I came out of last week’s UNLEASH America HR tech event challenged and inspired. Since I have not yet automated my avatar to attend dueling sessions (something likely to happen sooner than we think), I am sharing three highlights out of the sessions I physically attended. Each of these provocative topics is worthy of going down the rabbit hole on, so let me know how your trip goes.
How do we build a confident relationship with the unknown?
What is trust? What practical purpose does it serve? How do we build and rebuild it in a digital world that is continually breaking down friction, both good and bad? Rachel Botsman explained that since the path between the known and unknown is filled with uncertainty, trust is the bridge that allows people to make the leap across that chasm.
Because our company provides a solution that never before existed, one that requires people to imagine how they can work in a new—yes, unknown way—trust is a critical element for adoption. Rachel’s framework for developing trust or “a confident relationship with the unknown” can help us better understand how we, as a start-up, have successfully gained the trust of large international companies, and how we can nurture and repeat that success as we grow.
Humans and machines: Moving beyond the “Evil Threat or Cheerful Assistant” dichotomy
There were several sessions that addressed this topic (no surprise) and it was refreshing to hear realistic and nuanced perspectives. Working previously in the IBM Watson business, I had the amazing opportunity to deep dive into machine learning and AI when it was just hitting the mainstream business market. It was immediately obvious that we were already hurdling into the next major era, not only in technology, but in human development. Yet, we knew that to productively engage a broad community of people on the topic (to explore how new capabilities could be applied to their problems, their businesses, their jobs and their lives) we had to minimize the “scifi” fear factor.
Now, as a business community, we are shifting into a more realistic and complex phase of discussion. We have more accessible solutions being used in every industry today that are helping businesses and consumers see the possibilities (and challenges) we’re up against. Bravo to the trailblazers actively experimenting with and learning about emerging technologies, including David Lee at UPS, Walgreens, Blue Prism and my own company, PeopleDoc. They’re the ones encouraging others to participate now to proactively create our future.
Human happiness and innovation have never been more important
No one has jumped into creating our future more than Mo Gawdat. His passion, intelligence and unique vision challenge us to create a positive world for ourselves and others. Even if you’re somehow not inspired to join the #onebillionhappy movement, his guidance for creating your own moonshots is invaluable:
Change your mindset. Assume everything is possible.
Commit to the problem to make the world a better place. Commit to understanding and solving the problem you are trying to solve, not to the end result you hope to generate out of it, such as money.
Don't settle for incremental—settle for nothing less than radical innovation. At Google, an innovation had to deliver at least 10x improvement
Innovation doesn’t just happen. You need to build a factory for innovation that provides the room and active support for it.
Moonshots involve the uniquely human skills of framing problems and making connections between diverse experiences in ways that machines dependent on pools of data don’t yet do.
Right now, I have more curiosity and questions than answers about the future of work. Or about the future, period. Strangely, that seems like just the right place to be now.
Find out how PeopleDoc is helping HR work in a new way with the help of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Read our RPA overview:
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Aimee Stone Munsell is the Chief Marketing Officer of PeopleDoc. Aimee is passionate about creating customer experiences that motivate business leaders to make the most of our digital world for themselves, their teams and their organizations.
She has worked on Madison Avenue, run her own non-profit, and grown markets for Fortune100 companies. Throughout her career, she has enjoyed the benefits and surprises that come from managing teams of 5 to 50 around the world.