ARTof.HR felt like a very different HR Conference. We heard a lot about what makes the best of us as a humans, including the need to open our hearts, be passionate about our relationships, find people’s gifts and invest in them heavily as long as they’re open to change.

All of these attributes apply even more deeply to us as owners of human resources policy. Although we did talk about topics such as technology, data and analytics, it was always from a perspective of creating more compelling, meaningful workplaces – one that inspire even if they challenge and provoke.

We spent more time on beliefs and behaviours required for agility; motivations to play games, have fun, and party, which are so essential for innovation and the connections we can develop. This helps us drive changes in organisational culture.

If you remember HR’s last feature on the ARTof.HR, you’ll know that we’ve been spending quite a bit of time trying to understand more about HR artistry, mainly through survey, which we also discussed during the conference.

What the ARTof.HR conference did for me, above all of the insights and conversations it provided, was to help paint a picture of more artful environment, helping everyone attending feel what this would be like and the gap between this and most working environments today.

It was interesting to see the updates from the Drucker Forum Vienna, which was taking place at the same time. It discussed many of the same topics. Business leaders know that they need to create more meaning and passion for their people.

It’s up to us to show them how a more artful approach to HR can deliver much of the changes they require. Linked to this, one of the comments that I found most powerful at the conference came from Bjarte Bogsnes, ex HRD, CFO and how head of performance leadership at Statoil. He talked about the way that more finance and other business professionals are starting to understand that a pure focus on numbers doesn’t help us to manage our organisations today.

He explained that a new and more people – centred way of managing requires changes in our perspective and approach. But along with those from finance stepping through the doorway into the new world, he sees many HR people walking the other way.

So to me it’s important that while we use the new insights from science, and uncover the benefits of technology, data and analytics, we put most focus into creating new, more human organisations.

And we need to remember that while describing what’s happening in our organisations is important, it’s nowhere near as critcal as helping our people feel the relevant changes that are required to make change.

SOURCE: Jon Ingham /