Thursday, September 17, 2015
Thought Leadership Opening Remarks:
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
- 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.
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
Friday, September 18, 2015
Thought Leadership Opening Remarks:
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Closing Keynote Address:
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