Josh Bersin
Josh Bersin
Founder, Bersin Partners
Chris Havrilla
Chris Havrilla
President, Havrilla Consulting (USA)
Kumud Kokal
Kumud Kokal
Head of Business Systems, Airbnb (USA)
Alexis Saussinan
Alexis Saussinan
Global Head of Organisation Development and Analytics, Merck Group (SGP)
HR’s Essential Role in the New World of Work

Yes, it’s official. Thanks to overwhelming demand, Josh is back in 2018 to share his insights and revered thought-leadership on work, talent, learning, leadership and HR tech. And his latest research showing that redesigning your organisation to be more digital and responsive is now the global #1 human capital trend.

Josh is the founder and principal at Bersin Partners, a leading provider of research-based membership programs in HR, talent and learning. He is a global research analyst, top LinkedIn influencer and prolific writer on the topics of corporate human resources, talent management, recruiting, leadership, technology, and the intersection between work and life.

Put simply: Josh is one of the world’s top thought-leaders in the new world of work – inspiring us and showing us how, in this hyper-connected work environment, HR should be leading and helping people adapt to the way work gets done.

Talent & Technology Innovation and Transformation is Won at the Intersection of HR and Business, Product and IT

There are many forces that are causing disruption to HR we can't afford to ignore – demographics, technology, and the changes to our work culture like the gig economy, demand for personalisation and digital transformation. One of the biggest disruptors is the emergence of Intelligent Software (AI/IA). One thing is for sure, how we work and how work gets done will change.

Can incorporating intelligent software or machines into our workforce lead to BETTER, more personalised experiences? More engaged and diverse workforces? A solution to our current tech and talent woes?

We can’t ignore these innovations, but we must take a holistic approach and innovate our function and technology at the same time – including who are, and how do we partner with, all the stakeholders to get the outcomes and full potential possible.

Plus: you must sell and fund this when you can’t prove success or certainly not ROI, internally or externally. This is innovation! Innovation means it hasn’t been done before. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride and you need to be prepared.

  • How do we break the cycle of transactions that drive activity and “productivity”, but don’t add value or achieve the outcomes people wanted or expected?
  • HR purchased enterprise software as silver bullet solutions, but what they got was more work, and a general dislike and distrust of technology and vendors. Why hasn’t our tech worked?
  • Why is nobody happy and pointing fingers at each other about talent and tech woes – HR Customers, HR Tech Vendors, IT teams, and the businesses they are all trying to serve? More importantly, what is the solution?
  • How do you have the tough technology conversation that nothing will work without solving the NON-tech issues that plague most organisations today?
Data Driven HR: How Airbnb Measures Belonging and Other Metrics

Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. They believe that belonging starts at home. Belonging is not only core to their mission but to their existence and is one of the most important metrics they measure.

This has been enabled by a strong partnership between HR, People Analytics and HR Technology teams taking a data driven approach to identify strengths, opportunities and roadmaps. This session will highlight the strategies behind building a data driven HR organisation. Kumud will share the journey and the data driven approach that Airbnb has been on to measure belonging and other metrics in recruiting, compensation, talent and payroll.

You already have lots of data in your existing systems and tools. These data sources may be disparate or integrated. Here are some key takeaways:

  • What are the foundations of building a data driven practice in HR?
  • How do you leverage data governance to improve the quality and integrity of HR data?
  • How to build recruiting, compensation, talent or manager dashboards and what strategies to use to increase adoption of these dashboards
  • How do you lead with data in making organisational decisions?
Combining OD and Analytics to Deliver Differentiated Business Outcomes

This is a global case study about how Merck Group successfully delivered actionable insights to drive business decisions for different parts of their business. Their journey required using organisation and people analytics as the foundation to the development of their people strategy, highlighting practical analytics-based “myths, realities and future trends” to its executive management board, enabling informed and supported business decisions. In doing so they have helped its R&D organisation identify the best team profiles and set-up, accelerated innovation, increased organisation agility and efficiency.

Learn how they embedded organisational development and people analytics into Merck’s business leaders’ DNA, and made the bold decision to open up their organisation and people analytics technology not only to HR, but to all business leaders globally. Alexis will explain how they are using a global analytics cloud-platform as the only trusted source of truth for all organisation and people related information, being used by all our business leaders during their business review and planning meetings globally.

  • Learn about Merck’s practical successes/learnings
  • Hear how and why they are in line to be awarded “most interesting/promising” topic by the Global Executive Committee - all Merck Group’s top leaders
  • How they got HR to use analytics effectively and introducing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to proactively push relevant and tailored insights to each leader at the right time
Gabe Zichermann
Gabe Zichermann
Expert, Author & Writer about Gamification and Engagement Mechanics (USA)
Darren Nerland
Darren Nerland
Senior Learning Strategist – Amazon (USA)
Vanessa Blewitt
Vanessa Blewitt
Global Transformation Lead: Learning Intelligence and Effectiveness, Nestlé
Chris Pirie
Chris Pirie
General Manager, Global Learning, Microsoft (USA)
Digital Wellness & Gamification: The Opportunity for HR/LD to Create Tech-Life Balance

Technology has irrevocably changed our work and personal lives, mostly for the better. But the mainstreaming of always-on culture and rise of gamified algorithms threatens the health and well-being of millions of high-value employees. This session focuses on what HR & LD leaders need to know about technology addiction and how to strategically combat it in the workplace without reducing engagement or productivity. At the same time, this discussion will also help attendees understand how gamification can contribute positively to a workplace culture of learning with examples and a solid foundation in the science of behaviour.

Gabe Zichermann is the world’s foremost expert and public speaker on the subject of gamification, user engagement and behavioural design. He is the Co-Founder of the behaviour change software start-up, Onward. Gabe is the author of The Gamification Revolution (McGraw Hill, 2013), Gamification by Design (2011) and Game-Based Marketing (2010), as well as the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the industry’s primary publication, In addition, Gabe helped co-design live-event gamification platform Liventium.

Building a Learning Ecosystem: What You Need to Know

Online and social learning reduces the cost of training, expands the ability to reach a larger audience for your content, and increases the speed at which learning experiences can be accessed and offered. However, because of these growing complexities it’s increasingly important to ensure you’re looking at both how these ever-increasing types of content interconnect and how your learning architecture scales with the business needs of your organisation. We will explore social platforms; performance support platforms; eLearning, video, and mobile learning; learning management systems and; HRIS system integration.

  • How learning paths will push people past compliance and “required” learning.
  • How new platforms that exist to give employees the opportunity to innovate through enhanced collaboration with peers.
  • Allow learners to see new ideas emerge through informal learning activities.
  • Explore the link between performance and learning in systems.
  • How using both asynchronous and synchronous content can give additional flexibility to your ecosystem.
  • How to prepare yourself for continued technological evolution.
Learning Effectiveness Framework: From Happy Sheets & People on Seats to Tangible Business Value

In this session hear how Nestlé have made considerable inroads into changing the conversation about learning value, moving from a focus on efficiency and cost to concentrating on results and value. This has been largely due to delivering a framework that enables a holistic, value focused approach for both L&D to design and deliver – with the business for the business – and the business (learners, line managers, HRBPs) to prepare and participate in learning. These have brought about measures that provide actionable insights about what happened and why.

Nestlé has achieved this by adopting outside-in thinking through internal and external research, connection & reflection. Starting with “contained” high profile/high value parts of the business and cross functional collaboration between experts in several core HR technologies, organisation structures and data, learning and development, vendors and people analytics. Learning can be positioned as a tangible performance enabler when learning teams work with the business for the business.

The End of the Training Department and the Rise of The Learning Scientist – Digital Disruption and the Future of Learning Leadership

In 2016 Chris gave a presentation entitled The End of the Training Department, in which he shared the disruptive forces at work on Microsoft, his industry, and on his team. The title was hyperbole, but the forces at work on his team and the anxiety about the future of the learning profession were real. In sharing his attempts to understand a future role for the organisation and function he ultimately expressed his confidence that with disruption came great opportunity, and in innovation was a possible salvation and vision for the future of our discipline.

In subsequent years, Chris has had the opportunity to explore the impact of disruptive forces at work on the learning function with many Chief Learning Officers around the world. CLOs from Addis Ababa to Zurich (well Switzerland anyway) and from Automotive companies to Wall Street, and he’s had the chance to sharpen his thinking on future opportunities for the ‘training department’, meet some learning scientists, and discover some cool best practices along the way.

In this talk Chris will update you on the changes at Microsoft and their journey to create a culture of learning that builds competitive advantage and a measurable impact on stock price. He’ll also share with you three forces and learnings to help you chart a future course.

  • The rise and the role of the robots – What are the skills implications of the fourth industrial revolution?
  • The new cult of learning culture – Why your job is not your job, and why learning is everybody’s job.
  • The learning advantage – How learning innovation is a competitive advantage and a force for progress in the world.


In the context of these trends, you’ll discover some tools to plan your future as a learning leader. All participants will get a reading list and a list of questions to help you frame your future as a learning leader in the age of digital disruption.


Innovation & Tech Fest Series

The Eventful Group

29 - 30 October, 2018

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