It’s Only Disruption Until It Isn’t

Imagine being half as valuable in five years as you are today. Not a comforting thought. But that’s only how long the technical skills you have today will last. Technology is disrupting everything, and HR is no exception.

Sean Bengry, director of the Digital Learning Studio at PwC, was making the point to a DisruptHR audience in Rochester, NY a few months ago, that HR should “stop thinking about disruption and start thinking about change.”

His message is that change is not a single event, the way a disruption is. It’s ongoing — a continuing series of disruptions, if you will. Technology today is only accelerating the pace. Bengry’s advice for HR: “Use technology as a lever to unlock human potential.”

That’s his summary. Bengry proposes that HR people think about disruption and change and technology differently. How? He offers three suggestions for changing perspective:

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  1. “Flip what you think about disruption. It is simply change. Change, until it becomes, guess what, life as you know it.” What does that mean? Bengry’s got several examples of disruptive innovations that we now take for granted. (Think internet.)
  2. “Focus on the humanity. Focus on those things the digital technology simply can’t disrupt.” Like what? Like “critical thinking, creativity, emotional intelligence, negotiation.”
  3. “Unleash the potential. Find the way the digital technology can enrich, empower and enable your lives today.”

In partnership with DisruptHR, TLNT presents some of the best Disrupt presentations from events across North America and now the world. Disrupt talks are modeled on the TEDx concept: Short, to the point talks on all things HR — talent, culture and technology.

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Founded by Disrupt's CEO Jennifer McClure, events are organized by volunteer teams working with Disrupt staff who assist in the planning. Events have a maximum of 14 speakers, who get 5 minutes and no more than 20 slides for their presentation.

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