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2013 Global Conference Featured Speakers and Sessions
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HRPS has identified five pillars of knowledge we believe are the most critical and strategic to HRM and HR best practices. These five areas drive the content and outcomes of all HRPS educational activities, including the 2013 HRPS Global Conference. Learn more about the HRPS Five Pillars of Knowledge.

Sunday, April 14 - Opening Keynote

The Future of Work: Will You Be Ready?
Debi Hirshlag, Strategic HR Advisor, Workday

Have you ever been river rafting? You know the river will be there but not what the journey down it will hold. But through experience and preparation you can arrive safely at your destination.

Futurists predict the next decade will be the most turbulent one yet. Companies need leaders and employees who can both survive and thrive within change. As Human Resources professionals, we need to lead the way in preparing our organizations for this uncertainty.

Spend time learning what the future might hold for companies; what leadership competencies will be needed; and the signs here now pointing to work’s future. Assess your own readiness to help your organization successfully navigate this inevitable change during a self-introspection exercise.

Monday, April 15 - Day 1

Bridging the Gap: Eliminating Impediments to Business Performance by Building Talent Flexibility and Capacity
Eric Severson, Senior Vice President, Global Talent Solutions, Gap Inc.

As technological innovations have fundamentally changed the nature of work, business enterprises worldwide are facing the growing challenges of talent flexibility and capacity. An emphasis on expedited results, an increasely networked global economy and the ubiquity of mobile technology poses trouble in workplaces whose rules and structures haven't changed with the more stressful, faster-paced times. Learn how Gap implemented programs and practices that built flexibility and capacity in the workforce, slashed turnover rates, spiked employee engagement and drove improved business performance despite challenging economic times.

Freedom, Collaboration, and Meaning: Three Major Challenges for the HR Profession in the Global Arena
Luca Solari, Professor of Organizational Theory and Human Resourses Management, University of Milan

This session will discuss how the challenges in Global labor markets (globalization, social media diffusion, new generational values, etc.) require the HR profession to reflect critically on three new goals. The organization of the future shall be built upon meaning, to attract talented employees, shall promote freedom, to allow experimentation and change, and shall provide collaboration, to foster both freedom and meaning.
How can a shattered function, which is today dispersed in separate roles, face these challenges?
I will discuss my view that since these goals take on a very different sense at global vs. local level, the HR profession requires to go through a renewal, a process that I define as a process of sensemaking.

Grooming People for Global Leadership
Janet Victorson, Director in the Center of Expertise, Talent Manager, Bayer AG and Maria Smith, Senior Consultant, Talent Management, Right Management

Bayer HR has had a long partnership with Right Management to deliver the Bayer Development Centers for multiple Leadership levels. In 2010 Bayer HR and Right Management partnered to design a new Development Center targeted for high potential emerging leaders. Linking the global Bayer LIFE Values, Talent Management strategy and business strategy, Bayer identified the competencies and behaviors demonstrated by successful leaders in a global environment. Based on this connection, Bayer is able to assess for promotability, identify development needs, and create measurable development plans for its high potentials to prepare them for future mid-level and senior roles on both a national and global level.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Trends and best practices in assessment and development centers
  • How to design assessment activities that align with organizational values and support business objectives
  • The value of including business leaders in the development center process
  • Ways to balance assessment and personal development

Galvanizing Your Workforce Around a Shared Mission, Vision, Values and Strategy
Mark Gasta, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Vail Resorts Management Company

A case study example of Vail Resorts' process to clearly articulate the higher purpose of their efforts allowing them to galvanize the efforts of the team resulting in greater employee engagement and organizational alignment. This integrated, multi-year plan of action: incorporated all business units and functions; developed agreed upon clear, measurable milestones; and enabled all business units, functional areas, and employees to proactively work together towards a clearly defined end state with the ultimate goal of maxmizing the long term success of Vail Resorts by:

  • Serving as a guide for decision making and resource allocation
  • Providing both short and long term view for planning purposes
  • Allowing the organization to consciously preserve the core while stimulating process/growth
  • Ensuring business/functional alignment in order to maximize efforts
  • The development of a comprehensive approach to growing profitability

Talent Economics: The Fine Line Between Winning and Losing the Global War for Talent
Gyan Nagpal, Author, Entrepreneur, Consultant

The microscope on talent is in sharp focus, and HR has more programs and processes to manage talent than ever before. Yet CEOs across the world seem less confident they can manage the complexities of retaining and developing the next generation of leaders. The truth is that market realities in Seattle, Selangor, or Shanghai are so fundamentally different; one size solutions almost never hit the mark.

In this session:

  • Take a unique interdisciplinary approach to analyze talent needs. Talent Economics, as a discipline, sits at the fulcrum of Economics (the behavioural science dealing with how the forces of supply and demand allocate scarce resources) and Talent Management as a practice area.
  • Analyse global talent trends and link them back to organisational imperatives. By focussing equally on Macro Trends (which track the ebb and flow of talent within a market or industry system) and Micro Trends (which track how the economic contract between employee and employer is changing), we help Talent Managers transform into forward looking Talent Economists.
  • Discover the 11 variables which influence an organisation’s strategic talent choices, and map talent investments to our most urgent needs. Why is this burning need today? Our research , covering 148 firms across the world, clearly shows how poorly business realties and talent investments are currently correlated across Asia. Participants of the workshop will be taught how to use the revolutionary new PeopleLENS assessment to identify their organisation’s strategic needs. It’s time to discover your strategic talent agenda.


Developing Great Talent Decision Makers

Jason Jeffay, Senior Partner and Global Segment Leader for Leadership & Organization Performance and Susan Dunn, Partner, Leadership & Organization Performance Practice, Mercer

Talent is an exceedingly complex asset to manage. It requires leaders who manage talent with forethought and rigor - often thinking two steps ahead as if sitting in front of a chess board. Companies are very focused on developing executives into better people leaders. For the most part this is behavioral—getting executives to be more motivating, better coaches and mentors, and the utmost in providing direction and feedback.

But do they have the skills to make intentional, strategic decisions about people? Do they know whom to promote, what expectations to set, when to continue to try and make it work, and when to move onto someone else? Do they play out the consequences of each of those actions on the team and organization?

Talent management is a process and a set of decisions that leaders must make. While we educate leaders on the process, we spend little time helping them become better decision makers. Great people leaders are defined by the behaviors they display; great talent leaders are defined by the decisions they make. In this session, we discuss how talent management is more of a decision science than a process.

We’ll learn why leaders generally do not make good decisions about talent and what it takes to improve their talent decision making skills.Come prepared to test your innate talent leader skills – we will use a game-based simulation that allows attendees to test their talent decision making skills against others in the session and see who can develop the best team.


Inspiring Creativity, Energy and Innovation – 3 Provocative Ideas
Living the session title, each of our 3 outstanding thoughts leaders, will energetically pose a provocative idea on inspiring personal, as well as organizational creativity, energy and innovation. Participants will then, supported by the thought leader, engage in robust table-level dialogue about the ideas. This session is designed for grappling with, expanding and exploring the concepts conveyed.

Jeremy Hunter, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Practice, Claremont Graduate University, Peter F. Drucker School of Management, Co-Founder and Former Research Director of the Quality of Life Research Center

Idea: Managing Your Mind: The Foundation of Performance
When we think of necessary executive skills, they tend to be externally oriented: technical abilities, relating to other people and seeing and operating in whole systems. Less frequently, do we consider managing ourselves and our own minds. Given that knowledge workers make their living by using their own (and relating to other) minds, it is curious that we're rarely taught how to effectively manage the thoughts, emotions and habits that drive our actions and generate results. Mindfulness is a skill that helps us be more conscious of how we perform and offers the possibility transforming ourselves and our results. How can we begin to implement mindfulness in action? I'll give an overview of how I've been teaching exactly that for over a decade.

G. Kelly O’Dea, Strategic Advisor, Successful Entrepreneur, Global Marketing Innovator,
Co-Founder, Alliance for High Performance Leadership Worldwide, Applied Global Innovation Firm

Idea: Inspiration, Vitality and Staying Turned On

Adapting to the shifting landscapes of today's dynamic world is an everyday challenge for all organizations and their leaders. Despite good intentions, these efforts often meet with failure. How can "human resources" morph into sustainable human performance? I will explore this question through stories about experiences and hard lessons learned around the world in a lifelong quest to discover and implement universal principles that can drive and sustain high performance in any organization.

Christine Porath, Ph.D., Associate Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University

Idea: Creating Sustainable Performance – Thriving in the Workplace
According to a Gallup poll, 71% of employees see themselves as disengaged; less than 20% of employees see themselves as flourishing in their work. Employees seek something more – they want a job situation that enables them to thrive. By crafting a culture where employees thrive, you’ll enhance performance, retain talent, and reduce health care costs. I’ll discuss what you can do to enable your people to thrive and consider best practices. Helping people grow and remain energized at work is valiant on its own merits—but it can also boost your company’s performance, in a sustainable way.

Tuesday, April 16 - Day 2


Collaborative Talent Mobility Practices - A Driver for Economic Growth
Carsten Sudhoff, Chief Human Resources Officer, World Economic Forum


Talent is the fuel that drives the engine of the global economy. Persistent levels of high-unemployment globally, together with the difficulties experienced by companies trying to find the right workers with the right skills, are hampering the competitiveness of our economies and threatening our social models. Even more worrying are the current demographic projections indicating that the next employment crisis is likely to stem from a shortage in labor supply linked to declining birth rates, low college graduation rates, and a steadily aging population.

Talent mobility is an enabler for companies to close skill gaps and remedy talent shortages while moving more people to employability and employment. There is much more to talent mobility than international assignments, yet talent mobility is not achieving its full potential. Over the past few years The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with BCG and Mercer, has produced a comprehensive analysis of the future talent shortage across different regions, industries and job families and has examined the talent mobility practices of over 4,000 companies across 45 countries. From this research they were able to identify good practices in talent mobility that stimulated economic growth.


In this session you will explore the factors that may be getting in the way of your organizations’ attempts to successfully move talent within or across your organization, industry, country, or globally. We will also explore our collective ability to move professional workers across occupations or skill sets to help balance human capital markets. Carsten will share some of the most innovative practices coming from various industries from which we can all learn.


Future Directions in Strategic Workforce Planning
Marta Brito Perez, Sr. VP/ Chief Human Resources Officer, Adventist Healthcare, Dan Ward, Associate Dept. Head, Research & Development Center for National Security Engineering, MITRE Corporation and Kristin Bertelli, Deputy Team Chief for Workforce Strategy and Planning, Central Intelligence Agency

Strategic Workforce Planning (SWP) is essential to ensure corporate and strategic objectives are met. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear directly from leading private and public sector thought leaders on their experiences and best practices. Marta Brito Perez will share her knowledge on aligning workforce capabilities to the emerging demands in the rapidly evolving healthcare arena. Kristin Bertelli will discuss recent innovations and applications across the US Intelligence Community in SWP such as Human Capital Employment Plans, Workforce Analytics, and workforce shaping activities. Dan Ward will share the latest trends in SWP and will introduce the potential of a future world where a ‘flash-mob’ staffing strategy would replace traditional planning. Come to this interactive session and take away ideas that you can incorporate now in your workplace."

Increasing Connectivity, Collaboration, and Transparency: Transforming HR Based on Agile Software Practices
Liz Andora, VP, People, Rally Software and Rachel Weston Rowell, Agile Coach, Rally Software

The business world is focused on becoming more agile and lean. So how can these practices be applied to HR? Liz Andora, VP, People from Rally Software will share with you how she has transformed the HR processes at Rally to align with the Agile software practices. At Rally they have defined a "manager” in terms of servant leadership that supports self-organizing teams.

She will share how she has aligned their HR practices to support a culture that is focused on collaboration and transparency. This means that accountability rests with the team, and performance reviews invite feedback from everyone and feedback goes to the employee, not the manager. Come hear how "The Best Company to Work for in Colorado” (ColoradoBizMagazine 2006-2012) and #8 Best Medium Company (Great Places to Work Fortune Magazine) manages talent in a whole new way.

Organizational Approaches to Unleashing Energy, Vitality and Innovation

Darren Grady, Senior Director, Global Organization Capability, Nike, Inc.

Organization design can unleash human ingenuity – or dampen it. Innovative companies like Nike, Inc are becoming more intentional about the impact of organization design on the performance of individuals and teams. From multi-directional matrices to cross-functional workgroups to business incubators, these companies are utilizing a variety of ‘high-touch,’ high-involvement organization methods to achieve a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This interactive session will explore the relationship between organizational design and performance, and generate ideas for implementing ‘high-touch’ designs in your own organization. In this interactive session, you will explore:

  • How organization design impacts human creativity and ingenuity
  • The notion of a ‘high-touch’ organization and its advantages and disadvantages
  • Innovative organization structures used by Nike, Inc. and other global companies
  • Ideas for how to bring ‘high-touch’ methods and structures into your own organization

Behind Avnet’s Engagement Rebound: Shaping an Employee Value Proposition
MaryAnn Miller, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Avnet, Inc. and Matthew Kamensky, Director, Talent Management Practice, Towers Watson

After sizable layoffs following the burst of the tech bubble, Avnet’s employee engagement was predictably low. To counteract this, Avnet partnered with Towers Watson to drive significant improvement in employee engagement. Since they began this journey, Avnet has effectively linked their steadily growing business results to their improving survey results. Today, leveraging the insights from their focus on employee engagement, Avnet is taking their strengthened position to the next level – to inform a strategic and meaningful Employee Value Proposition (EVP).

In this session, MaryAnn Miller from Avnet, Inc. and Matthew Kamensky from Towers Watson, will share highlights of this journey – including how Avnet’s key business drivers have evolved, and how a deeper understanding of employee engagement is helping shape a sustainable EVP.

Session highlights include:

  • Achieving senior leadership buy-in — encouraging leaders to be change advocates
  • Holding leaders accountable — establishing goals and tracking progress
  • Following through on action planning — involving employees in the process
  • Identifying and focusing on the drivers of engagement — developing a strategy that links employee and business success
  • Telling the story —the evolution of the employee value proposition


Developing the 21st Century Workforce: The Evolving Skill Development Systems of China and India
David Finegold, Ph.D., Dean of Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

China and India together represent more than 35% of the global workforce and each country is in the midst of major efforts to upgrade the skills of their workforce. Professor David Finegold of Rutgers University will share the results of his onoing research comparing the evolution of the education and training systems in China and India, detailing both the progress they have made and the multiple problems facing both Asian nations. He will explore the HR strategy implications of these trends for global companies and US workers.

The New Science of Building Great Teams
Dr. Ben Waber, President and CEO, Sociometrics Solutions and Visiting Scientist, MIT Media Lab

MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory’s research on why and how patterns of communication influence high performance reveals new insights that are essential for Human Resources to understand and integrate in organizational development, performance management, team building and employee development. Through the use of socio-metric tagging technology in their research on the communication influences in highly productive teams, Dr. Waber and his colleagues have identified highly consistent patterns of communication that are associated with higher performing teams, regardless of what kind of work they do. Their study reveals that more than skill, intelligence, and all other factors that go into building a team combined, it is the patterns of communication that matter most. Dr. Waber will discuss the findings and implications of this research as well as demonstrate the use of the socio-metric badges that have contributed to the discovery of these breakthrough findings.

Data & People: An Inside Look at Google's Data-Driven HR Organization
Suzanne Stoller, Tech HR Americas West Lead, People Operations, Google

Suzanne Stoller, Google’s head of HR for the Americas West region, hosts an interactive session highlighting the challenges and benefits of leading a data-driven HR organization. Through group discussion and audience interaction, Suzanne will share perspectives on Google’s approach to finding, growing, and keeping talent. She will also discuss how in her HR Business Partner role, she often balances responding to people data with emotional intelligence. Through real examples from Google’s People Operations function, Suzanne will demonstrate how HR of the future is equal parts art and science.

6 Innovations Shaping HR 3.0
Greg Pryor, Vice President, Leadership & Talent Matters, Juniper Networks

Silicon Valley’s Juniper Networks invents the most sophisticated technology powering the world’s most demanding technology networks. Fueling the next generation of high-performance technology requires a unique climate where their colleagues "Can Do Their Best Work”. Over the last five years, Juniper’s global Talent Team has been exploring disruptive strategies to reimage the talent principles and practices that enable Juniper’s high-performance business strategy and brand. During this discussion, Juniper’s VP of Leadership & Talent Matters, Greg Pryor will share how Juniper has worked with thought-leaders including Ann Rhoades, David Rock, Rob Cross and Chris Ernst to explore six emerging ideas: 1) NeuroLeadership, 2) Boundary Spanning Leadership, 3) Network-Based Organizations, 4) Digital HR, 5) Aligned Brand System, and 6) Collaborative Work Environments. While these ideas are being applied uniquely at Juniper, this presentation offers a provocative perspective into the innovations that may shape HR 3.0.


Idea Café: Key Conference Learnings and the Power of Visuals
Chris Chopyak, Alchemy North America

Alchemy is excited to be collaborating with HRPS in the Idea Café: Key Conference Learnings and the Power of Visuals session, as well as the closing session. In this session, attendees will break off into small groups to team up with Alchemy's Strategic Artists who are partnering with HRPS members/facilitators to gather key conference takeaways and to capture these ideas through visual note taking. During the closing all participants will come together to share the high points of the 2013 HRPS Global Conference.

The Big Three Revolution: How Social, Mobile and Big Data Will Change How We Think About the Workforce
Eric Lesser, Research Director and North American Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

Three important revolutions are occurring simultaneously in today's business environment. The proliferation of mobile technologies, the use of social platforms and tools in personal and professional environments, and the amount of data available to companies are rapidly changing how companies compete in the marketplace.

These three trends, when taken in concert, will directly affect the way organizations need to think about the workforce. This presentation will address how these forces are impacting the types of employees that are needed to be successful in this environment, how talent is managed in a mobile, social and data-intensive world, and the subsequent impact on the HR organization of the future.

Wednesday, April 17 – Post-Conference Workshop: Change Management That Builds Vitality and Moves The Organization Forward

All full conference attendees of the 2013 HRPS Global Conference receive automatic access to the Post-Conference Workshop. Don’t miss this special collection of speakers who will focus on building capability to deal with rapid organizational change.

Why Change Management Needs to Change
Ron Ashkenas, Managing Partner, Schaffer Consulting and Justin Wasserman, Partner, Schaffer Consulting

For the past half-century, despite heavy investment, research and practice, most organizations know very little about how to successfully drive change. In 1995, John Kotter published research that revealed only 30 percent of change programs are successful. A 2008 survey of 1,546 business executives indicated that the percent of change programs that are a success today is… still 30%. The field of ‘change management’, it would seem, hasn’t changed a thing (The Inconvenient Truth About Change Management, S. Keller, C Aiken).

Ron Ashkenas and Justin Wasserman from Schaffer Consulting, will explore why so many change programs go awry and share some pragmatic tips for overcoming the typical change management traps that continue to ensnare even the most sophisticated and well respected organizations in the world.

The outcome of the session aims to raise our collective consciousness about the ways in which we can partner more strategically with the business to dramatically enhance the efficacy and impact of our change work.

Simplying Change Management...That was Easy!
Kate Hyatt, Sr. Director, Global Talent Management and Organizational Development, Staples

Change is a constant at Staples. Given the accelerating pace of change and knowing that effectively managing change is critical to the company’s success, Kate Hyatt and her team developed a change management model and tools which are being deployed globally across 27 countries. Rather than using the traditional approach of introducing concepts to senior leaders and cascading materials through the company, the organizational development team partnered with the Staples Black Belt community and developed a grassroots strategy. Black Belts realized that by recognizing the emotional side of change, their projects would have higher adoption rates and quicker cycle times. Using an eclectic approach, the OD team and Black Belts pulled elements from multiple schools of thought and created a model that fits the Staples culture. Additionally, practical tools were devised to be used when leading change or facilitating discussions regarding change efforts.

In order to spread the word, half day and full day workshops are currently being offered in several countries. The materials are available for use by the global HR community through a Wiki that has been created on the company portal. The reaction has been 100% positive and the "skunk works” approach is now in the mainstream. Leadership groups in IT and Shared Services have benefited from workshops and are more effectively managing their changes.

Executing Strategic Success: Merck's Experience in Building Capability and Executing to Deliver Results
Donna Pearce, Executive Director of Strategy Execution, Merck

In this session we will share what Merck has learned are the critical foundational elements to drive strategic change. This includes alignment on the external and internal motivators and related key decisions that frame the need for change as well as defining the full scope, purpose, and relationships of multiple change management models and tools. We will also share the capability building approach adopted by Merck, including how to shift in mindsets to link change management and organization culture to strategic success. Within this capability building approach, we will address the structures that can support Business Transformation, what to watch-out for in terms of risks and barriers to success, and decisions associated with determining whether key talent should be certified in managing change.

Merck will also share the Strategy Execution Framework and conduct practical learning exercises to enable workshop participants to learn how to successfully:

1. Translate strategy into action, including the prioritization and mobilization approach
2. Define Transformation and why it’s important
3. Establish roles—especially leaders’ roles—in the change process
4. Structure and communicate phases of the journey, including an explicit focus on insuring results are delivered
and sustained
5. Understand and manage risks that will DEFINITELY show up (Exercise)
6. Ensure change "sticks”

Speakers and sessions as of 3/20/13. Subject to change.


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