We just returned from the first annual “Transform” HR conference in Austin, Texas, produced by TLNT.com. First, congratulations to John Hollon, Ron Thomas, Scott Baxt, and the many others at TLNT and ERE who pulled off a terrific two days. Transform 2012 had the goods: great speakers, great networking, and fresh ideas that propelled conversations long after each day had wrapped and attendees descended on Austin’s amazing dining scene (think mind-blowing BBQ and Tex-Mex).
|Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane
at Transform 2012. (EL photos – click to enlarge)
The bad news: crowds were small. But that’s typical for many first-time events. The good news: crowds were passionate about HR and learning new ways to transform their craft (pun intended). Isn’t that what matters most? People traveled to Austin to sweep their minds of stale ideas, listen to new and different perspectives, and get re-energized. Using that criteria, Transform was a home run.
Billy Beane’s talk, “The Moneyball Approach to Talent Management,” was even better (then again, I’m a lifelong baseball fan, so this was heaven!). After sharing what it’s like to be played by Brad Pitt in an Oscar-nominated movie (fast answer = pretty cool), Beane shared stories and statistics about his people management philosophy in Oakland. Aided by assistant Paul DePodesta, he used baseball’s vast amounts of data and statistics to make the A’s competitive with far wealthier teams who were making purely emotional decisions.
The greatest struggle Beane faced was overcoming 150 years of “We’ve always done it that way.” He didn’t force the parallels between baseball and HR in his talk, because he didn’t need to.
After two days of showing SocialEars to media, analysts, and attendees, we can relate. We’re thrilled that buyers are beginning to understand its strategic benefits, but the reality is that any progressive vision – whether technology, a new service, or a philosophy – is greeted by a mix of awe and skepticism, followed by a nervous look around the room for something comforting and familiar.
“We’ve always done it this way” is a big, fat fail. Thanks to TLNT for inspiring HR to think different.
See below for photos of Transform 2012. To view videos and slides from the event, visit http://transform.tlnt.com/2012/agenda-at-a-glance/
as Kevin Grossman shows SocialEars in action.
HR thought leaders about social influence and marketing. Above, Peter Clayton
of TotalPicture Radio interviews Matt Charney of Cornerstone OnDemand.