The 2016 HCM Excellence Conference: An Analyst’s Perspective

Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference16, held next week at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, is designed to be a valuable experience for attendees, most of whom are human capital management leaders in learning, talent management, talent acquisition, leadership development and workforce management.

excellence16-website-banner-2However, for analysts like me and other observers of the HCM space, these conferences can be just as appreciated. Although some of the subjects I write about are fairly broad in scope (analytics, creativity, for example), there are still many aspects to human capital management that I don’t have the luxury of keeping up with. Yet in the weeks leading up to this conference I have been able to get caught up on at least the broad strokes of the trends in other areas of HCM that I tend to lose sight of. What has amazed me was how much these trends overlapped or complemented each other.

Some — such as employee experience as a key element of talent management, analytics to determine the effectiveness of learning, and broadening the candidate pool — are all interconnected. User experience in technology has been pushed to the forefront as companies start purchasing and designing employee software not with capabilities in mind, but rather the user experience. Analytics are being used to answer a myriad of questions across many departments rather than focusing exclusively on extremely complex ones within just HR.

The workshop that I am presenting with Michael Rochelle, Brandon Hall Group’s Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst, Mastering Measurement and Analytics, touches specifically on some of these trends within the field of workforce analytics. We will be speaking about the way in which the workforce has changed, through digital natives entering the workforce, and how comfortable those digital natives are with thinking in terms of data and hard evidence. That is a good trait to have, because we are becoming a data-centric workforce, although that change is in fits and starts, there is no doubt that the days of making decisions based on gut feelings are soon to be nothing but memories. The data (truth) is out there, and it is available to everyone, and with that data (knowledge) comes power.

It is summed up best by my colleague Laci Loew, VP/Principal Analyst for our Talent Management Practice: “It’s all about the people.” I think this is really a reflection of the larger world where our technology has democratized us, allowing us to spread our talents not just upward but outward. And that’s really what we are talking about here, the broadening of our talent across the organization, much like how we’ve broadened our consideration who might be considered an employee. The nature of work is changing, and with it, the nature of how we seek, purchase, distribute, recognize, and reward work.

Coming years will certainly see a continuation of this trend, along with the some very specific changes that we are all working to anticipate and proactively address. For next week, though, the focus will be on the Brandon Hall Group research that tells us where we are and where we are going this year, and highlighting organizations – winners of Brandon Hall Group’s prestigious Excellence Awards –– that show us how to implement these ideas and create valuable places to work. Those are the insights that help those of us who write about human resources and the ones who are actually out there doing the work. Keep an eye out for blogs and tweets about the conference next week. Follow us at #Excellence16.

Cliff Stevenson, Principal Analyst, Workforce Management, Brandon Hall Group

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.