Building a conscious organisation at HRD Summit 2019

As chairman of the HRD Summit Talent Stream, Justin Somerville-Cotton reflects on the first day of the annual HR event.

What a memorable day at the HRD Summit! It’s been a privilege to participate in this phenomenal annual event.

So many passionate members of the talent community sharing wisdom and discovering solutions through deep discussions and interactive sessions — it’s truly fantastic.

I’ve been inspired on a personal level, which is why I wanted to share my initial thoughts at the end of the HRD Summit’s first day.

Following on from a tremendous keynote speech from Ruth McGrath, I am already identifying the reds from the greens. We’re talking about challenging business issues which need to be addressed in order for an organisation to survive and prosper.

After the keynote, I had the honour of chairing four fabulous presentations from some extremely inspirational individuals.

Here are a few highlights from that experience.

 

Fostering a creative and productive culture: Bruce Daisley

I first introduced Bruce Daisley who I think was basically saying I am doing pretty much everything wrong in terms of maximising my creativity and productivity! Bruce is an inspirational author and VP at Twitter.

He is telling me that I need to eat more lunch, for heaven’s sake get to bed earlier, hang out more with the friends that make me laugh, lie down and don’t stand up whenever possible and don’t be tempted to take the stairs ever!

I’ve got to tell you, it makes perfect sense to me!

Thank you Bruce Daisley. I have signed up to “Eat, Sleep, Work Repeat”!

 

Employer branding: Eurostar

Following this, and a sprint to the Blue Theatre, I introduced Gerard Jacques. Wow! What a brave position he has taken with his graduate intake at Eurostar! If you want to see and hear about a unique and novel approach to employer branding, you need look no further.

Gerard Jacques has recognised what Ruth McGrath described as the “insight and change from the edges”. In other words, the snow effect.

He recognised that in some respects the least qualified are the most qualified. By allowing fresh external perceptions to impact how the employer brand is represented, the messaging carries forward real honesty and excitement.

The grads themselves were clearly empowered and excited about their task and the results are mind boggling! Congratulations Gerard Jacques and your team.

 

Technology: SpeakAp

Now in a firm base, and having got my breath back, we moved to a piece of tech genius. Genius really in its simplicity. Guy Chiswick is the MD of SpeakAp.

We were presented with some clear and concise research. The numbers really did speak for themselves and the loud and clear message to me was that we are all using “consumer” social media at work to enable communication as we just don’t engage in the same way with business apps.

The question is, is this a risk to business? If I am honest, I think the jury is out but what is clear, SpeakAp provides a genuine, consumer-centric alternative. Integrating with all your HRIS / ERP tools, this is a fabulous way to control comms with your remote workforces, and in my opinion your non-remote workforces as well. There is a lot to this piece of tech and the development road map is very exciting.

 

Data: Anglo American

My final session of the day was quite close to my heart. My career began in mining, Consolidated Goldfields in fact, and it was my huge pleasure to introduce Dominic Podmore who is the Head of HR Analytics, Data Governance and Talent Management at Anglo American.

Dominic Podmore is all over the data, but what came across most in his presentation was the care that he was taking to ensure the people in his organisation understood the value and how to interpret the information this new way of working was driving.

By implementing Visier, he has been able to consolidate data from multiple sources into a single data pool. And that is where the excitement begins! We weren’t showered with stats, this was a human conversation. This was all about making informed decisions that impact on the lives of their employees.

It was heart-warming, inspiring and I think we were all left thinking that to hear about some of the outcomes in a year’s time, would be fascinating.

 

Final thoughts as chairman of the talent stream

HRD Summit UK 2019

What does a ‘conscious organisation’ look like to you? Grab a seat in the talent corner as we share thoughts at the HRD Summit.

That’s my summary. I have thoroughly enjoyed my day of chairing. I have met some amazing people as a result.

It was a little nerve-racking and I think I stumbled over a few words, but I really enjoyed my stream and I am very much looking forward to the second day of HRD Summit UK.

If you’ll be at the summit tomorrow, please do stop by and say hello to us at stand 90.

Stock up on Fox’s biscuits, courtesy of our partnership with 2 Sisters Food Group, and don’t forget to grab a free umbrella. (It is after all raining talent at Hudson RPO!) Top your visit off with a great variety of inspirational talent case studies, gorgeous red pens, and more.

Get In Touch