Monday, December 2, 2013

Key learnings from Ignition Conference 2013 - and what HR needs to heed!

Ignition 2013, the Future of Digital. New York City.

When global thought leaders in all matters relating to anything on-line speak – we listen!  

The line-up at this year's conference included Elon Musk, extreme entrepreneur and CEO of Tesla Motors, the first fully electric car taking the USA by storm; Business Hip Hop label magnate Russel Simmons who is revolutionising the world of entertainment through his approach to launching new singers; Executive editor of Linked In, Dan Roth; the CMO of Salesforce, Mike Lazerow; Lewis D’Vorkin, Chief Product Officer of Forbes and Chris Peacock of CNN.

So what did some of the most powerful players in the digital landscape say that have an impact on HR and on learning and development

1. Ignore what is happening on-line at your peril.  There are nearly 3 billion people on-line and most of the world’s money is already on line.  There are over a billion smart phones sold and people spend about an hour a day on their phone.  The desktop market is shrinking and mobile and video are booming.

The world is now multi-screen and Facebook reaches more people than free TV….  

Watch out for the next big thing:  wearables such as watches or Google glasses; networked houses and remote control lives.

For more facts and interesting statistics and data:

2. Consider carefully how you make use of social media.  It is a great way to humanise your brand and to share information.  Find the channel that suits you best.  This is certainly something for HR and L and D professionals to consider as we raise our own internal brand equity.

3. In order to get closer to the customer, think about on-line ways of engaging them.  One of the most watched adverts of the year on Youtube was the Dove soap campaign:  it inspired women to believe that they are beautiful.

In the case of HR and L and D, it leads us to consider how we can get closer to our stakeholders.  We also need to re-imagine the experience that our team, management teams and staff have with us.  Can we emulate what happens in a Burberry store where they know who you are and what your buying preferences are as you step in.  Very different from an Apple store experience where no one knows who you are.  Which possibly explains why the CEO of Burberry is joining Apple…

4. When it comes to innovation, here are some great lessons shared:

Most speakers freely acknowledged how many mistakes they make –“we get it wrong at least half the time.” Sometimes, it is simply right idea and wrong time.  Be prepared to kill things quickly if they are not working and also resurrect things that could work in different circumstances.

You also don’t need to be totally certain that your idea is going to eventuate or have a positive outcome. You do need to be reasonably sure that your ideas are supported by data and not simply blind faith. 

Launching things on line does give you the ability to be more nimble and creative and make changes as you go.
A sign of a good company is the ability to recover once you hit the brick wall.  Do our HR teams have that ability?

5. Some great one-liners that have implications in terms of how we think about our roles and strategy within HR:

  • “Google is now bigger than both the magazine and newspaper industries.”
  • “As a brand your goal should be to stop telling your own story. Inspire others to tell it on your behalf.”
  • "If you unveil something new, do it in an entertaining way."
  • "Don't expect companies to be perfect.  We know we are not best at.... But we are great at....  In this way we humanise our brand."
  • "There is no more time for the perfect message. Now we need to get the message to the right person to the right time." 
    Denise and radical entrepreneur, Elon Musk

No comments: