a real ROI for wellness
  • Leveraging HR Technologies to thrive in a new reality

You’ll also get to hear from and meet some great people from the online HR community such as Libby Sartain, Steve Boese, and Jennifer Benz.  I’ll be there too and will live blog some of the exciting roundtable discussions.   And, I’ll be bringing my boss, so you know it’s an event I personally believe in.

If you want to join me, use code RING11 when registering for the Forum and you’ll receive $130 off the early bird rate. Both the early bird rate and the promo code will expire 2/25.  Click HERE to register.  Hope to see you there!

Workforce Planning And Analytics: HR Week

Recently in NYC and at the end of one conference, I was granted a press pass into the HR Week ‘Human Resource Executive Forum‘.  Many thanks to Eric Winegardner from Monster and Rebecca McKenna from Human Resource Executive Magazine for helping me get there.  I’m always amazed when you go to a “real conference” vs. an “un-conference”.  The vibe at the real conference is so formal.  I was greeted by the very efficient team of people at registration and soon, badge and information in hand, I was rushing down the hall to catch a session.

One I was able to attend was “Workforce Planning and Analytics: New Face of Planning” which was led by Dr. Jac Fitz-enz.  He is a leading authority who specializes in measuring human capital.  You can learn more about him here.

I quickly got settled in the back of the room, next to Eric Winegardner, and we fired up our netbooks to take notes.  I wanted to tweet during the sessions but earlier I noticed that there was no wifi available to participants UNLESS I WANTED TO PAY $100!!!  WHAT??  Anyway, we were just getting ready to take notes when something shocking happened.  Dr. Fitz-enz introduced himself and one of the first things he did was ask participants not to text or use their computers.  I’m stitting there thinking, how on earth am I supposed to cover this session as “press” without being able to take notes?  This attitude is completely behind the times.  I will suggest that conferences going forward should make sure to offer wifi to all participants and should certainly allow netbooks or pcs to be able to take notes to bring back to the organizations.  That said though, I really enjoyed the session and learned quite a bit.

Words matter

Although the session was called workforce planning, Dr. Fitz-enz wanted us to understand that words drive attention and action. So  by using the phrase “capability planning” rather then workforce planning, you will be creating a mindset that is receptive to thinking in terms of the capabilities that individual employees bring to your workforce.

What human capital is about

According to Dr. Fitz-enz, human capital planning is not about, “filling jobs or putting butts in chairs.”  It’s about looking at how capable your workforce is and how that affects your organization’s mission. How capable are the incumbents?   If you’re not considering the skills of the people waiting in the wings, you may lose them.  You have to keep them challenged and progressing.  Human capital is about managing the risk of losing your great players.  You need to find employees that can anticipate what you’ll need them to do A YEAR FROM NOW, not someone who is able to do what they did for you last year. Dr. Fitz-enz says, “when you have about 75% of your mission critical positions with someone ready to step in tomorrow, you begin to see revenue per employee increase. Until that point, it’s flat, and research bears this out.”

What about planning analytics?

Planning analytics is about applying logic, accounting, statistics, and data mining to analyze current and historical data to make predictions.  But, what if people were your brand?  Whenever knowledge is your product, it is much harder to apply metrics and measures.  Even so, you have to find ways to tie performance to business measures so that you can predict.  In addition, Dr. Fitz-enz believes that in the future, HR professionals will need to focus on the future instead of looking at the benchmarks of the past.  You have to look at what is going on in the environment both internally and externally in the marketplace.  Only then will you be able to plan and get all departments integrated and focused on the organization’s vision.

On processes and effectiveness

One critical component of effective workforce planning is how well you organize your workforce. Is the facility they work in configured properly to maximize efficiency?  What steps can you take to improve productivity relative to the way in which people are working?  You’ll also need to take a hard look at your organization’s processes before you just decide to make and upgrade and throw technology at it.  That is not what will drive effectiveness.  Careful analysis of current processes will help guide what type of technology makes the most sense.  This should be done after you’ve taken time to examine each process.

Engagement is not correlated with productivity

This was something that came up in two sessions and really caught the attention of the audience both times.  I think it’s because as HR professionals, we are constantly told that if you have a high level of employee engagement, you will see productivity increase.  It just makes sense.  I think the clarifying point that Dr. Fitz-enz made is that while that may be true in most cases, there is not a mathematical correlation.  So, if the engagement scores increase by 2%, you will not see a 2% increase in productivity.  Related, not correlated.

Where I disagree with Dr. Fitz-enz

Whenever you hear an industry expert speak, you are most likely going to be hard pressed to find flaws.  Not that I was looking for them, but one thing he said I whole-heartedly disagree with.  He said, “Leadership is a finite thing.  There is only so much that can be said about it.”  In my notes that day, I actually followed that sentence up with an expletive.  Very unusual for me to do that.  It just struck me as an odd thing to say for such a progressive thinker.  I think the only way we’ve heard enough on leadership is when we are at the point where a “right” way of leading has been established.  I do not ever think we’ll be at that point.  As long as there are people leading companies, there will need to be many types of leadership styles to put toward making the organization a success.  Therefore, the discussion of what makes good, solid leadership will continue.

Thanks again to Rebecca McKenna for giving me the opportunity to experience part of the Human Resources Executive Forum at HR Week.  I encourage you to mark your calendar now for next year’s event.