16-17 February 2021
ICC Sydney
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At a Glance

The world economy is under incredible strain. Businesses are dislocated, labor markets have been disrupted, and uncertainty is prevalent. But HR leaders are responding dynamically to remediate short-term shocks and uncover lasting sources of business value. This Session acts as a contextual platform for the Forum; we will precisely map the legislative landscape – breaking down the changing macroeconomic and socio-political environment that we inhabit – to reveal pertinent regulatory implications for HR leaders.


For years, HR has worked to position itself as a harbinger of change. Now, facing unprecedented pressure to deliver strategic value to the organisation, we’ll build a model of effective HR leadership in today’s remote workplace, discuss the construction and execution of an HR-inspired vision for your business, and identify ways in which HR departments can maximise their value by redefining their identity as leaders. We’ll frame this conversation through the Board’s lens and draw on perspectives from across the C-Suite to better understand how HR leaders can shape the strategic agenda.


Talent Stream
We live in a knowledge economy – companies are investing heavily to nurture and then extract the creative potential of their employees. We know that this creative power is what defines us in the context of artificial intelligence and automation, and that the value we assign to these elusive skills will grow exponentially in the face of advancing technological capabilities. This Session shifts the dial on talent to consider how HR leaders can identify, nurture, and retain the precise skills that are proving consequential for business success.


People Analytics Stream
In an operating environment defined by distance, data threatens to erode the boundary between professional and personal life down a once protected flank. The engrained philosophy that not everything that counts can be measured, and not everything that can be measured counts is compromised in a climate where only what is measured can be seen. Leaders must balance their reliance on employees to act with greater autonomy with layers of analytical oversight and data assurances. This technical Stream delves into this escalating tension; we will illuminate the crucial questions being solved behind the scenes while asking one of our own: how can HR leaders integrate deep People Analytics without losing sight of people?


Employee Wellbeing
Businesses are adopting a more wholistic perspective on value, and employee wellbeing is at the heart of this recalibration. This Session is an honest opportunity to confront the failings of reflexive institutional responses and entrenched attitudes towards mental health. Together we will explore how leaders can reconcile competing responsibilities to the individual and the organisation as an entity; demonstrate the importance of moving beyond processes to demonstrate leadership through modelled behaviour; and establish the need to create support networks at the heights of corporate leadership.


Technology is liberating Human Resources from the transactional shackles that have thus far hindered the strategic potential of the profession. The transformative integration of cloud capabilities unfolding across all sectors of the national economy is altering the fabric of relationships embedded in the core of the Human Resources function. Automation and machine learning are elevating Human Resources into a second-line function, a transition that is empowering professionals to assume strategic business partnerships roles. This Session draws on case-based experience to interrogate this strategic transformation.


From momentous strides in analytics and machine learning, to the bold transformation of fundamental principles and structures, there is relentless pressure on businesses to innovate and remain ahead of the curve. While prophesising over the distant future is a fruitless undertaking, there are tangible steps that businesses can take now to enhance their responsiveness and adaptability. This Session explores the systems, structures and methodologies that allow truly resilient HR functions to seize opportunity whenever it arrives and in whatever form it takes.


Culture Stream
We are mining the complexities of the world around us in greater detail than ever before. This ongoing interrogation has yielded great advances and insight; we have moved far beyond bean bags to more precisely map the relationship between culture, collective purpose and performance. This Session is dedicated to tracing the brushstrokes that complete a wholistic picture of the work environment. From consolidating trust in flexible work arrangements to aligning employee values with business priorities and outcomes, we will uncover the tangible steps leaders can take to both inspire and empower their people.


Communication Stream
Questions around algorithmic ethics, employee wellbeing and privacy are not optional conversations for HR professionals – they are consequential issues arising from within the function. HR professionals must be open to consultation around the often-shrouded ethical implications of automation and machine learning. They must be qualified to communicate critical questions around enterprise architecture to the Board, ensuring they are aware not only of current capabilities and the accompanying risks, but of the trajectory of those capabilities. This Stream illuminates the questions HR Leaders should be asking of themselves, their employees, and their leaders to raise the ethical posture of their organisation.

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