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Enterprise hits and misses - HR gets strategic, Amazon kicks return-to-office down the road, and hybrid events gain steam

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed August 9, 2021
This week - More curveballs for the future of work, as office policies change and leaders get challenged. Can HR leaders get more strategic? Can event planners get hybrid events right? Cybersecurity issues also linger. Your whiffs include the usual snark - but with a surprise ending.

King Checkmate

Lead story - Strategic HR - leaders face the HR tech challenge.

Remember when the hardest HR software decision was choosing your payroll provider? Well, today's HR tech decisions are a bog pit of competing agendas. Now, add the pandemic and all of its safety and remote work requirements.

How to cope? Start with Brian's Scoping today’s HR IT strategic planning environment:

HR leaders definitely have a prioritization problem today. For a function that is often starved for IT and capital (to upgrade their technology), there may not be enough budget, talent, time or bandwidth to do all that HR needs re: a major technology upgrade. So, how should HR proceed?

One thing Brian can guarantee: yesterday's HR plan isn't going to work. What's needed is an HR IT strategic plan - and it's "not a back of the napkin" effort. But not so fast. As Brian cautions, today's HR tech solutions don't stop with your employees. If your recruitment tools are a UX slopfest substandard, you'll pay the talent price:

An HR IT strategic plan that exists only to make HR personnel more productive/less frustrated is insufficient. New solutions should boost productivity across the firm. New solutions should elate (not frustrate) non-employees, too. You can’t win the war for talent if your recruiting apps are archaic, ugly, time-consuming and painful for jobseekers to use.

Just one question, Brian: are HR leaders going to need chatbots? Actually, he's got that covered also... (Answer: yes, for employee self-service and the reduction of HR administrivia). Let's get crackin'.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

A couple more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Gary keeps it real in his latest use case, Taking care of both life and IT essentials at Severn Trent. Derek isn't a fan of siloed approaches: The British Government’s approach to the economy’s productivity problem needs a rethink. He's also not a fan of a compulsive return-to-office (Leaders have lost control of the office - they need to realize choice is key): "I truly believe that the tide has turned and job hunters now have a certain amount of control over what terms will be dictated in the future."

I believe that is 100 percent right - when it comes to top performers and sought-after skill sets. I worry, however, about those who would blossom in remote settings, but may not get the opportunities if knee-jerk management habits hold sway. The debate is overdue.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven


Overworked businessman


So I wanted to go with this story about a "Woman thinks she’s getting a free dog in Detroit, winds up with a hyena" - after all, hyenas make such adorable household pets. But turns out the pics were doctored, the story was fake and on we go. 

Leave it to Facebook to use an FTC edict to justify behavior the FTC is trying to stop:

Proposed new adjective: "Facebooky," as in: that is pretty Facebooky, eh? And, this week in algorithms-r-us:

The fantasy that machines know how to personalize better than we do is getting pretty tiresome... I'm still gnawing on the "It's time to say goodbye" part. Why, and why now? Because a machine told Netflix it was a good idea, that's why.

Snarking isn't always a dead-end, however:

Which led to a nifty result, and a startup collaboration:

Maybe venting Twitter spleen isn't as ephemeral as once thought... I'm out next week, so I'll see in two. Guest writer for hits and misses next week...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.

Image credit - Waiter Suggesting Bottle © Minerva Studiom, Overworked Businessman © Bloomua, King Checkmate © mystock88photo - all from

Disclosure - Oracle, Workday, New Relic, Acumatica and Salesforce are diginomica premier partners as of this writing.

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