Road to 2024 hero

What HR insights will shape 2024? Future proof your year ahead with i4cp’s Next Practices Weekly

Are you among the thousands of savvy HR and business leaders who have gained critical insights and ideas from i4cp’s free, public event series, Next Practices Weekly.

If not, you’ve really missed out.

Launched in early 2020, i4cp’s weekly series of in-depth, candid conversations with executives and thought leaders is a can’t miss event for anyone who is curious about the future of work.

In the past three years, we’ve featured a variety of outstanding guests from best-selling authors and thought leaders to academics, C-level executives, and senior leaders from organizations such as Walmart, Accenture, Verizon, Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, Zillow, Pinterest, and many more.

In addition to storytelling about the practices that work in their organizations, each hourlong conversation also includes practical and relevant research insights and data in an engaging, informal format.

The Next Practices Weekly sessions run live every Thursday starting at 11am ET/8am PT, and are also available soon after as both a video recording in i4cp’s growing archive, and in audio-only podcast format from your favorite podcast provider.

Today’s Next Practices Become Next Year’s Predictions

By focusing on the pulse of HR throughout the year, the Next Practices Weekly series serves as a predictor of what’s ahead—helping leaders see what’s around the curve.

For instance, those who participated in the weekly series in 2023 heard from HR leaders who were already focusing on practices that are highlighted in our recently released 2024 Priorities and Predictions report, which is based on input from the members of i4cp’s boards.

The first prediction in the 2024 report, “High-performance organizations will step up HR’s involvement in AI strategy” was something we heard about in 2023 from:

  • Maren Waggoner, Senior Vice President, People, End-to-End Operations, Walmart
  • Joanna Clark, Senior Vice President, Talent Acquisition Strategy and Transformation, Wells Fargo
  • Debbie Shotwell, Chief People and Culture Officer, Stack Overflow
  • Sarah Hansen, SVP of Human Resources, Dutch Bros Coffee

Or consider this additional prediction from the report: “Forward-looking organizations will create future-of-work leadership roles.” The Next Practices Weekly series heard from a host of leaders at organizations focused on various key elements of the future of work in 2023.

Microsoft is a great example, where Rachel Russell, Director, Flexible Work, shared that their philosophy is to provide “as much flexibility as possible,” that they don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach, and that they encourage their managers to “get to yes” when employees make a good case for more remote work time.  

That said, Russell noted that the nature of work today means that team needs have become increasingly important, and that this includes your primary (hierarchical) team, as well as the many—often virtual—project- and role-based teams that each employee is a part of (some of which are temporary and will change over time).

Managers at Microsoft are asked to have team agreements to make explicit how members will collaborate, communicate, etc., both in-person and virtually. She also said that Microsoft’s approach is “hybrid by design,” but that “hybrid” involves three dimensions: work site, work location (geographic region), and work hours. Much attention had already been spent on the first two, with more consideration spent throughout 2023 on the third aspect.

Several other Next Practices Weekly discussions in 2023 also featured outstanding conversations on various elements of the future of work, including:

  • Mike Asbery, Vice President of People Experience, Autodesk
  • Linde Grindle, SVP and Chief Human Resource Officer, Spirit Airlines
  • Nicole Underwood, VP, of Human Resources Business Partners & Operations, and Marie Potter, Senior Director, Culture & Development, Getty Images
  • Annette McEnery, Sr. Vice President, HR Operations, and Joanna Wimbish-Gildart, Sr. HR Business Partner, Experian

Yet another key prediction in the 2024 Predictions and Priorities report is “Macro pressures will continue to drive workforce divisiveness and challenge HR.” Several of the Next Practices Weekly conversations in 2023 provided participants with ample insights to get ahead of this issue immediately and going into 2024.

For example, Sheryl Battles, VP of Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement at Pitney Bowes noted that in order for a DE&I strategy to be resilient, it needs to be aligned with the culture, values, and business strategy of the organization—that is where sustainability comes from. Without this, it can fade away because it will be seen as an add-on, instead of as critical, embedded, and integral to the organization.

She also stressed that it is vital to understand the "why" of your DE&I strategy, not merely the who and the what. You can make short term impacts without this understanding, but long-term, sustainable impact requires understanding the why.

Another Next Practices Weekly guest with insights relevant to this 2024 prediction was Darcy Pierson, Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader at Oshkosh Corporation. She shared that when it comes to creating their DE&I goals, a key principle was to "make it their own," and not necessarily follow what other organizations are doing. Pierson noted that at Oshkosh—an industrial company that designs and builds specialty trucks such as military vehicles—the belief is that DE&I needs to be embedded into everyday talent processes. She advised that organizations need to get consensus and agreement on where the organization wants to go regarding all DE&I goals—this starts with asking the question: where do we want to be in the future?

Insights that Inform and Enable HR’s Priorities

The 2024 Priorities and Predictions report goes far beyond presenting several high-level predictions for people practices in 2024. It also provides the detailed 2024 priorities expressed by i4cp’s six executive-level boards.

For example, members of i4cp’s Chief HR Officer Board agreed that a key priority for 2024 is to train leaders (at all levels) to establish trust, exemplify the organization’s values, and lead in new and evolving work structures. Beyond this, leadership effectiveness was indicated by the members across all six i4cp boards as a top area of focus in 2024.

Several Next Practices Weekly discussions in 2023 touched on these key concepts of good, modern leadership. A few to go back and review if you missed them live include the conversations with:

  • Roz Tsai, Chief Talent Officer, Thrivent
  • Karthik Varatharaj, Vice President and Chief Talent Officer, Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Pamela Mattsson, Senior Vice President, People and Organizational Development, Outreach

Two of the key priorities of the members of i4cp’s Chief Diversity Officer Board in 2024 are fostering inclusion for all, starting with emphasis and ongoing education on inclusive leadership, and also building more inclusive and collaborative cultures by ensuring psychological safety throughout the employee experience. Our 2023 conversation with Celeste Warren, VP of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Center of Excellence at Merck, included insights on how they focus on exactly those elements of inclusion for all and psychological safety, as well as the role of allyship, with their launch of an Ally Resource Center.

And finally, the members of two i4cp boards had similar priorities for 2024, with the Chief Learning & Talent Officer Board members citing enabling talent processes via skills-centric methodologies, from identification and selection of candidates to prescription of learning interventions and performance assessments; most of the members of the Talent Acquisition Board are prioritizing alignment to skills-based recruitment and development.

This emphasis on what has been called “skills as the new currency for all talent processes” is widespread and has been growing in the past two to three years; several of the 2023  conversations we had centered on the many aspects of this work, including those with:

  • Joanna Clark, Senior Vice President, Talent Acquisition Strategy and Transformation, Wells Fargo
  • Greg Till,  EVP, Chief People Officer, Providence Health System
  • Paul Langlois, Vice President Enterprise Learning, Careers, and Engagement, Ecolab  

Join us for Next Practices Weekly in 2024

This lookback scratches the surface of all that was covered in the dozens of powerful Next Practices Weekly discussions we facilitated throughout 2023. If you missed any or all of the sessions, you can get caught up by accessing the i4cp archive and listening to the recordings on demand.  

But more importantly, don’t miss out on the powerful Next Practices Weekly conversations in 2024. We’ll hit on all the topics outlined in the 2024 Priorities and Predictions report (and many more) in the weekly conversations with HR leaders. It’s easy to register and get the entire event series added to your calendar now so that you join us each week.

Lastly, are you an HR leader with a Next Practice you’d like to share? Please contact us and let us know more about it—we’re always looking for the latest innovative approaches to solving HR’s most difficult challenges.

Thomas Stone
Tom is a Senior Research Analyst at i4cp, with over two decades of experience as a writer, researcher, and speaker in the learning and development and broader human capital industry. He is also author of multiple books, including co-authoring Interact and Engage! 75+ Activities for Virtual Training, Meetings, and Webinars (second edition from ATD Press, 2022).