Monday, 5 March 2012

HCI Summit: employees and the business


   I’m back at the HCI Summit in Arizona, virtually again – engaged by the content though not quite so much by the experience as when I last managed to attend there irl.

The best sessions for me from the first day were the early ones – and (see the tweet stream) for me, these were the most thought provoking too.

Because we started with Doug Conant, former CEO at Campbell Soup talking about touchpoints – those back-to-back meetings, endless emails and chance encounters in the hallway which most people feel keep them from doing their ‘real work’.  But Doug suggests these are often overlooked opportunities to expand our influence and deliver measurable better results.

At Campbell’s he made the best use of these touchpoint opportunities through various activities, including sending 10-20 personal thankyou cards per day (30,000 of them during his tenure):


Very nice, very human.

Which is why I disagreed with Michael Gregoire, CEO at Taleo, in his observation that HR is about managing business, not employees.  Not at Campbell Soup it’s not (wasn’t).  There, talent management is about inspiring each individual in each opportunity a leader has.  And it works…


It’s not not about the business.  But it’s not not about employees either.  I’ll say again: ignoring employees is the problem – it’s not the solution.



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