Leading Through Disruption

We are living in a world where change is the norm. Disruption is no longer a novelty, it is way of life, inside and outside of work.  The forces that drive the intense disruption create complexity that challenges even the most agile organizations. To thrive, organizations must find new ways to balance the waves of change and innovation to create coherence.  This is a world that needs speed, agility, and new models to meet the evolving needs of the business.  

As HR leaders, we must lead the biggest challenges organizations are facing today—shifting the mindset on how today’s businesses embrace disruption. From developing top-notch recruitment and attraction frameworks that meet the challenges of the talent wars, to re-tooling HR with specialty disciplines that can help manage complexity, organizations are relying increasingly on an expanding HR portfolio to meet the expectation of a consumer-grade experience, 24/7 communications, and shorter and shorter change cycles.

To remain successful, HR leaders must orchestrate all of this in ways that balance stakeholders and the business, stepping into the uncertainty to deliver outsized results that transform organizations from the inside out. At the Strategic HR Forum: Leading Through Disruption, we will explore the critical role HR leaders play in creating a competitive advantage by finding value within the disruptive layers of the business environment. 

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Michael Arena, PhD
Chief Talent Officer 
General Motors
Positively disrupt or be disrupted
Monday, October 15   
8:30 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.
To edge out the competition in today’s disruptive environment, you need to ensure that your company is agile―that it can respond to change instantly and effectively. Because fast and furious change is the only thing you can count on in business today. Network expert Michael Arena helped enable GM’s legendary turnaround. In this session, based on his book Adaptive Space: How GM and Other Companies are Positively Disrupting Themselves and Transforming into Agile Organizations he will highlight how you can transform your own company through the concept of adaptive space. Based on hundreds of interviews and Arena’s own groundbreaking study of dozens of organizations spanning a variety of industries, you’ll learn how to position your company for today―and for the future―by enabling creativity, innovation, and novel ideas to flow freely among teams, across departments, and throughout the company.

Simon King
Global Head of Talent and Workforce Innovation
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Harnessing Disruptive Change to Better Serve Our Patients
Monday, October 15   
10:30 A.M. – 11:45 A.M.

This session will explore the tenacious journey of Bristol Myers Squibb to transform to an agile BioPharma through a sustained and innovative people strategy.  You will hear how BMS is creating a culture of high performance through developing talent, building leadership capabilities, unleashing the power of diversity & inclusion and creating an energizing workplace.


Sandra Leung
EVP & General Counsel
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Brigette Mcinnis-Day
Chief HR Strategy & Digital Transformation Executive
SAP SuccessFactors

Success Factors for Business Transformation
Monday, October 15   
1:00 P.M. – 1:50 P.M.

We are faced with stories daily about companies lagging in their efforts to digitally transform, causing them to lose competitive ground to newer entrants and business models that are poised to disrupt markets with innovative products and services. CHRO’s today are challenged to lead business transformation, both at the enterprise level and across their own functional area of Human Resources, while delivering a consumer grade experience for employees.

HR leaders can reduce complexity and drive growth while putting people and experiences at the heart of our organizations. In this session, SAP SuccessFactors Chief HR Strategy and Transformation Officer will discuss these trends and show companies how they can embrace the new world of business where you can exceed employee expectations and achieve business success.

Matthew Burns
Head of HR

Driving HR Innovation When You Aren't a Fortune 1000 
Monday, October 15   
1:50 P.M. – 2:45 P.M.

The calls for disruption and innovation in HR are getting louder. Though with constrained budgets and shrinking resources, where do HR leaders start? In this session, Matt will share how in less than 12 months, the HR team at JYSK sourced, acquired and implemented five (5) disparate technologies to create their own (custom) enterprise platform at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Their transformation automated administrative tasks, transitioned the HR department to near-paperless daily operations, and was recently recognized as the: ‘Most Innovative Use of HR Technology’ in Canada. Join Matt as he shares his key criteria for selecting technologies, the lessons learned – both positive and constructive, and the organization’s progress since implementation. 

Sumeet Salwan
(former) Global Head of Human Resources
Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices and Corporate Function

Connecting Talent to Value
Monday, October 15   
3:15 P.M. – 4:05 P.M.

Historically, we have treated roles, contributions, and capacity as separate activities. Roles get reviewed under the banner of organizational design; individual contributions and engagement get assessed as part of performance management; and capacity usually gets looked at in terms of the company’s talent pipeline. Rarely do leaders come together to flag the specific roles in the company that drive value.  When this does happen, we rarely monitor incumbents for their contributions to value, their level of engagement, and their capacity--combined. Investing the time and attention necessary to ensure that the right talent is working wherever significant value can be created can optimize performance for the organization and individual. 

Sandy Ogg

Dean Carter
Vice President of Human Resources & 
Shared Services

Monday, October 15   
4:05 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

Patagonia and Sears may seem like diametrically different organizations, but they share one shred of DNA - question it ALL.  And at this unique moment in the HR profession - where disruption has us poised for renaissance or irrelevance - it’s the kind of jolt all HR leaders need right now.  From gender equity to the merit matrix - this session will challenge your values, rethink the most sacred of HR practices, and maybe even make you consider buying a surfboard.

Christopher Kujawa
Vice President, Human Capital Capabilities
American Express

Need for Speed
Tuesday, October 16   
8:30 A.M. – 9:40 A.M.

How does a 168–year-old company transform to succeed in today’s fast-paced and digital world?  Start a movement!  

Christopher and Deborah leveraged their understanding of organizational development and culture, change management and human capital analytics to launch the Need for Speed, an initiative at American Express that has gone viral and has evolved into a movement.   The purpose behind the Need for Speed is to increase organizational agility, defined as the company’s ability to anticipate and respond to change quickly.  In this session, you will learn how Christopher and Deborah built the case for change and their overall approach to increasing organizational agility at American Express. 

Deborah Torosian
Vice President, Organizational Effectiveness
American Express

Elaine Mason
VP, People Planning, 
Design and Analytics
Cisco Systems

The Disruptive Power of Information
Tuesday, October 16 
10:00 A.M. – 10:55 A.M.

Over the last twenty years, almost every business, economy and country has experienced some degree of disruption through the widespread availability of information. Human Resources, as an industry, has experienced the transformative power of information as well. In fact, our industry shines we understand our people with more depth and meaning than any of our best guesses or gut instincts ever provided. That intelligence is paramount to the future of HR and it is driven by a new and challenging way of working. 

In this session, you will learn how Cisco HR is working differently - disrupting itself. We will focus on Cisco’s approach to using curiosity fueled research, rigorous and repeatable measurement methodologies, design thinking and agile scaling techniques. We will share our approach through the lens of two key initiatives that are still in flight and are in different stages of implementation. And you will learn how Cisco keeps adjusting our way as the needs of the business and our industry continue to transform. 

Kristen Roby Dimlow
Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Total Rewards and HR Business Insights

Culture Journey – Top 10 Lessons Learned
Tuesday, October 16   
10:55 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.

To continue leading digital transformation globally, Microsoft is transforming, adopting a Growth Mindset, rethinking its people processes and practices, and driving positive change across its diverse, multi-generational global workforce. In this session, Kristen Roby Dimlow will cover how Microsoft is evolving its culture to navigate the company’s own digital transformation and will share the top 10 takeaways Microsoft learned about culture change.  Kristen will also share how HR at Microsoft is enabling the company’s digital transformation, so you can directly or indirectly apply these insights to your own transformation efforts. 


The Strategic HR Forum provides the perfect setting for HR leaders to engage in meaningful conversations that will inspire a new way of thinking. Take advantage of these networking events to meet, reconnect and re-energize with fellow leaders.


Continue the conversation with speakers and colleagues in a small group setting. Space is limited and seats must be reserved in advance.


Enjoy this opportunity to explore in small groups hot topics and trends that are top of mind for HR leaders.


Representatives from the industry’s top firms will be on hand to discuss the latest products and services that can address even the most complex organizational challenges.


Take advantage of this unique opportunity to network with your peers from across the profession and industries.


Kick off the conference by mingling with fellow attendees, speakers, and partners. 


Take your Forum experience to the next level!

 Inspired by its iconic address that unites city, lake and sky, The Ritz-Carlton- Chicago stands a beacon in Chicago. The revitalization of the property sets the stage for a modern luxury experience, innovative dining and personalized stays. The lobbies, ballrooms and social venues have been thoughtfully designed taking cues from Chicago’s bold architecture and modern influence unveiling a true sense of place.

Let the 2018 Strategic HR Forum and the Ritz-Carlton Chicago be your gateway to everything Chicago has to offer:

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