HR in the Digital World - Thought Leadership Breakfast in NZ

It’s firmly on the radar of today’s HR professionals – HR in the digital world – and this hot topic was centre stage at a thought leadership breakfast in Auckland last week.  With Presence of IT’s global thought leader Rob Scott presenting alongside SAP SuccessFactors COO Marc Havercroft, invited guests of the HR community from a variety of industries were treated to valuable insights on how HR models are being impacted by digital environments.

Moving towards a digital world and business environment is no longer a choice – it’s inevitable. The “perfect HR storm” is accelerating change with automation, robotics, AI, machine learning and algorithms all playing a part.  We need to embrace the impacts associated with digital technologies, demographics and the emerging sharing economy.

Key takeaways from this thought leadership breakfast:

  • Successful transformation in the digital age makes it crucial for businesses to have a clear destination and an intelligently designed roadmap to get there; it won’t happen on its own without some intervention.
  • To maximise the benefits associated with digital environments, we need to lift our level of agility.  This includes reviewing HR operating models and leadership styles against the practical needs of a digitally agile organisation.
  • There is a difference between technology enablement and digital enablement.  Becoming technically enabled focusses on bespoke tech implementations of tools to solve a problem. Digital enablement is focussed more on the user experience as “what a software screen looks like” vs “what the employee experiences in the organisation.”
  • It’s not about throwing more technology at people, but rather to enable people to do more with it.
  • The Ulrich Model has been widely used by HR as an operational blueprint over the last two decades.  While it continues to be relevant, today’s HR professionals need to adapt to ensure they take advantage of modern HR technology to ensure companies become agile, maximise their people value and improve their productivity.  Professor Dave Ulrich himself indicated that a change is needed, as recently as last month.  He’s quoted as saying “the business partner concept has dramatically evolved from roles and outcomes to a logic of how HR delivers value to employees, organizations, customers, investors, and communities.”

New Zealand is fast becoming a country which will be more exposed to digital enablement. The growth areas are industries that are leading the digital charge. HR must respond to keep these industries growing.  

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s an exciting time to be a HR professional, and we look forward to sharing more of our insights and experience at thought leadership events in the future.