Ok - those of you who know me, know that I have 12 years of experiences as an HR Specialist and another 15 as an IT employee systems manager. I have my SHRM-SCP certification, my WAM Pro ® certification, have contributed to the Association for Workforce Asset Management Book of Knowledge (AWAMBOK), and today conduct education for HR and IT professionals through ASUG. I still don't know what I don't know. And that is perhaps one of the things that attracted me to the field of Human Resources in the first place:  there is never a dull moment and never a lack of challenges.


Yesterday, I facilitated the second in our series of 2017 Recharge HR face-to-face events.  And - as usual - what I learned did not come from the speakers alone. Here are some of the highlights of my day with customers and our elite speakers from Open Sesame, SAP's own business team, and Ernst and Young.


  • How does one of the retail organizations I most admire maintain staff development so that their brand is always clearly visible through their people? One secret may be their management succession and development program. CHROs follow a development path through Finance first. [A fact I confirmed thru some web searches of past and current CHROs at Wawa. Read: "Up With People" in CFO Magazine]


  • Is SAP ERP HCM still a valid solution? Yes - I continue to meet customers who have recently (in the past several years) deployed SAP HCM on-premise. To SAP's credit, their strategy has been to be both an on-premise and a cloud company. Is there much innovation occurring in the SAP ERP ECC6.0 on-premise version? No - not at all; but on the other hand, it remains a solid product and is, in fact, still available with S/4 HANA on-premise through the use of consolidation packs. [Reference "Do you know where you're going to with Payroll, Cloud and S/4 HANA?" )


  • Does cloud really help to save a company money? Yes. It takes discipline to re-evaluate processes and to use the software as it is intended. Reorganizing staff may be well advised. Use of a shared services pool of transactional workers reduces costs and creates efficiencies. SAP HR reorganized to improve their HR-staff-to-business-manager-ratio, for example, and realigned other individuals into different value-driven positions.


  • What helps to ensure success in a cloud deployment? Define a timeline, align the right resources, and then STICK to the timeline. Brigette McInnis-Day noted that allowing the timeline to slip even a little results in losing that momentum for change, deflects resources and users' attention, and makes the change management more difficult.


  • Do we have to think outside the box? No. Rather, we need to FORGET THE BOX - get rid of it entirely. (I won't say who said that - but it is a powerful thought.)


  • What's the biggest benefit of a fully integrated HR solution? Data. Data that turns into analytics. Analytics that becomes predictive. Once you're dealing in facts and you have the data to support those facts, HR proposals are no longer questioned. Progress can be achieved more readily.


  • Should we gamify everything? No. But looking at context, rather than content alone achieves better engagement in your organization's learning objectives. Then applying some incentive (gamification) to the context can increase and encourage achievements.


  • Is what I learned in college still relevant? Studies show that 50% of what a college freshman learns is irrelevant by the time that freshman is a junior in college. We need to unlearn and relearn continually - but most of us are not making the most of our Learning Management Systems to achieve that. Using Open Content Networks (i.e., like OpenSesame) can help organizations accelerate training and development beyond compliance.


Read our tweets @RechargeHR and find a future event at http://rechargehr.asug.com. On Monday - I'll be in Scottsdale, Arizona, learning more great things I thought I already knew.