Workday Elevate 2019
At LACE Partners we are very enthusiastic about the HR technology market, innovation and disruption. It's also fair to say that tech adoption is our passion – we love it!
When we read through the Workday Elevate agenda for this year, it really resonated us and with what we do at LACE - echoing our motto: where people meet technology. We therefore couldn’t miss the opportunity to attend an event that revolved around innovative HR technology and people.
Innovation was certainly the central topic of Elevate this year, with a focus on how leading-edge tech is changing the way we work in HR. From virtual reality sets to intelligent glasses, the Workday discovery zone could have fooled anyone into thinking they had just walked into a tech conference in Silicon Valley.
The keynote speech given by David Rowan (former WIRED editor and innovator), focused entirely on this topic: How to innovate when disruption is accelerating? After giving some great examples of how to achieve this monumental task (such as building ecosystems, embracing new tech and leveraging the data), he mentioned something that really stayed with us: “Innovation doesn't come from the top, it has to be at the core of your business – empower your team".
This emphasis of putting trust in your team was continued by the next speaker, Carolyn Horne (Workday’s Regional Vice President – UKI, Nordics and South Africa). Carolyn highlighted how you should: “put people at the centre of your organisation”. What a simple, but powerful statement! At LACE we believe that organisations should put people at the heart of what they do. It's only then that innovation and disruption can fundamentally drive decision making and business growth.
And speaking of innovation in HR… it has certainly found its disruptors amongst the world of HR practitioners. Quoting Richard Doherty (Senior Director, Product Marketing @ Workday), in his roundtable session: "Within HR this is by far the most exciting period". Long gone are the days where the sole purpose of HR was business as usual tasks and administrative support. Technology has allowed us to focus our time and resources on what really matters – creating a wonderful work experience for everyone.
With an explosion of new HR technologies (from across the employee journey), organisations now have a wide range of tools available to them to make it an unforgettable experience. Alongside this however, Richard underlined the importance of “data” in this equation. After all, how can we be strategic and make decisions if we don’t know what’s happening within the business? And how can we know what’s happening if we don’t have the tools to provide us with data and insights?
Understanding, analysing and interpreting data are fundamental requirements for business leaders who want to attract and retain talents, drive forward their diversity and inclusion agenda, and align their people goals to long-term organisational objectives.
Agility and flexibility were also a significant part of Workday’s agenda because – as Carolyn pointed out – “change is the mandate for all of us”. The tech market is evolving so rapidly and its landscape changing so fast year after year, that we, as organisations, can’t keep up unless we adapt. This means that the way we used to think and work – from static business planning to rigid organisational structures and business processes – is outdated.
All in all, we had a truly informative day at Workday Elevate: the event succeeded in exciting us about the advancement of technology and the digitalisation of our workplace as well as our role in driving and championing the change.