May 20, 2015

Review HR tech 2015: HR and the digital transformation

English Content



I was visiting the HR Tech 2015 in London as speaker and, well, visitor. So I had the chance to listen to some keynotes and panels as well as running a presentation and getting valuable feedback on the activities we do. Key question for me was: How is HR coping with digital transformation in UK?

The first thing I noted after two keynotes on Tuesday refers to the storyline that is being told. “As the world becomes a network, the only way to survive as a company is to become a network, too”. The keynoters took parallels of different perspectives. One was the military: The “big” forces of US had to learn, that their hierarchical command-structure was not effective against network-oriented war-groups. So the US forces had to learn first to behave the same way. The key message of the morning has been: “The network always wins”. Now the question came up: What do companies need to do in order to develop into a “networked company?”. The given answers directed all in a similar direction: Companies need to understand this journey as an organizational development. I agree 100% to this!

With those impressions I can do a comparison to a similar event I visited a few weeks before in Germany. To be honest, the discussion in the german HR conference was really confusing. Somehow all digital topics such as big data, social technology, transformational leadership and “that twitter thing” were completely mixed up. In comparison to the HR event in London I could not see a red line in the story of the digital transformation.

So does that mean that HR in UK is on track regarding digital transformation? Well it would be overbearing if I give an answer here so I just give an estimation: I have seen a storyline thoughout the entire day of “transformation towards a networked company” and how digital elements play a role in there. That was good to see, even if many questions remain open.