"We place value on 'doing' over 'thinking' in today's workplace," said Lisa Bodell, CEO and founder of futurethink, at her Convergence keynote speech. In her mind, "thinking" has now become a daring act—and it shouldn't be. If we want to innovate, we need to invest time inideas, not just actions.
After three full days of presentations, conversations and networking, her advice couldn't be more pertinent: It's easy to come back from a conference, tired but inspired, and immediately attempt to apply everything you learned. You send an excited email to your team. You schedule lunch with your CEO. You announce your new strategy. But what if, instead, you took a week to reflect? Write down your thoughts. Grab coffee solo. Ask questions. Then act.
Sustainable change takes time, and in order to spur the right kind of change in your organization, it's important to take a step back and reflect on "why" you need change in the first place. What does the future of work hold, and how can you best prepare your organization to thrive in it? For inspiration, our team looked through our notes for a few of our favorite "lightbulb moments" from the conference. Here, five statements that we hope will spark your imagination, provoke conversation and guide your thinking on the future of work.
"The challenge is no longer to understand the past of talent management, but to predict the likelihood of the future."
- Adam Miller, CEO and Founder of Cornerstone OnDemand
As HR professionals struggle to become strategic business partners, the ability to think proactively (not reactively) is crucial. In his keynote speech, Miller discussed the role of data in helping HR get to that point: Mature people analytics programs can help HR pros make smarter decisions by not only reporting, but predicting.
"Our philosophy is fail fast, fail forward."
- John Zurovchak, Director of Operations Training at Wendy's
We heard a lot of success stories at Convergence, but we also heard about the failures before the successes. As Zurovchak shared in his session on building Wendy's learning and development program, "Wendy's University," organizations must be prepared for an iterative process when it comes to L&D: Start small and build from experience.
"The future is not who you are, the future is who you're becoming."
- Lisa Bodell, CEO and Founder of futurethink
Bodell emphasized the importance of HR in helping organizations prepare for the future, as "who you become" is largely based on who you hire. She pointed to oil and energy companies hiring top bioscientists to help prepare their organizations for climate change, and pharmaceutical companies suddenly realizing they need to fight for top talent.
"We believe in people. It takes a dream to create a business idea, but it takes people to bring it to life."
- Bjorn Nilsson, Global Manager of Online Learning at IKEA
Ikea recently set out to design a learning program that extended beyond HR and truly integrated into the business. As Nilsson shared in his session, this program was driven by a foundational belief in investing in employees: The team built a new learning department that worked with both sales, marketing and HR under the assumption that employee growth was the key to business growth.
"Every employee should have the opportunity to be the CEO of Hitachi one day."
- Levent Arabaci, EVP of Hitachi Ltd. and EVP and CHRO of Hitachi America Ltd.
As job hopping becomes the new normal, career mobility is top of mind for employers. In his talk, Arabaci shared that a performance management program should focus on helping employees find opportunity within the company for mutual benefit—organizations keep top talent by enabling them to move laterally or vertically, and employees gain diverse, rich work experience.