Digital World, Technological Transformation and Human Resources

HR technologies are rapidly changing and more than 80% of the business world already aims to digitise their operating models. This trend will inevitably continue to build its own momentum and eventually reach a point where digitisation transforms the way all organisations function. The role of HR units and the demands of HR experts will be decisive in delivering this new digital world. How HR goes about transforming recruitment, performance management, career management and leadership development will create the culture that makes a healthy digital world possible.

This is not going to be easy. HR professionals will be having to master the latest HR technologies at the same time as the wider organization is adopting the new digital business models. It is a dual restructuring of HR and Business processes, where the old and new cultures co-exist and the old culture has to be supported in giving birth to the new. The challenge is how to hold the tension between the speed with which technology can be built and the speed with which it can be integrated within the social world, the culture and habits of leadership, of people at work.

This process is already underway, with real-time performance management and proactive recruitment has already taken for granted in some firms. The digital work culture is already emerging and any assessment, of what HR needs to do next, starts with an understanding of where the world of HR and HR solutions are at the moment.

HR leaders are already using Artificial Intelligence tools to add value to their organisations and to make their systems smarter and a better experience for users. People can feel supported as never before by the HR world, with better data and expert advice… and they can also feel their performance and cultural fit scrutinised and controlled as never before. Thus, two faces of Artificial Intelligence on HR began to appear.

One is filled with hope, where people achieve their potential as never before and businesses dance a quickstep, responding to data and insights about customers and employees before they knew what it was they wanted. HR is a magician, co-ordinating a life-affirming culture for all.

The other face is filled with drudgery and compliance, where people see their jobs being automated or dumbed down, and where they are supervised as never before, 24 hours a day. HR becomes seen as a punitive authority, manipulating and controlling a fragmented and isolated workforce.

At this year’s MCT conference we will show you how to embrace the hope, without ignoring the fear. We’ll help you address the issues that being a HR human in an AI world brings with it:

What does it mean to be human when technology can do so much?

When the boundaries between what technology can do and what we are as people, what are the unique contributions only people can make? How does this mean for established competency models and how people are rewarded?

How do we stop ourselves trusting technology too much?

The algorithms that underpin AI reflect the social rules of our current world, so if we want to change the world we need to remember to question the assumptions of those writing the code. How does HR ensure that an organization develops its critical thinking skills? How does it ensure a culture of inquiry takes a firm root? How do leaders learn to really value being challenged about basic assumptions?

When is technology about progress rather than change for change’s sake?

A lot of AI investment gets wasted because we forget to ask the obvious questions about how the change it brings will make a useful difference. How does HR ensure that an organization pays attention to the demand side of the demand/supply equation? How does it create a culture where technology is both engaged with and challenged? How does HR ensure that challenging the capacities of technology is valued and not simply dismissed as out-of-date?

If technology knows us better than we know ourselves how do we harness that knowledge for personal growth?

What does it take for us to really step into the learning zone, where we enjoy the real time feedback on how we are making those around us feel – and how we are actually behaving, rather than how we think we are? In a time of turbulence, how does HR ensure that there is enough ‘psychological safety’ in the culture and the behaviours of leaders, so people can engage constructively, and not just fearfully, with this new world order and its implications for them?

How do we deal with the consequences of technology making work more boring?

The less workload for employees, the more attractive. This prejudice can both undermine the value of effort and the risks of boredom. Because bored people don’t want to stick around- if they do, they do things simply to get noticed. Then they forget (or never learned) what to do when the machine stops. How does HR measure boredom? How will it know when people have switched off? How are people kept keen and practised for the time when they have to step in at short notice because the machines can’t cope?

We’ll also help you get on top of the language of AI - giving you a practical definition of what the key terms mean and help you tell the difference between what matters and what doesn’t.

What the 24th Human Resources Summit will give you:

  • What you do (and don’t) need to understand about AI and HR
  • What the workforce of the future needs to look like and what you need to do to win the new war for talent
  • What your role needs to be in transforming HR and the wider business in an AI world
  • What it means to be a human being in the age of AI