Vistage Research Center

Get actionable, data-driven insights and expert perspectives from our global community of CEOs and thought leaders. Led by Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer

3 Human Resources Trends Driving Innovation

What are the hottest topics in human resources these days? That question was answered for us recently when we attended the 2012 HCI Human Capital Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona.

We spent three days in the desert enjoying keynote sessions from the world’s leading human resources thought leaders, best-selling authors and former executives. Turns out it was anything but dry.

While there were many “a-ha!” moments throughout the week, these are three of our biggest takeaways:

Be Bold

Whether it was Robert Cancalosi of GE Healthcare speaking about their quest for endless innovation or Debra France of W.L. Gore describing her company’s radical approach to leadership hierarchy, some of the best success stories we heard came from companies willing to strike out on their own, bold course. GE Healthcare has created a culture of innovation by challenging its employees to be externally focused and imaginative. W.L. Gore threw away the traditional corporate structure, instead operating under what France calls a “lattice” structure in which everyone is a manager and feedback is a recurring loop. In place of job descriptions, employees commit to certain outcomes and work toward those goals. To most of us, these strategies seem counterintuitive, but this is exactly why they work so well in these environments.

Be Transparent

DreamWorksAnimation HR Chief Dan Satterthwaite described an environment at his company that fosters inherent transparency, including a daily public blog post from the CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, that keeps employees engaged, focused and informed. A typical feature-length animated film can take as long as five years to complete. With today’s mobile workforce, it’s difficult to imagine retaining 98% of your workforce throughout an entire project, but that’s exactly what DreamWorks Animation has been able to do. In fact, they consistently find themselves named among the 100 Best Companies to Work For by CNN Money. Maintaining transparency throughout all levels of the company has helped them foster an environment of innovation without employees feeling like their job is on the line if they take risks.

Be Collaborative

ChangeLabsFounder and CEO Peter Sheahan illustrated a striking example of a $5 billion market opportunity that was lost by a company because of a lack of communication among their most senior executives. Sheahan also noted that collaboration helps instill a genuine sense of commitment from employees. Several other speakers stressed the need to harness the power of the group when it comes to aligning teams and keeping employees engaged. Whether in person or using the latest social technology, collaboration was a consistent theme throughout the summit.

In addition to the conference sessions, we had meaningful conversations with many of the world’s leading HR practitioners who share our enthusiasm for innovative and fresh methods of leadership development. We certainly look forward to future HCI events, where we’ll have the chance to further explore these ideas.

Were you at the 2012 HCI Human Capital Summit? Leave a comment below and let usknow what resonated with you!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Predefined Skins

Primary Color

Background Color

Example Patterns

demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo demo

Privacy Policy Settings

  • Required Cookies
  • Performance Cookies
  • Functional Cookies
  • Advertising Cookies
These cookies are essential in order to enable you to move around the Sites and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the Sites and using Vistage’s Services. Since these cookies are essential to operate Vistage’s Sites and Services, there is no option to opt out of these cookies.
These cookies collect information about how visitors our Sites, for instance which pages visitors go to most often. These cookies don’t collect information that identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

Cookies used

Visual Web Optimizer
These cookies remember information you have entered or choices you make (e.g. as your username, language, or your region), and provide enhanced, more personal features. They may also be used to provide services you have asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. They may be set by us or by third party providers whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies then some or all of these services may not function properly.

Cookies used

Google Analytics
Gravity Forms
These cookies are used to make advertising more relevant to you and your interests. The cookies are usually placed by third party advertising networks. They remember the websites you visit and that information is shared with other parties such as advertisers. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.