There is a famous saying that is floated a lot in every boardroom, creative building or classroom. “Go big or Go home” which basically means, whatever you are doing as a person, an organisation, a freelancer … the only way to do it, is by “Going big, or Go home” because many a time, life reminds us that, in the everyday ordinary life, to stay on the top you must be extraordinary, remarkable and you must leave a print. You must be remembered in all you do.
As Rise and Learn made its entry into the world, previously our existence had been at the 8th floor of an insurance building, doing early morning sessions for early risers, a time to engage and learn from one another as well as industry experts. As exciting as that was, we knew our time had come to move from a “borrowed floor” into our own space, and to begin to make our own mark, by having a first ever H.R Symposium in the region, attended by the Father of H.R. Dave Ulrich, and other renowned HR professionals in the country, a first of its kind in the region.
The theme of the conference was dubbed “The Future is Now… Gaining the Edge in HR” a theme that perfectly highlighted that the future of work has since evolved since the day of our forefathers and it’s time to align ourselves with the same. “You snooze, you lose” is another common phrase, it was time for the HR industry to win. The conference with a speech by Dorcas Wainana, Executive Director of the Institute of Human resources. (IHRM). “The Future is Now” , she began, narrowing her speech to the need of embracing technology for a better tomorrow in the HR space. “Some jobs that existed back in the day, do not exist today”, she said .” The customer service industry in hotels now are automated, Accountants too are at risk, with the rise of automation, that makes it easier for anyone to be an accountant. The generation today is different, she noted, how they work, how they dress, and how they behave. Very different from days of the old. “Our winning as HR professionals comes in, when we can embrace the changes technology and generational changes bring in, and create a dynamic and thriving workplace.” Mrs. Wainana concluded by saying, “The future is truly now ; we need to prepare for a more dynamic workplace and as HR professionals, we must gain the edge.”
In a panel discussion dubbed “Should ICT be part of Kenya’s big 4 agenda?” Stewart Samkange, LinkedIn’s new talent services director for Africa took center stage on the discussion citing that “As HR professionals, technology is the crux of what we do.” He further continued to say, the big 4 agenda : – Housing , Health, Manufacturing and Roads – are all interconnected through tech. “Technology should have been part of the big 4, but it wasn’t chosen as one of those, but it is definitely an underlying foundation, for any of those sectors.” Mr. Samkange also mentioned that one of the things LinkedIn is doing now, as part of their embracing tech strategy, is building economic graphs around. Where do we have the professionals, where do we not? 2. Where do the opportunities exist? 3. Where can they be better utilized? This graph is their contribution to government, industries and commerce, to aid HR professionals to hire the right people, train, and leverage on the right skills that they have.
On the same breadth, Stewart Samkange, Delved deeper into his own personal story, Painting a very clear picture that “your digital footprint matters” and showing how he took great lengths to ensure his credibility online was as good as his credibility in person. “We must embrace technology and not fight it,” He concluded.
Other speakers involved Enosh Bolo, Managing Director of Maxworth Associates. Gave powerful pointers for the delegates to take home.“The war for talent is on, either you are with it, or overtaken”. “We know that the only constant thing in this world is change”, Bolo continued, “You either change the changing tides, or the changing will change you. It’s time to take advantage of the new emerging space in HR and it’s time to take your seat at the table, and dine with the right company.”
As we came to a close, David Ulrich , gave a drop mic session. “HR is not for HR, he said, as he delved on the topic “Value Defined.” “Value is defined by the receiver not the giver.” HR is the heartbeat of an organisation, and if the heart is not beating, it means the organisation is dead. It’s time to move from the notion that HR is about us in the profession to realise that it is about the people who are in the organisation. “Don’t look in the mirror. Look out the front of the window to the outside world” He concluded.
The First ever E.A. HR symposium was held at Enashipai Resort, and Full list of speakers included
Winnie Pertet (Head of Human Resources UAP – Old Mutual East Africa ) ; Dorcas Wainana (Executive Director IHRM) ; Carla Benedetti (Business coach PCC Erickson Coaching International); Susan Wakhungu – Githuku (Managing partner – Human Performance dynamic Africa) Ednah Otieno (HR Director EABL) ; Margaret Oyugi (Actuarial Data & Analytics Expert) ; Nicol Mullins (Workforce ProductsLeader sub sahara Africa Mercer) ; Stewart Samkange (Success Factors E.A. Director SAP Kenya) ; Dr. Aggrey .K. Mlimuka (Executive Director Association of Tanzania employers secretary general of EAEO) Nikki Summers (Regional Director East and West Africa SAGE)
The Moderators of the event : Emily Kamunde – Osoro (Leadership Coach & Director Rise & Learn) Linus Gitahi (Chairman of Tropikal Brands Afrika ) ; Laban – Cliff Onserio (Business Journalist)