Dispatches from the 2015 HCM Excellence Conference: Post-Conference Review

by John on February 8, 2015

It’s taken me a while to file my final dispatch from Brandon Hall’s 2015 HCM Excellence Conference. Brandon Hall Group 2015-01-28 23-11-43 The spring college recruiting season is upon us and my days and nights have merged into a series of interview sessions, information sessions, and student counseling sessions.

I also wanted to wait a bit before I filed my final dispatch. I needed a few days to review my notes and really wanted to make sure that I truly got the essence of the conference.

Thinking back, I have to say that I was lucky to be completely out of my element for a few days. I was thoroughly impressed not only with the analysts and staff at the Brandon Hall Group, but also the conference attendees as well.

I wasn’t kidding when I had mentioned in previous posts that all the sessions were filled with incredibly smart people, but enough of me boring you, here’s a quick breakdown of what I observed as major takeaways:

  1. Always align your strategy with the business: I started with this in my first dispatch and it still remains the most important point. If you’re unsure, then the strategy is not aligned. Go back and review the strategy again.
  2. Listen to your customers: Don’t limit this to just external customers, but your internal customers too. Again, simple advice that is often overlooked and it becomes the proverbial death knell for your project.
  3. Learning is “real work” and it must be done in the most efficient way possible: I got hung up on this concept the first day. I kept asking myself “What would Donald Trump say if he walked in during the middle of this session? Would he feel that this was an efficient way to spend the company’s capital?” My questions were answered when I was sitting in a session listening to line managers share the positives and negatives of their project roll outs. All the presenters shared the good, the bad, and the downright scary and they all tied it back to overall business strategy of their firms.
  4. Worry more about the experience first and then about the content: If you can get to 80% on your project, you should trust the fact that the other 20% that’s content related will come from the employees. Focus on your audience!
  5. Are you in the learning business or the performance business: Another critical question that needs to be answered and then executed on accordingly.

I want to thank everyone at the Brandon Hall Group for their hospitality and generosity during the conference. Conference blogging is a tough gig and at times it can seem if my opinions or observations were influenced by the organization, nothing can be further from the truth. I was granted a pass to the sessions and had unfettered access to the participants and presenters, had several great conversations and asked some pretty tough questions and got some very real answers.

As a complete novice in this area of HR I came away with a newfound respect for my colleagues in this space, this area and conference will continue to grow over the next few years and it’s nice to see such a professional organization at the forefront. Great Job!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: