In a world of information overload, it’s always good to have some ready reckoners in your head on the big issues for your life and work.
One of my pleasures in this job is getting to talk to many HR professionals across a range of organisations, large and small. One of the personal radar techniques I use for that is to have a set of simple abbreviations in my head for the big issues in HR. Every few months I check them against the latest challenges I hear from my colleagues and ask myself, are the issues still the same? Are we tackling them in the right way?
The four abbreviations I use for the big issues are:
• TLC (Talent Leadership and Culture): HR needs to keep ahead of the game on all three.
• ABCCCD (Accelerating Business Cases in a world of Continuous Change and Diversity).
• TBL (Triple Bottom Line): programs to help our organisations manage sustainably in the communities we serve.
• i2HR: HR’s job is to inform and inspire our people in a new global ‘iWorld’ of work and life.
They’re not too hard to remember, and I have found these four sets of issues to be fairly robust over the past few years. I use them to check what we at AHRI are doing with our services for members and also when I look at marquee events such as the 2013 AHRI National Convention program.
First, the forthcoming AHRI National Convention has a lot of TLC for you, so my advice is to ‘come join us there, and feel the love’. It kicks off with world-renowned comedienne and writer Ruby Wax. Her keynote, titled ‘Trust and Leadership’, will incorporate some of the recent discoveries from neuroscience and her corporate leadership work, as well as video clips from her own famous train-wreck interviews with the likes of Donald Trump and Madonna.
An Aussie abroad, Garry Ridge, CEO of WD40 – the company that produces the iconic blue and yellow spray can for treating rusty intransigent nuts and bolts – will update us on the latest in effective servant-leadership thinking and practice. Acclaimed cultural guru and leading business thinker Fons Trompenaars will take us on a journey into new global leadership challenges for managing diversity, linking TLC, ABCCCD and TBL.
To complement these global TLC thinkers, we have two great sessions with some of Australia’s leading HR practitioners. IBM HR director Robert Orth joins with top HR academic Ian Williamson to probe the business DNA of people potential and performance. This session will be followed by a Q&A round table of six leading national HR experts on current professional leadership challenges.
A number of speakers advance the ABCCCD agenda of bigger, faster and better business cases and change programs. Global HR metric and talent expert John Boudreau takes these challenges head on, and will outline smarter ways to master them. So too will international gender and workplace expert Lois Frankel, and home-grown HR talent such as Susan Ferrier of KPMG, Fiona Michel of IAG and Jane Thomas of AGL, who will articulate how innovation, creativity and employee engagement need to be undertaken in a broader community context, and so enhance our TBL outcomes and reputations.
Finally, i2HR gets a big boost from Professor Daniel Gilbert of Harvard, who will refocus us on how to stumble upon happiness in this challenging but confusing iWorld. Todd Samson, CEO of advertising agency Leo Burnett, will inspire us with new ways to draw out and execute innovation and creativity in the modern workplace.
For the more serious i2HR buffs and HR techies – and those like me who just need to find ways of keeping up – there is the full-day IT conference preceding the opening plenary day. It will be kicked off by social communications star Rachel Botsman.
Concurrently, there is a world-class public sector conference spanning all of TLC, ABCCCD, TBL and i2HR within today’s challenging government sector, and also specialist master classes by Lois Frankel and John Boudreau.
The big show ends with seven-times world surfing champion Layne Beachley, who at 41 has just announced her comeback as a wildcard entrant.
As Rupert Murdoch once said tautologically, but also most appropriately, “you need to have lots of content, and plenty of it”. This year’s AHRI National Convention encapsulates this notion in spades, and hits all the right top keynotes.