Conferences help to refresh the definition of our roles in the industry. Two key events for the HRO market are coming up this fall.
I got a call from one of those election-polling firms a few weeks back (I live in Pennsylvania and we all got called at least five times). A very earnest young man told me he was trying to qualify me as a likely voter. I wasn’t sure I want to be a likely anything. Being predictable raises the risk of assassination (I am sure that I read that in a Tom Clancy book once) and makes you boring at cocktail parties.
Anyway, it got me thinking about unlikely voters. Why are they holding back? What do they know, and why aren’t they telling?
The reality is polls are all about learning what other people think based on the broad swaths of information and opinion. Everyone looks at them. In truth, we are all trying to learn from each other. We want to share experiences, case studies, and the opportunity for shared experiences.
That is why, despite the cuts in travel budgets and the emergence of virtual and online learning opportunities, the live or “terrestrial” conference lives on.
In the HR community, we study people and processes, and there is no formula for success. It is all about the case study, and we all have to share our mutual experiences to succeed. In the HRO community, we have two North American programs that will take place between now and the end of 2008 that are worthy of mention. They each have the word summit in their name.
First, the HRO Summit, scheduled October 21–23, was announced at HRO World in New York in April. This event is a North American seminar-style learning event modeled on the success of the HRO World Europe program held each year in Brussels. The North American event will be presented by the HROA and the HRO Buyers Group, which have a growing level of integration. Leanne Andersen of Best Buy, the chair of the Buyers Group, and Lisa Knutson of E.W. Scripps will be co-chairs, demonstrating that these events will be focused on addressing the issues and needs of HR executives dealing with the operational and strategic challenges of managing HR issues in partnership with an HRO provider in either the enterprise or mid-market environment. The program will feature case studies, interactive learning opportunities, peer-to-peer discussions and, of course, social programming for fun with colleagues and friends.
In December, you also will have the opportunity to attend the second annual RPO Summit. Last year’s program was a significant success, and this year’s promises to be bigger and better. This program will be December 10–11 in Washington, D.C., and will include strong input from the newly formed RPO Buyers Group, which is working hard with the RPO Association Events and Outreach Committee on programming. This is one of the fastest evolutions we have seen in the era of outsourcing, and each year is an opportunity to update your knowledge of the latest trends, technologies, and triumphs. More information will be available at www.rposummit.com .
Theses summits also represent a chance to review the achievements and areas for improvement of the industry. Summits not only serve to educate and to entertain, but they also serve to define us. Each year the focus of who we are and what we stand for as an industry becomes clearer to the conference attendees, the HROA, the RPOA, and to the executives on both the buyer and provider side. This industry is still learning about itself, and these summits are about ascending to a more organized and coherent form of existence. It took the ITO market decades to achieve what HRO achieved in quarters. The world moves faster now, and these meetings give us all a chance to slow it down for a few days and gain perspective from each other. We hope to see you there.