Is HR Ready to Get Naked?

The HR Technology Conference opened with a keynote from author, consultant and business strategist Don Tapscott. His talk – Radical Openness – was based on his latest book (of the same name) and looked at the social enabled evolution in business organisation and the challenges and opportunities it offered.

He started with four principles of openness…


…and then looked at how each are being driven by shifts in technology, social and behaviour.

Some of the key points he talked about:

The age of networked intelligence – we talk about the Information Age but what technology is enabling isn’t just a link to information but to other peoples’ intelligence. Their brain power, insights and analysis.

Talent communities shouldn’t just be about candidates – we should be building and growing these with the aim of helping to get the job done, tasks completed. Instead of using to hire externally we should be using them for collaboration.

Many organisations are not used to the breaking down of tasks – if we are going to effectively use these talent communities as channels of collaboration then we need to change the way we think of work.

The need to deal with business changes – a tweet from Jason Averbrook nailed this as the need to be agile in our approaches to process and technology. He later tweeted that HR was enabled precisely because it spoke HR language and not business language…not sure how that one plays out with the UK audience.

Forget talent inside – a key point about changes to organisation structures around innovation. Again this relates to using outside talent collaboratively. Again it was Jason Averbrook who commented ‘the organisations that only think of talent management as looking at internal talent will have a very hard time competing in the future’.

Customer collaboration and co-creation – too many talk about customer engagement as the holy grail, but the future business should be focused on the customer or consumer as a partner in collaboration.

Leadership can com from anywhere in the organisation – a new type of business structure will lead to a breaking down of traditional hierarchies. Culture should encourage anyone in the organisation to take a lead role on any process or project.

The final thoughts centred on how businesses will cope with openness and specifically how HR will adapt. Some examples were shared of organisations reverting to protectionism in the face of collaboration or co-creation.

Transparency, openness, sharing and collaboration point to a new organisational ‘nakedness’ creating a huge opportunity for HR professionals to play a major role in steering businesses forward.

Is HR ready to get naked….

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