What a year it has been here at Sitrion. The last time we gathered at Collective 2013 we were NewsGator and I was a customer. Today we are Sitrion and I am preparing to celebrate my first anniversary as Chief People Officer.
It has been a year of transformation for our company and for me personally. When I arrived in Denver for Collective 2013, my mission was to become immersed in the Future of Work, and to understand what social technology had in store for me as an HR professional. I never could have imagined that, only one year later, I would be well on my way to being a technology evangelist in the HR community. With the acquisition of Sitrion in October, our capabilities expanded from providing social solutions for your enterprise to providing social AND a smart way to handle all of your routine processes. At Collective 2014 this week, you will hear much more about our amazing line up of products and we will show you some the exciting things we are working on so we can make work EVEN better.
My fascination with Future of Work did not just begin last year when I happened to discover the talented people at Sitrion. I was lucky enough to meet Bill Jensen over ten years ago. He joined a group of corporate HR leaders as we gathered to discuss the next generation work force and expectations for new ways of working. Once we started talking, we both knew our relationship would continue far beyond a one day conference. Since then, we tackled the NFL, guiding development of the talent framework still used today to attract and develop the latest generation of the workforce.
As I returned to JPMorgan’s Investment Bank, all I learned from working with Bill came with me. In fact, it was only about ten days back into the swing of things in investment banking, when I noticed something troubling. While entry level recruiting was alive and well, more and more of the best and brightest from top college campuses were saying “NO” to the life of an analyst in an investment bank. What? People were not jumping at the chance to work 24/7 and have no life? I wondered what these folks were doing instead. My investigation led me to talk to some amazing young people who spoke of the professors and mentors who inspired them – professors of entrepreneurship, CEOs of small startups, executive directors of non-profits. There were no investment bankers on their lists.
Echoes of my chats with Bill rumbled around my brain – “the next generation of the workforce wants MY WORK, MY WAY. People will not be so keen to follow in the footsteps of their parents. People do not want to be stuffed into a suit and locked in a cubicle anymore. Money isn’t what is going to drive this generation.” You were so right Bill. You drove me to search in every corner to learn what JPMorgan Chase, an extraordinary organization, was doing to become a model for the Future of Work. It took me quite a while, but I finally found a small team of superheroes working on social and collaborative technology within those hallowed halls. I wasted no time enlisting that group as my “social mentors” and, in short order, I became the “go to” person for HR leaders who wanted to learn about trends in technology – namely the capabilities already in place in their own organization.
Little by little, my HR colleagues are realizing that, in order to be relevant in organizations today, you simply must have an eye toward the future. You must learn how many of the best organizations in the world are lifting employee engagement and productivity and attaining new levels of organizational success, leveraging tools that connect people and help them
to be more productive.
This week’s North America Collective will be especially exciting for me. I look forward to reconnecting with customers I met on our Social Mixology Tour and I will be eager to meet your HR colleagues. To top it all off, I will have my buddy Bill Jensen and many of my “social mentors” all in one place. I cannot wait to introduce you!