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Review HR tech 2015: HR and the digital transformation

Joachim Heinz

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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.

4 rumors that should make you move your business to social

Joachim Heinz

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Croissance d'une pâquerette, fond nature et soleilHaving a look back to the past years, I tried to collect the typical rumors and signs that raise in a company regarding the request of internal social networks.I tried to make a small list. If you are a manager or leader in your company, try to listen and act fast.

Rumor 1 – Call for internal Facebook!

Listen carefully to your teams and associates. While Facebook has hundreds of millions of users, Facebook gets “normal”. More and more people get used to Facebook, some see the benefits and begin to ask inside the company for a solution “like Facebook”. But don´t walk the wrong path – The say Facebook but they mean networking, openeness and more transparency.

Rumor 2 – Web2.0 Submarines

Have a look into IT systems or watch for web2.0 submarines – if your company is not that small, I´m sure you will find a wiki-server or something else. Small and very effective powered by enthusiasts. Don´t kill those initiatives – take them serious and make them a company-wide solution.

Rumor 3 – Ideas, ideas, ideas

If your company has an idea management, just have a look into it. I´m very sure, that there will be ideas related to web2.0, wikis, blogs or social networks. Be aware – even a small idea may catch company-wide effects.

Rumor 4 – The eMail-flood and info overload

Just listen carefully to your associates – do they complain about the email-flood or information overload in your area? Then do not wait, act. Think about about a social solution and care for your team or company.

According to those rumors, I calculated a small social-alarm-o-meter:

  • If you identify 1 rumor, you may have some time to act. Location maybe your team. You need only a small budget.
  • If you identify 2 rumors, you should sit down and begin to make a plan for your branch. You might have a talk with your boss and begin to collect resources. Don´t wait!
  • If you identify 3 rumors, trigger official processes and have a call with your boss immediately – your company wants social, so hurry up!
  • If you identify all 4 rumors, skip your boss, call the CEO, and prepare for your next job – driving your company towards social!

You think I make just jokes? Then, begin to listen to your associates – I bet, you collect one rumor in less than 1 hour 🙂