HR Buzz Words for 2012: Collaboration, Virtual, and Mobile

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© frank peters -

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It’s our first podcast in December and as we typically do, we start looking ahead and anticipating what’s coming next in the new year.

One of the biggest topics we are hearing about are in the areas of collaboration, both virtual and mobile. The workforce continues it’s march forward, unabated by the lingering recession. And that’s not going to stop any time soon.

What’s next when it comes to working together

Maybe you don’t have the luxury of banning email altogether (though, who says that’s even a good idea?) but we know that the way people are working together, even across great distances, is changing.

When John Hollon and I talked to Karie Willyerd, Chief Learning Officer at SuccessFactors on this week’s podcast, we took a look at what’s changing in the workplace. And the three things that really stood out to me were:

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  1. Collaboration – Even in-person collaboration is changing. Technology is becoming more intertwined with the way we manage collaboration in teams across business units.
  2. Virtual workplaces – Virtual work environments have stepped up pressure to get good collaboration ingrained into a company’s culture is imperative to the long term success of these new ways of working.
  3. Mobile technology – Being able to collaborate whenever and wherever is a big part of what Willyerd is seeing in 2012. Mobile email has been big for a decade, now some next generation tools are finally being added.

One of the things we didn’t get to talk about is SAP’s proposed acquisition of SuccessFactors (or SuccessFactors recent acquisition of Jobs2Web). We recorded in advance of both of these announcements, but both these acquisitions and the future one’s we will likely see are going to be fodder for future podcasts.

Time to replace your CHRO?

Another fun part of our discussion was talking about Willyerd’s post on the Harvard Business Review blog about 10 signs that you should be considering a replacement for your CHRO. A couple of my favorites from the list include:

  • The last time your CHRO had an employee roundtable discussion was before the economic downturn.
  • Your head of HR is hesitant to be accountable for meaningful metrics.
  • Your CHRO has a nickname such as Neutron Mary (at Pfizer), Chainsaw Charles, Dolores Umbridge — or worse

Make sure to read the entire list and then come back and listen to our discussion about that (and more) on our podcast.

[buzzsprout episode=”37139″ player=”true”]

Lance Haun is the practice director of strategy and insights for The Starr Conspiracy, where he focuses on researching and writing about work technology. He is also a former editor for ERE Media, broadly covering the world of human resources, recruiting, and sourcing. 
He has been featured as a work expert in publications like the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC, Fast Company, and other HR and business websites.
He's based in his Vancouver, Wash., home office with his wife and adorable daughter. You can reach him by email or find him off-topic on Twitter.