Change in keynote line-up at the HR Summit in Zurich

Best selling author – Yuri van Geest is unable to attend the HR Summit in Zurich on the 1st of December. While Yuri would have been more than happy to present his take on the future of HR, recent developments made is impossible to speak at the Summit this year. 

Erik Geilenkirchen, CEO and Founder of IntelligentBoardroom and KeyPeople, has been confirmed as closing speaker. Erik has been working around the globe in both senior business and HR roles for succesful brands as HayGroup, Ahold and Philips. He is one of the few that has crossed over between HR and Business a few times and is known for effectively assessing leadership scenarios within big corporates.

The board is confident that Erik will inspire the audience with his innovative take on the field


Where is Technology taking HR

By Erik Geilenkirchen

No one is able to correctly predict our future (yet). Hence, the next best is to extrapolate current trends knowing that at least part will become reality. Looking back on HR from 2030 to today, you will most likely make the following observations.

In 2017, HR supported the implementation of the business strategy, from a people and culture perspective. HR was mostly focussed on driving high volume people processes to conclusion. Recruiting a hundred of new employees every year; ensuring that the appraisal and reward cycle in the company was done correctly for thousands of employees; notify management about the results and its possible consequences of employee engagement surveys etc.. In the Board room, at the highest level of the corporation, HR was all about managing the people requirements for the key positions (hire, develop and fire). Ensuring that the C-suite and C minus one, were staffed with reasonable individuals who understood their business. Ensuring that teams would function and that the key group of leaders were aligned on the execution of stategy. In those days all of this was a big task which required a huge HR workforce.

Today, in 2030, we look upon the old days as quite cumbersome and mind-boggling monotenous. A pre-smart phone period of HR so to speak. So, what has changed?

1. The number of unskilled workers has dropped dramatically due to the use of robots and additive manufactoring. This takes away a large part of the daily work of HR plus it has simplified discussions with unions (in so far unions still exist). 

2. Technology has taken over most of the mundane tasks in HR. The bulk of recruitment and selection is done by Artificial Intelligence (AI) software. Assessments are done with Augmented Reality and even CV’s are now really truthful because of Block Chain technology. Performance Management is done based on real time data, processed with the
help of AI in order to help people perform better. The key HR processes of 2017 are now for the majority executed with the help of smart, AI enabled, technology. 

3. The position of HR Director is no more. AI driven technology offers a better and more objective second opinion on leadership compared to the HR Director we used to employ. We now have a new, more important, role: the PPC Leader: Passion, Purpose and Culture. We always knew that people work for a living and live for a purpose. With the huge shifts in western society due to exponential technologies, the mindsets of people are more focussed on working „in their passion for a purpose“. Passion and Purpose have become critical to attract people and to keep people aligned to the culture of the company. These three key components of building a successful business can not be replaced by technology. The quality of the PPC leadership in a company determines now for a major part its success. 

4. Collaboration wins the day. The silo-ed American and European ways of working are over. The Asian ways of working are now more dominant. Companies work together on the highest level in a much more fluid way and also on a personal level there is far less distinction between work life and private life. The key culture component of a successful enterprise has become “Borderless Collaboration”.

5. Remarkbly (or perhaps not), societal issues have not changed much. Yes, in 2030, the process of establishing gender equality in business is almost finished. But many of the 2017 issues like income inequality, environmental pressures, racial and/or immigration tensions are still very much alive. Today in 2030, we have over 8.5 billion people on earth which has not made solving the issues any simpler.

In short

The wrapper of HR will change and technologies will become much smarter. Understanding, how to align people to perform as a group in order to build business success will luckily for us, still remain a human undertaking.