2015 Learning and Leadership Development Conference


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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

11:00-3:00 PM


1:00-2:30 PM


The Digital Leader

Workshop Presenter and Facilitator:
Josep Valor Sabatier Ph.D., Professor of Information Systems, IESE Business School
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The growing density of our digital connections is fast redrawing the boundaries of competition and reshaping the sources of customer value. This demands that we take blended approaches, not just to our business strategies, but to our organizational structures and practices. And this requires new leadership roles and digitally minded leaders. Digital leadership is more than a job title; it’s an entirely new mind-set. Based on conversations with participants of executive programs and reviews of a number of cases on digital transformation, the first part of this session will synthesize the qualities, practices and approaches of the digitally minded leader. The second part, in a workshop format, will ask participants to apply the concepts presented to their respective companies and industries.


You will learn:

  • How the growing density of our digital connections is fast redrawing the boundaries of competition and reshaping the sources of customer value
  • How to transform “leaders” into “digital leaders”
  • Best practices on digital transformation
2:30-3:00 PM

Networking Break

3:00-4:30 PM
Katherine Pappa, Senior Faculty Member, The Center for Creative Leadership
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Successful actors, authors and politicians have savvy, proactive agents helping guide their careers.  Don’t you wish you had that too?  Someone to help you think through career goals and to help you keep your career on a track that corresponds to your long-term goals – in life and work.


In this interactive session, you will learn to take a new look at your career. What is your style of leadership?  What is your long-term vision for your career and what are the next steps that you need to take to move you closer to fulfilling this vision?  What do you want your brand to be? Tools provided in this session will help you proactively explore your own career and show you how to coach your high potentials to do the same. The result?  A stronger succession plan and a higher return on investment.


You will learn:

  • How to assess your current leadership brand and identify opportunities for creating the brand you aspire to have
  • How to identify how you want others to experience your leadership
  • How to develop your leadership point-of-view and articulate your unique added value as a leader
  • The tools for helping your high potentials craft their most effective leadership brand

Thursday, September 17, 2015

7:00-4:30 PM


7:30-8:30 AM


8:30-8:50 AM

Chairman's Welcome

Bill Craib, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Learning, Human Capital Institute (HCI)
9:00-9:30 AM
Keynote Presenter:
Carmen Allison, Vice President Global Talent Development, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Keynote Presenter:
Carmen Allison, Vice President Global Talent Development, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Keynote Presenter:
Carmen Allison, Vice President Global Talent Development, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
Keynote Presenter:
Carmen Allison, Vice President, Global Talent Development, Williams- Sonoma, Inc
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Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a multi-channel specialty retailer of high quality products for the home.  In 1956, our founder, Chuck Williams, turned a passion for cooking and eating with friends into a small business with a big idea that helped fuel a revolution in American cooking and entertaining. Today, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is one of the United States' largest e-commerce retailers with some of the best known and most beloved brands in home furnishings, including Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, West Elm, Rejuvenation, and Mark & Graham.


WSI requires a pipeline of talented leaders from all areas of the business to continue our aggressive global growth.  To accelerate the development of high potential leaders, we created a model where leaders take responsibility for their learning, and in turn role model the importance of development in their managers.  Learn the results and its affect on our business when leaders have the ability to design and drive their own development program.


You will learn:

  • A unique perspective that challenges traditional high potential training programs
  • That it requires a shift in mindset to being ‘in service’ to leaders as they develop
  • Some of the best development solutions are free
  • How a simple model can provide clarity when framing a program
  • How to align self driven training program to business goals
  • The structure behind a self guided development program
9:30-10:00 AM
Keynote Co-Presenters:
James Mitchell, Senior Director of Global Talent Development, Rackspace University
Deborah Carter, Senior Manager of Open Cloud Academy, Rackspace
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Rackspace is focused on expanding its leadership position as the #1 managed cloud company. Founded in 1998, Rackspace serves over 300,000 customers with 18 global locations and over 6,000 employees.  Every industry has generalists and specialists, and ours is no exception. Rackspace is a specialist in running mission critical technologies where customers don’t want to be experts, all backed by Fanatical Support. Rackspace customers want an experienced, trusted partner to manage their cloud, so that they can focus their resources on their core business rather than on cloud operations that don’t differentiate their company.


Being headquartered in San Antonio, TX comes with many advantages, however not having a surplus of qualified talent is a disadvantage.  Our leadership position requires that we “get it right” when is comes to our talent strategy.  Building a local talent pipeline and retaining talent is essential for scale. This session will highlight Rackspace’s involvement in supporting local initiatives to develop, retain and attract top tech talent.


You will learn:

  • About a powerful outcome of engaging the Learning and Development Department in a recruiting strategy
  • Discover how Rackspace built a Talent Pipeline through Open Cloud Academy, a Texas Workforce Commission Certified Career School.
  • How we have partnered with a local non-profit and support city, state and national initiatives as part of our talent strategy
  • How Rackspace builds off our talent pipeline by developing entry level talent into subject matter experts
10:00-10:45 AM

Morning Networking Break

10:45-11:15 AM
Co-Keynote Presenters:
Carla Arellano, Global Vice President, McKinsey
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What separates organizations that outperform their competitors over the long run from those that struggle to maintain performance?  The answer is “organizational health” - aligning the goals of managers and employees, executing and achieving against those goals, and then continually learning and renewing in order to be agile and adaptive. Based on McKinsey & Company’s ongoing research into high performing and enduring organizations, the healthiest organizations in our data set do not follow one formula for success.  Instead, we find that the healthiest organizations tend to follow one of four distinctive “recipes for success” – the overall talent management ecosystem that creates a high performing culture. 


You will learn:

  • Learn why organizational health matters to sustaining long-term financial and operational performance
  • Understand how to create an aligned and effective talent management ecosystem based on cultural archetype
  • Examine the practical implications of this research for your own organization’s talent management strategy
11:15-11:45 AM
Keynote Presenter:
Ryan Patel, Vice President of Global Business, Pinkberry
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We live in a very global world.  From large companies to entrepreneurs which can now grow brands and infrastructure with ease globally.  The barriers to enter are considerably lower in many of these countries.  What does this all mean?  This means that the entire company gets leveraged from operations to the training departments. 


The session will cover how the lessons learned from growing global brands, recruiting and training potential companies to focusing on the growth of the cross functional teams can easily be applicable to any type of organization and teams.   That pressure and intensity it takes to build in international markets need to have the same focus on building individuals not just teams.  The session will provide real-life professional development examples and stories from some of the great international teams.


You will learn:

  • How to discover the power of “influence” and its appropriate ways to use it with examples from innovation to the personal growth of your employees
  • The simple ways that one can use in  the “3D” empowerment realm that can easily be implemented across management
  • Ways to harness the entrepreneurial spirit of in a fast changing and futuristic view of markets
11:45-12:15 PM
Keynote Presenter:
Dorothy Leonard, William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration Emerita, Harvard Business School, and coauthor of Deep Smarts and Critical Knowledge Transfer
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When highly skilled subject matter experts, engineers, and managers leave their organizations, they take with them years of hard-earned, experience-based knowledge—much of it undocumented and irreplaceable. Organizations can thereby lose a good part of their competitive advantage. The tsunami of “boomer” retirements has created the most visible, urgent need to transfer such knowledge to the next generation. But there is also an ongoing torrent of acquisitions, layoffs, and successions—not to mention commonplace promotions and transfers—all of which involve the loss of essential expertise.


Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap first addressed this acute loss of knowledge in their groundbreaking book Deep Smarts (Harvard Business Review Press, 2005). Since then, managers have repeatedly asked them for practical, proven techniques that will help transfer those deep smarts—the organization’s critical, experience-based knowledge—before it’s too late. With coauthor Gavin Barton, the authors have delivered by providing a comprehensive approach to doing just that in their highly-recommended book, Critical Knowledge Transfer (Harvard Business Review Press,2014).


In this session, Dorothy will highlight original research, corporate examples, and practical options for identifying your firm’s deep smarts and transferring that intelligence from experts to successors.  Gain from this session new insights on how to transfer your organization’s most important knowledge—before it walks out the door. 


Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Critical Knowledge Transfer -- essential reading for anyone managing talent in today’s volatile environment.

12:15-1:15 PM


1:15-2:00 PM

Breakout Session

Jonas Bordo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Resources, Bentall Kennedy
Seonaid Charlesworth, Vice President, Executive Assessment and Succession, Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge
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Succession management ensures you have the leadership capacity to execute strategy and support future growth of the company.  But, it takes more than a succession plan to prepare leaders to take on the organization’s future challenges.  In this session you will learn how Bentall Kennedy put in place a deliberate program of identifying and developing the leadership it needed to achieve its business goals.

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Most organizations recognize that investing in high-potential staff is critical to long-term success. Developing a strong foundation of leadership within an organization has become a business imperative.


However, all too often new leaders are either promoted from within or hired into an organization with minimal direction and support. According to Bersin, helping high performers transition to new roles is where most organizations fall short, leaving new leaders to learn for themselves what is expected of them and, indeed, what it means to be a leader. When inevitable challenges arise, new leaders are often left without the support they need to survive and, ultimately, thrive.


Since 2009, CareSource, a nonprofit managed care plan has responded to this need by offering leadership transition coaching to new leaders, helping them to define their leadership style and facilitate necessary change within their team. Learn the coaching strategies that yield confident new leaders while delivering a strong return on investment for the organization.  This session will demonstrate the value of transitional coaching and how this small change will effectively drive your organization forward.


You will learn:

  • How leadership transition coaching can support a critical phase of the high-performer development process.
  • How CareSource has successfully leveraged leadership transition coaching to support the development of new leaders.
  • How to identify key elements for developing a successful, sustainable internal coaching program.
2:00-2:45 PM

Afternoon Networking Break

2:45-3:30 PM


Ted Higgins, Vice President, Talent Development, Fidelity Investments
Michael Hammond, Director Mid-Level Leader Programs, Fidelity Investments
Jillian Ihsanullah, Ph.D., Principal Consultant, Linkage
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In order to grow and be successful, Fidelity leaders must be able to enhance their team’s ability to think together, coach and navigate individual perspectives, reflect on complex issues, make decisions, and execute effectively. In 2014, Fidelity partnered with Linkage to develop a six-month immersion experience, Leading for the Future, designed to increase the effective experience of individual leaders and build Fidelity’s bench strength at the director and early vice president level.


At the core of the initiative is the Business Impact Project, an individually crafted challenge that each participant was responsible for owning with specific business metrics. Designed to be a stretch assignment, Business Impact Projects were expected to have both a practical contribution to the business and larger impact across Fidelity.


From marketing and HR, to technology and operations, 41 projects were successfully rolled out across the organization, resulting in greater levels of strategic thinking, better connectivity across business groups, and far reaching, measureable business outcomes.  The program has been revised and repeated in 2015 with a larger number of projects currently in progress—and the latest results are in.


You will learn:

  • How to leverage content in the areas of strategic thinking, systems thinking, metrics, and innovation to enable leaders to identify, design, and develop individual action-learning projects
  • How to incorporate senior executives and structured internal teams (coaches, mentors, peers, managers) to effectively drive results
  • How to identify meaningful business metrics for each project and the program overall
Tatiana Sehring, Director, Corporate & Strategic Relationships, American Public University and Editor and Contributor of Inspire
Dr. Gregory Ketchum, Principal, TalentPlanet
Rhonda Ellis, Faculty Business, American Public University
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Over the last several years, corporate, nonprofit and other industries have begun to experience a transformational shift in culture expectations and attitudes across the generational spectrum of their workforce. There is increasing demand for workplaces that equally value and focus on people, planet and profits and for leaders who understand that everything is connected. In this session, we will speak with industry experts about their thoughts on the emerging organizational framework of Conscious Capitalism® and its relationship to traditional leadership competencies that help support modern workplace dynamics, leadership success, and sustainability.

In this session, you will learn:

  • The fundamental principles of Conscious Capitalism® and why they are important for leadership & culture formation
  • Leadership authenticity and it's role in performance and effectiveness
  • Relationship between Conscious Capitalism principles, emotional intelligence, mindfulness and authenticity
  • The impact of new leadership paradigms on an organization’s bottom line
  • Practical applications for talent and leadership development models
3:30-3:40 PM

Room Change

3:40-4:25 PM

Concurrent Session

Susan Rusconi, Head of Leadership Development, Adobe Systems
Tricia La Marca, Regional Vice President, Right Management
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In the current complex and unpredictable global business environment driven by economics, technology and geopolitical conditions, business leaders can no longer rely solely on the deployment of capital and resources to achieve business goals. To maintain a competitive edge and overcome obstacles, they must adopt talent as the currency of the Human Age. Today, talent has become one of the most important competitive differentiators.


And rather than working their way up the corporate ladder, top talent is more often looking for jobs that enable them to develop their skills and increase their value in a future role, as discovered in a recently completed study by Right Management. Companies can, therefore, significantly increase employee engagement and reduce turnover by focusing on management strategies that provide clear avenues for growth and prioritize employee development. Managers need to shift from the old corporate culture that emphasized seniority and time-served, to one that aligns better with employees’ near-term development goals. If not, organizations will find it difficult to attract and retain talent going forward and thusly, fail to meet business goals and expectations or worse.  


Enter Adobe. Known for its industry-leading, innovative products and technology, Adobe requires talent that is constantly learning and growing in order to surpass the expectations of the market and its clients.  Join us to learn how Adobe attracts and retains employees through a learning-centered culture while developing current and future leaders in alignment with business goals. Listen as the challenges of global scalability and different levels of development are examined and overcome.


Session Learning Objectives:

  • Get updated on what today’s talent want from an employer and a career.
  • Learn how Adobe’s Leading@Adobe program is shaping leaders at all levels of the organization to drive performance, engagement, and retention.
  • Understand how the partnership between senior leaders and the development organization can effectively drive leadership at scale.

Workplace Application:

  • Create a culture of learning so that employees are driven to achieve their potential and take their career anywhere they want it to go.
  • Drive innovative thinking, engagement and results through continuous learning.
  • Develop a scalable learning environment that enables employees to learn anytime and anywhere.
Dr. Roger Pearman, Researcher, Writer, Coach and Founder of Leadership Performance Systems and Qualifying.org
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Traditional thinking on personality type in organizations has left gaps in employee development and retention. Mobilizing key talent through personality type is often a process that leaves much to be desired, resulting in a company-wide desire for more.


Innovations in the developmental side of personality type allow you to move beyond self-awareness and into more meaningful and impactful insight. Mobilizing talent through personality development enables employees and leaders to be more agile and flexible in reaching their performance goals. This new foundation provides opportunity for not only development but also integration within and beyond an individual’s existing profile of skills and competencies, providing never before seen developmental opportunities with personality type.


Leveraging this new development provides a more meaningful assessment experience for your employees and leaders. It also provides them with deeper insight into how they are operating, ways to utilize their strengths, shore up any weaknesses, manage the differences, and integrate other skills and competencies into a balanced portfolio of functioning.


In this session, you will learn: 

  • The fundamentals of a new approach to personality type
  • How to leverage this new understanding of personality type in your organization
  • How to integrate this new framework with Emotional Intelligence competencies
  • Best practices for retaining and developing key talent with personality type


4:25-4:35 PM

Room Change

4:35-5:05 PM

Closing Keynote Address:

Grooming Millennial Leaders for Success

Alexandra Levit, New York Times Columnist and Workplace Author
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This engaging session, which will include video and role play, will provide a brief overview of the four generations currently in the workforce and the communication frustrations that exist. Attendees will leave with concrete solutions for getting entry-level hires started on the right foot and research-based techniques for ensuring that fast-rising Millennial leaders are well-prepared to run mid 21st century organizations. 


You will learn:

  • The demographic and psychographic context for how millennials got to where they are in the workforce and what they will need as they transition from junior level to leadership roles
  • Effective techniques and learning formats for engaging and retaining top millennial performers and new leaders
  • How to master communication strategies for leveraging the full potential of millennial employees
5:05-6:15 PM

Networking Cocktail Party

Friday, September 18, 2015

7:00-2:30 PM


7:30-8:30 AM


8:30-8:50 AM

Chairman's Recap

9:00-9:30 AM
Keynote Presenter:
Ben Bratt, Vice President HR, Talent and Organization Capability, T-Mobile
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What’s an HR professional to do when “tried and true” HR approaches create at best disinterest, and at worst resistance?  What to do when the pace of change all around outstrips your ability to adapt to that change at a similar cadence?  What steps can you take the morning after a gnawing feeling of dawning irrelevance interferes with a good night’s sleep?


Share in the lessons learned on this journey to revolutionize HR for a Wireless Rebel.  Key points covered include how an HR leadership team coalesced around an aspirational stimulus question to challenge its long-held beliefs, re-focused the function’s reason for existence, and then engaged the HR function as a whole drive simple, pragmatic change.  We’ll ask: how easy, or difficult, it is to replace Performance Reviews with a deck of cards?  How can an outstanding employee experience begin before the employee is even hired?  And how might one handle all the perceived risk in making these kinds of changes?


You will learn:

  • How an organic and emergent path to transformation can lead to quicker change than a predictable process for change
  • How identifying the employee and the manager as HR’s key customers can provide a tight focus on the changes most likely to bring a vital impact
  • How the messaging, change management, and “drive for adoption” can meet the tone and tenor of the transformation itself
9:30-10:00 AM
Keynote Presenter:
Lisa Jackson, Executive Strategy Director, frog design
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As organizations welcome higher percentages of freelancers and Millennials into the workforce, they must redesign operations and organizational structures accordingly. This requires a new way of developing today’s workforce into leaders, while embracing the rapidly evolving tech landscape.  


Soon, emerging technologies such as wearable devices and ubiquitous screens and sensors will free up workers’ time, enabling them to learn new skills, think more creatively and execute more quickly on workflows. With technology taking on more of these tasks, employee roles will morph and evolve, and organizational structures will follow. But none of this is without some form of learning and development instituted to ensure workers evolve along side the tools and technology. Simultaneously, experimentation with these new structures is already occurring and shaping roles – creating a cycle of change in this space that challenges default workplace routines and historical corporate culture.


Taking a design approach, frog is investigating the implications that these changing structures and technology-infused work atmospheres have on the definition of leadership. Met with a changing global talent pool, this definition alters even more. In this session, we will explore how the future of learning—coupled with savvy leadership in the workplace—is changing under these shifting influences, and how companies can adapt.


You will learn:

  • How emerging technologies can enable more efficient learning and development of leadership skills
  • How shifting organizational structures and models redefine what it means to be a leader
  • How a changing global talent pool affects the criteria for leadership, as well as how learning new skills can morph roles
10:00-10:10 AM

Room Change

10:10-10:55 AM


Kerry Hearns-Smith, Vice President Learning Strategy and Delivery, Xerox
Todd Tauber, Vice President, Degreed
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Traditional approaches to learning and development (L&D) are no longer responsive enough to continuously build and refresh the capabilities and skills that organizations and employees need. So workers and business leaders are increasingly looking beyond what their L&D departments have to offer. And those learners are choosing to learn and develop in different ways from a much more diverse range of sources.


Meanwhile, most L&D infrastructure is still geared for the same old thing – creating, managing and delivering formal training. But new ways of learning demand unconventional approaches to L&D and different kinds of infrastructure; content and tools that empower learners to own and drive much of their own career development.


You will learn:

  • The wisdom of the crowd can teach L&D professionals about learning
  • 3 ways to reconnect L&D’s requirements to learners’ expectations
  • How Xerox is leveraging the new learning ecosystem to make L&D more efficient, effective and agile
Linh Lawler, Claims Talent & Leadership Strategy, Allstate Insurance Company
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Strategic Challenge:
According to Bersin by Deloitte, 10,000 Baby Boomers reach retirement age every day. What’s the status of your leadership pipeline? As a generation retires, it puts Millennials who often have little to no actual leadership experience, in charge before they are ready. Can this critical group of future leaders succeed without the needed experience, training, development and coaching?
As leadership and talent development professionals we know:

  • Individuals will be placed in leadership roles earlier in their career and before they are ready
  • Speed to productivity and minimization of team disruption is critical to business results
  • Lack of career opportunities is one of the main reasons Millennials leave a company

What we are doing at Allstate Claims to face the challenge head on:
The Allstate Claims division has approximately 15,000 employees, and the Baby Boomer retirement challenge is very prevalent within our Business Unit. With senior leader buy-in, we successfully developed and deployed an accelerated development program for future leaders. We used an effective approach of combining the 70:20:10 development model with a safe learning environment as a way to ensure sustainability. With immediate ROI, the program is already paying dividends.
You will learn:

  • Ideas on how to create a leadership development experience that truly engages the way Millennials want to learn
  • Benchmarking on how to harness the power of feedback and coaching in leadership development
  • How to effectively use a simulation to ramp up speed to leadership competency and create more self-aware leaders, at a critical point in their leadership journey
10:55-11:40 AM

Morning Networking Break

11:40-12:25 PM
Gabriella Strecker, Senior Director of Global Leadership and Organizational Development, Genzyme
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Matrixed structures have been the norm for some time, but management theories and leadership practices have not caught up. Those who lead and work in matrixed organizations consistently report that cross-functional conflict and decision-making gridlock are pervasive and costly.Learning professionals increasingly recognize that influence is a competence that needs to be built at all levels of complex organizations, but as long as the dominant influence paradigm is one where we each focus on persuading others that we are right, and convincing them to do what we want – the fundamental challenges posed by today’s organizational structures will remain.


In this presentation, Sanofi will share what they are doing to address this fundamental challenge, including embedding within the organization a reconceived approach to Influence as a two-way activity, in which the openness to learning and being persuaded is just as important as persuading others. 


You will learn:

  • A framework for assessing and improving the way a matrixed organization functions
  • How to understand common influence pitfalls and the cost when these remain pervasive within an organization
  • Why a joint problem-solving approach to influence is essential to today’s complex organizations
  • Strategies for embedding the joint problem-solving approach to influence in the culture of your organization
12:25-1:30 PM


1:30-2:00 PM
Keynote Presenter:
Denise Lee Yohn, Brand-building Expert and Author of “What Great Brands Do”
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From Starbucks to GE to Red Bull, great brands are admired for their bold moves and innovative approaches.  But what really separates merely good brands from those that triumph over time and achieve sustained business success?


Brand expert Denise Lee Yohn shows how top companies develop standout brands from the inside out.  Drawing from case studies, analysis, and interviews with brand leaders, Denise explains best practices including “great brands start inside” and “great brands commit and stay committed” – and shows how big companies and start-ups alike take their brands and businesses from good to great by cultivating a corporate culture that is inspired by, aligned with, and focused on their brand.


You will be inspired to take a fresh approach to attracting, retaining, and developing key talent -- and challenged to contribute to your organization at the highest level.

You will learn:

  • Why culture-building is critical to brand-building
  • How to operationalize corporate values and translate them into customer experience strategies and tactics
  • How to use a Brand Touchpoint Wheel to help employees understand their roles in brand-building and cultivate a unified, focused workforce
  • How to use a Brand Toolbox to ensure brand alignment and integration throughout the organization
  • How to integrate a business mindset into human resources planning and execution
2:00-2:30 PM
Peter Cappelli, Professor of Management, The Wharton School of the University Pennsylvania and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources
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The traditional framework for the human resource function - indeed for HR textbooks - is based on the 1950's model of large corporations.  As business has changed and the premium has moved from planning to responsiveness and from stakeholders to shareholder value, the workplace has changed in fundamental ways. "Employment" is no longer the only or even the most common way to get tasks performed as the use of contractors and outsourcing have become commonplace.  The basic tasks associated with employment have also changed: Hiring increasingly takes place through vendors of from "temp-to perm" engagements, traditional predictors of hiring success such as standardized psychological tests have given way to a series of ad hoc findings about success generated from big data, and so forth. 


In this session, we consider the tasks that are holding back the HR function from greater influence and the new directions that restore the relevance and influence to the practice of human resources.  The arguments are based on an August 2015 article appearing in the Harvard Business Review.


2:30-3:00 PM
Keynote Presenter:
Barry Posner, Expert Coach and Educator, and Co- Author of The Leadership Challenge
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No doubt we need more and better leaders in our organizations today and into the future.  Period! That some people can lead and others can’t is a myth.  Talent is over-rated and leadership these days is simply everyone’s business.


You will learn:


The answers to the most frequently asked question about leadership

The empirical answer to the question “Are leaders born or made?”

How no one is a zero!

What the mindsets and behaviors people need to become leaders

Five cultivation tips for developing and enhancing leadership capabilities