Interview with Keynote Speaker David Wilson
17.09.2020 | Miriam Appel
David Wilson is Founder and CEO of Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst. A major commentator on the HR, talent and learning industries for over 20 years, David is a strategic advisor to many major corporate and supplier organisations in the UK and Europe.
David personally leads Fosway’s research and corporate advisory agenda. He is the author of over 150 research papers and articles, as well as being a leading speaker at major conferences and events around the world.
Recognised in 2020 with the Colin Corder award for his outstanding services to the industry, David’s extensive market knowledge and detailed insight of corporate projects and experiences means he continues to influence the thinking of many of the leading companies and vendors operating in the market today.
His areas of expertise are HR, talent and learning technology and strategy as well as vendor solutions, market trends, industry research and corporate advice.
Regarding to his keynote speech "HR Tech: Being successful in a post-pandemic world" on 15th October 2020 during the ZP Europe Virtual where he will exclusively reveal the results of the 2020-21 HR Realities research for the first time, he answered some interesting questions:
Which ZP Europe Virtual programme highlight will you definitely not miss?
I really like the fact that the programme for Zukunft Personal highlights a different key topic each day. Personally, I am most looking forward to hearing what the attendees have to say – their input and experiences are always invaluable and with the event happening virtually, there are lots of new opportunities to discuss the sessions and topics online.
What advice do you have for participants regarding ZP Europe Virtual?
Put your preferred sessions in your diary! Not being physically at an event changes the dynamic and you don’t want to miss anything by being called away from your desk. Treat the sessions like real professional development opportunities and ringfence the time accordingly.
ZP Europe Virtual also addresses the changes caused by corona. What do you say: Can HR be disruptive?
100%. Our research at Fosway shows that almost all HR functions have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. HR has been in the eye of the storm throughout 2020 and despite the challenges, has a business critical role now in helping organisations and their people thrive, not just survive. People are at the heart of organisational success and we’re seeing real innovation in HR technology and services to support that. The Fosway 9-Grid for Cloud HR will be live by the end of September 2020 in time for the event and highlight many trends and disruptive developments that HR should be taking notice of.
Would you like a virtual trade show format in the future as well?
It’s always great to have the option to be able to attend events remotely. My diary is really busy as you can imagine so just being able to dip into events without travel can be really beneficial. Fosway has worked virtually for over 20 years so it’s something we’re very used to – it just feels like everyone else is catching us up now!
What is your contribution to the virtual HR-Week?
I’m delighted to be keynoting on the 15th October on HR’s survival in a post-pandemic world. Our HR Realities Research is still open here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BG2PX6Q and we will be exclusively unveiling the results around changes to HR investment, technology, strategy and budgets for the year ahead. Our focus at Fosway has always been on practical insights and advice and there has probably never been more need of that than right now.
How does Corporate Learning of the future look like?
It’s only going one way. It’s more digital, it’s more in the flow of work, it’s more aligned to business outcomes and goals. When we look back, typically L&D has been obsessed with blending learning with itself rather than blending learning with work. It’s been too focused on content rather than impact, and too separate to our daily roles. Now though, technology can be a great enabler - and with face-to-face training out of the question for most of us for the foreseeable future, it is no longer a nice to have. It’s mission critical for L&D to harness the power of digital, not just for the sake of the L&D function, but organisations as a whole as they try to survive in a post-pandemic world. 95% of learning leaders we have spoken to in our research into the impact of COVID-19 on L&D said that organisational learning will never be the same again. But despite the situation being challenging, it also represents an opportunity for L&D to play a pivotal role in the reskilling and upskilling of people and organisations as they adapt to the next phase of this crisis – and beyond.
Which competencies are required in the context of new work?
Our research shows business agility is key for HR functions and therefore the people within them. Being able to respond to the needs of the business as they evolve has been rising exponentially in importance for the last couple of years, and the COVID-19 situation has just accelerated that even further. Organisations are having to cope with new restrictions and regulations and challenges almost daily at present and being agile in the way you tackle them is now business critical. And it sounds obvious, especially coming from someone who looks at HR tech all day long, but being digitally savvy is also a core competency going forwards. Arguably it already was, but with the majority of office workers still working from home, there is now more than ever a need to be a) comfortable with using these tools yourself but b) if you’re in HR, creating an ecosystem of tools and technology that cover all of your bases and feel relatively seamless for your users – whether they are existing staff, customers or external partners or even candidates and job applicants.
Your 3 tips on the development of these new competencies:
1) Talk to the business. Find out what is happening right now and what HR can do to support that. Chances are that it isn’t the creation of a big strategic programme, but smaller, faster – and therefore more agile - solutions that might include better use of existing technology, or better alignment of activity to short-term organisational goals or targets.
2) Think about the people experience in whatever you’re doing. Whether it’s for internal staff, external partners, your end customers or even job applicants and candidates. From the technology you’re using, to the processes you’re creating or following in HR, the experience factor is vital to HR’s success or failure.
3) I would say this but read the latest industry research from analysts like Fosway Group! We spend our time gathering data and insight from across the HR, talent and learning markets, then analysing that and sharing our views so that all you have to do is read the final outputs like the Fosway 9-Grid reports or the HR Realities research. We do all of that independently so that HR professionals can get the information they need in order to make their decisions quickly and easily.
Fosway Group is analysing the realities of HR, Talent & Learning. How does this reality currently look like?
Your top 3 insights You’ll have to come along to my keynote to find out more but it’s safe to say that HR has been in the eye of the storm in 2020 and completely consumed in many cases by dealing with their organisational response to the COVID-19 situation as it’s unfolded. This has
1) shifted HR’s priorities
2) accelerated digital transformation like nothing ever has before and
3) created some real innovation in HR tech - from payroll to recruiting, there is almost no specialist part of HR left untouched by the pandemic. And I’m looking forward to sharing our new research into the practical realities of what this means for you if you work in HR today.