The final day of the Brandon Hall 2015 HCM Excellence Conference wrapped up with a final set of breakout sessions, one a two-part workshop on driving business performance through leadership development, the other an executive roundtable and an unconference session.  I attended the latter two.

[Click here to read other content about the Excellence Conference]

High level conference perspectives

  • Agility & integration: As we look to the future, talent management will need to be accomplished much more quickly, and in a more holistic and integrated way, from talent acquisition, to learning, to competency development.
  • New Paradigms: Be willing to consider new approaches to more traditional processes, especially as related to learning and talent development initiatives.
  • Talent Acquisition is both internal and external: Finding the best talent isn’t always about bringing it in from outside the company, it should be just as focused on finding and leveraging the best talent from within.
  • Business speaks the language of numbers: First, understand your business and what’s important to your senior leaders. Then get comfortable with data, and learn to speak that language of business.  But also understand that data will never be perfect, so don’t wait around for perfection–just start working with it.  Focus not just on data and numbers, but also the business outcomes you’re trying to achieve; be a business person who happens to work in the functional area of human resources.
  • Alignment: Find a way to help employees see the link between the work they do on a day to day basis and the overall goals, mission, and broader strategy of the organization. Appeal to the hearts and minds of your employees to drive engagement, and don’t discount the importance of meaningful work, career development opportunities, mentoring, and feedback.

 “What Do YOU Want to Talk About?”

For anyone who is not familiar with the unconference concept, it’s an approach to conferences and sessions in which very little, if any, agenda is pre-determined, and the direction of the session is dictated by what the participants want to discuss.  Brandon Hall’s Trish McFarlane and Ben Eubanks led just this type of session to wrap up our final day.

In true unconference fashion, it began with participant introductions and “what’s top of mind for you?” and morphed into a lively discussion that flipped between learner engagement, employee engagement, training evaluation, learning as the intersection between instinct and motivation, and what drives behavior – beliefs/values or compensation.

But the true value of this format is the collaboration it facilitates, and maybe the question we should be asking ourselves is how we can harness a similar format in our organizations to drive collaboration and innovation?

Final Thoughts

It was truly an honor to be invited to help cover #Excellence15.  In keeping with the theme, the Brandon Hall folks did an excellent job pulling together valuable and varied content with a host of strong, smart presenters.  The sessions were a nice combination of research/trends and real-world success stories from proven HR leaders.  And with the number of award winners and HR executives in attendance, the “smart-factor” was certainly amped up.

Though Brandon Hall Group has historically focused on learning & development, the sessions on talent acquisition, talent management, and leadership proved that they have moved beyond those roots to become a resource for all things human capital management.  I look forward to seeing how this conference continues to evolve in the future.

jennyAbout the Author: Jennifer Payne helped the Brandon Hall Group team cover the HCM Excellence Conference.

You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

Ben Eubanks

Ben Eubanks, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is an HR professional and industry influencer. His experience working as a leader in the human resources field has provided him with a broad range of experience encompassing smaller organizations, government contracting firms, and the nonprofit sector. He has hands-on experience with various HR disciplines, including recruiting, benefits, employee relations, and compensation.

Leave a comment