In a world that is often described by that now ubiquitous acronym, VUCA, HR Leaders across industries are faced with challenges and opportunities ranging from large scale departmental and organizational transformation, mental health, building resilience, shaping the future workforce, nurturing culture, enhancing communication and ensuring wellness.

At times, in the midst of transformation, of challenge, of discomfort, it can feel as if you are standing on your own, looking out towards the horizon, the future uncertain.

When you can come together with your peers, with like-minded individuals, who are cast in similar situations, you have an opportunity to foster dialogue, to share, to exchange ideas and to learn from one another. To have an aha! moment in the midst of a presentation, an interactive discussion or a business meeting.  And it is during these moments that you feel less alone and realize, in the words of one HR Executive, that “we are in this together”.

One of the key themes that emerged from the sessions at the 2019 HR Management Institute, that took place November 3rd – 5th at the JW Marriott in Muskoka, ON, was that “Leaders need to Lead, and HR needs to Enable”.  Some useful ideas that were shared over the course of the 2 ½ days include:

  • HR is instrumental for creating an ecosystem of spaces to drive, creativity and innovation, and to be a catalyst for change
  • Ask employees what they need rather than telling them what they need to know
  • Conscious leadership – embracing change, leading with your heart and values
  • Unpack individual employees’ development footprint so that they know what skills sets they need to develop to be competitive
  • Reduce the amount of drag that is preventing the effective use of organizational resources
  • Build resilience and embrace bricolage, the ability to improvise a solution to a problem without proper or obvious tools or materials

Sometimes, it helps to move outside of your functional area and to view your role and your organization through a different lens.   One of the most popular presentations was from TD’s Chief Economist, who explored Future Trends and the Changing Workforce, highlighting that accelerating demographic forces will be far-reaching on the competition for workers, even as greater job automation evolves. And that along with those opportunities comes uncertainty, disruption and a challenging landscape for organizations to navigate.

The energy, engagement and enthusiasm amongst the attending HR Executives and HR consultants and advisors that gathered earlier this week in Muskoka was wonderful to witness.  Thank you all so much for sharing your insights and experiences.

Next year’s HR Management Institute will be taking place November 1st – 3rd, 2020 at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver.  If you would like to share some insights and experiences as a member of the Speaker Faculty, suggest topic areas for the agenda or join the waiting list for attendance, please contact Nas Panwar at npanwar@ipmionline.com