#ioms17 Keynote with Jon Ingham: #HR in the Leading Role for Developing the Social Organization – but not as We Know It!

The IOM Summit 2017 will focus on #HR with the keynote from Jon Ingham about HR in the Leading Role. I think that once we have heard all the good examples of practice and participated in workshops, it is a very good time to look at what we have heard and discussed with the HR blinking angle.

Jon Ingham is a UK based HR strategist helping companies innovate their approaches to people management taking account of changes in the world of work and also to tie more closely to their own strategic needs.

His background includes working as a chemical engineer, an IT consultant and HR Director for Ernst & Young / EY, working firstly in the UK and then in based in Moscow, covering the former Soviet Union.

He is the author of the new book, The Social Organization, published in June 2017.

He has repeatedly been included in HR Magazine’s most influential UK HR thinker lists, rising as high as 7th place in 2013.

Jon – you will be talking about the “HR in the Leading Role for Developing the Social Organization – but not as We Know It!“ at the upcoming IOM SUMMIT in Cologne. What are the hashtags/keywords that we could tag your talk with?

Well, the main ones are probably #people and #strategy – the social organization is a means of achieving competitive success by making employees the main focus of a business. However #social is not just about people, but also the #connections, #relationships and #conversations between the people. This is particularly important in a #digital business.
Creating / developing a social organisation requires a mix of integrated and aligned activities including #organisationdesign, #workplacedesign, innovated group-centric HR processes, #organisationdevelopment interventions, and, of course, #socialtechnologies and #analytics.

In Germany we had a lot of discussion during the last year about the role of HR. Many contributions were characterized by the question: Does HR play a role at all? You see HR in the Leading Role. Why?

HR is responsible for designing and managing a good proportion of the activities I’ve just listed. This means the discipline needs to be involved in social / digital projects, alongside IT, Property and other functions.
But the reason that HR needs to take the lead role isn’t about the activities, but about the outcomes of these activities. Most of what we do around social and digital enterprise isn’t about technology, it’s about behaviour and culture. We implement changes in technologies, property and facilities, and HR practices in order to drive changes in what our people do. HR has the closest and often best perspective on what and how people work, and are therefore best placed to take the lead role, integrating the activities of the separate disciplines.
This does often require change within HR, and may result in the creation of a rather different discipline, probably best termed Human Relationships rather than Human Resources.

We do not want to anticipate your keynote but could you give a short first impression or vision of this new role?

HR needs to focus one more than just the people in our business. We also need to focus on connections, relationships and conversations, and ensure organisations are undertaking the activities required to optimise these more social outcomes.
This new vision may not change the activities HR needs to undertake. However each of these activities probably need to change. In particular, instead of just managing, measuring, developing and rewarding the performance of people, we now also now need to do these things for organisational groups (primarily teams, communities and networks).

We often speak about HR as a neutral being. But HR is an organziation by itself but not necessarily a social one and shaped by leadership 4.0. Can HR be still believable?

Yes, but this again requires change. The main shift in the function over the last 30 years has been away from employees and towards the business. This has given HR a more strategic role, but it is now often seen just as a tool of management. That perspective stops HR achieving what it could.
HR now needs to combine the separate views on people and the business to focus on people in the context of the business. This goes beyond managing and developing people to help achieve what the business needs. As well as this, we need to manage and develop people to optimise their potential and contribution, in a way that will enable a business to set new or more stretching business goals.

What are your expectations for the IOM Summit?

I’m hoping to convince a few people to take on this new perspective. If anyone decides the buy and read my book that would be a good outcome for me too! :-).  But more than anything I’m looking forward to making some new connections, developing some relationships and having some interesting conversations.
Conferences are mini-social organizations too.
Thank you very much, Jon. We will hear Jon on September 20th.
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Ellen Trude
Ellen Trude, nach 28 Jahren Tätigkeit in Aus- und betrieblicher Weiterbildung der Bayer AG mit stets neuen und meist innovativen Projekten und Aufgaben nunmehr in einer gesunden Mischung aus Vorruhestand und Aktivitäten rund um Workplace (Arbeiten 4.0 / Digitalisierung) und Lernen (Lernen 4.0 / Social Learning) unterwegs - meist digital.

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