Day 3 of i4cp’s 2012 Conference Winds Down

Honestly, I’m not sure I could have fit one more nugget of info into my cranium without something falling out the other side. I seriously can’t recall many times in my life when I learned so much or met so many interesting people in just three, too-short days.

Friday dawned bright and beautiful in Scottsdale on the opening sessions of our final day, kicked off by Ed Gadsden, Chief Diversity Officer at Pfizer. Pfizer has a well developed and mature D&I function that allows them to give real thought-leader perspective on next and best practices. Having moved beyond the struggle to take D&I past the compliance-driven models of the past and well into the realm of talent imperative, Pfizer is now working to promote inclusive behaviors and give bottom-line driver status to subsets of the diversity definition. Much of this presentation brought in discussion of the sometimes amorphous concept of diverse thought. While it’s obviously the meat of the diversity/talent connection, Ed rightly pointed out that there’s not much research that quantifies that connection and challenged i4cp to change that. Well, challenge accepted! When i4cp launches a Chief Diversity Officer Board later this year, hopefully both that topic and Ed himself will play a big part in the direction the group takes.

Next up was a panel discussion on global talent management, with Kevin Wilde, CLO, General Mills; Andrew Kilshaw, CLO, Nike, Inc.; and David Whitehorn, SVP Human Resources, Schneider Electric Buildings. Like everything else, TM gets exponentially more complicated when done on a global scale. This very knowledgeable panel of practitioners outlined challenges and strategies used to tame that complexity, such as focusing on understanding countries and not regions. Another great strategy the group shared was that it’s good to keep things streamlined across borders while allowing for tweaks based on cultural differences and other influencing factors.

After that, Sue Meisinger, columnist and former CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) let our audience know 10 things their CEO will never tell them, but that HR should know. Face it, your CEO probably doesn’t have a background in HR and doesn’t care about your 40-slide presentation on a strategic workforce planning initiative. Bottom line, you’re better off learning to speak CEO than waiting for the CEO to learn to speak HR. There was a lot of good insight in this presentation that can ease – or at least explain – a lot of CEO/CHRO relations, such as the strong sudden interest some CEOs take in their CHRO when it comes time to report on executive compensation to the board of directors (aka the CEOs often finicky boss) in organizations where that’s considered an HR function.

We at i4cp would like to extent our thanks to the wonderful members who brought their interest and expertise to this year’s event. Since vendor-free networking with top-level and up-and-coming talent is a prime draw of our event, it truly wouldn’t have been the same without you. Several members we would like to extend special thanks to include those who served as panelists, presenters and best-practice interviewees, as well as the winners of our various member awards listed below:

  • Member of the Year Award – Robert Buck, Head of HR - US Commercial at EMD Serono took home this award for his organization’s achievements in innovation in workforce productivity. This outstanding organization was recognized for their adoption of i4cp’s high-performance model as a lens for focusing and aligning their global team and directing their strategies. All in all a perfect example of the partnerships i4cp seeks to develop with the friends we’re adding to our rapidly growing community of members.
  • High-Performance Award – Karl-Heinz Oehler, VP of Global Talent Management at Hertz accepted this one for his company’s demonstrated commitment to high performance, both in utilization of i4cp membership and in using that partnership to help achieve market growth.
  • Exchange Member of the Year – Robert Motion, Director of Enterprise Workforce Planning at Raytheon snagged this award for his guidance and dedication in advancing the field of strategic workforce planning as a member of one of i4cp’s many successful working exchange groups.
i4cp would also like to extend its thanks to the dedicated and efficient staff at the Fairmont Princess Resort and to the myriad individuals who helped in both pre-conference planning and event execution. Presentations and other materials from the conference are available at the i4cp website, and any follow-up materials not found there can be requested from your organization’s i4cp member services representative.

Until next year, please keep adding to our vibrant member community by participating in i4cp’s many networking and research outlets. Your input really does guide our research and drive the offerings we present, so keep in contact throughout the year to make sure we’re giving you the good stuff that makes i4cp an invaluable research partner for our engaged community of members. To draw on a reassuring touch point from Doug Conant (day two of this year’s conference), “We’re here for you.”

Please don’t forget to rate our conference through the i4cp website with the new HR Conference Review tool. Hey, and while you’re at it, check out, rate and comment on other past and upcoming events.

Eric Davis
Eric received his master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Marshall University in 1996. He has had 20+ years of workforce experience in a variety of fields. Before coming to i4cp, he worked as a laboratory technician for DuPont, a conference planner for Marshall University, the public relations manager for the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Technical Manufacturing, and a graphic designer for COX Communications.