HR Technology 2012 – Day 1

Greetings everyone from the Windy City.  The first day of the 2012 HR Technology Conference is drawing to a close here at McCormick Place West and I wanted to capture  some of my thoughts before they drifted out of the transom of my mind.

The day started out with an engaging keynote address from Tom Koulopoulos (@TKspeaks).  The key message I took away from this was that large companies are too often paralyzed by the need to manage risk, even when risk is not manageable.  Tom spoke a lot about in the box and out of the box and some things that we’ve all heard before but the truly unique idea I heard today from @TKspeaks was the idea that social media content may evolve into an asset at an individual level.  He asked the question, “Does your Facebook page go away when you die?”  In fact it doesn’t.  A friend of mine passed away and I happened to notice that people were posting on his wall and sure enough, his page is still active and people were posting memorials on the anniversary of his death.  Interesting ideas and a few jokes made the early morning a little brighter.

I went to the expo hall and wow!  Almost 300 exhibitors and tons of new stuff to see.  I had a long conversation with a guy on a break about how seemingly disorganized HR generally is.  His background was in manufacturing and mine is in technology and financial services and we both agreed that the number of vendors a single employer brings to bear to solve the myriad of HR needs they have is astounding.  That being said, I was also pleased to see several vendors working hard to integrate services so you don’t HAVE to have 30 suppliers if you don’t want to.

The expo also provided me an opportunity to catch up with friends.  Folks I’ve worked with at My Health and Money, Evolution1, Ceridian, and several others all had exciting things to talk about.  Of course we were all talking about the SAP/Success Factors party at the House of Blues.  For a bunch of HR folks, they sure like to get their drink on!

At lunch a comedian Mike Rayburn (@MikeRayburn) entertained us and challenged us to imagine “what if you could”. His combination of music and message drove home the message that we are all limited by our own perspective, so just change your perspective and you can change your life.  I know it’s easy to say, but its just as easy to do, only you stand in you way.

The afternoon was full of more networking and a session by Aeropostale and Ceridian on workforce management for young workers.  Ceridian’s client had nothing but good things to say about Dayforce HCM and Ceridian.  Video testimonials from actual employees were impressive.

It’s time to get ready to party and I’m looking forward to some drinks with even more friends.  All in all a great first day and well run conference.  


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