D ay Two of the 2015 Beeline Conference started bright and early with a 5K run to benefit Win4Youth, a global sports initiative started by the Adecco Group to raise money for youth foundations around the world. Over 40 Beeline colleagues, clients, and other conference attendees participated in Thursday morning’s race. This one race alone added over 200 kilometers to the 2015 Win4Youth campaign, which helps Adecco Group reach its goal of 1.75 million kilometers by December! The team felt inspired from Day One Speaker Amy Cuddy and took a power pose picture to prepare for the big run!
When Big Opportunities Create True Urgency
Keynote speaker Tom Flick encouraged conference attendees to think about how they focus their energy and how they get their teams to focus their energy. According to Flick, good leaders have this awareness, saying, “Drive leadership down through the organization so that people know what they do.” He spoke about the difference between leadership and management, saying, “Management does not move anybody forward – that’s its job, to keep things the same.” He explained, “Management is about avoiding hazards, leadership is about seizing opportunities.” According to Flick, leadership requires vision and strategy.
The first challenge to overcome, he said, is complacency. This is when people think that what they are doing is just fine. “This causes ‘stop attitudes,’” he explained, where people say things like, “I’ve got this,” without enthusiasm or sense of challenge. The second challenge to overcome is false urgency. This is when people say things like, “I feel like I’m in survival mode.” He explained that comfort zones create complacency and false urgency, and that a better asset to strive for is true urgency. True urgency focuses the heart and the mind on the same thing, and this happens when leaders encourage others to “win the day.”
To “win the day,” Flick says that you must start your day with a list of one to three opportunities that you will focus on that will ensure you are successful. Then you should think of a list of one to three hazards that may interfere with these opportunities. He urged leaders to pay careful attention to the words they use when speaking to their colleagues. “Your words chosen carefully create pictures in the mind of those you are speaking to, and it starts to connect the head and the heart,” he said. “Say the right words, create the right pictures, and I can get you to follow me,” he explained. “It doesn’t take much to inspire somebody,” he said, reciting three things that leaders can start doing today:
- Push frontiers – Seize the big opportunity
- Exercise ethics – Live your principles
- Unleash energy – Lead the way
“Winning is great, but there is something better than that – helping others to win,” said Flick, “That’s the job of a leader – creating the winners.”
Networking and Roadmapping
Conference attendees had an opportunity to meet with other Beeline customers from within their region to discuss current workforce trends in a breakout session called, “Get to Know Your Region: Networking with the Beeline Advisory Council.” This allowed them to hear from members of the Beeline Advisory Council (BAC), a prestigious group of Beeline sponsors formed to provide input on Beeline’s strategic direction and help guide the advancement of Beeline’s extended workforce products and service offerings. This breakout session gave attendees an opportunity to hear about the BAC’s goals and activities for 2015, as well as interact and learn what their peers are doing as they manage their programs and technology.
Another breakout session, called “Beeline Product Roadmap: Your chance to Impact the Future,” gave clients an opportunity to provide their input and guidance about the features and capabilities most important to their organizations. Beeline Product Directors shared their product roadmap, including key technology milestones and enhancements that clients can use to better manage their extended workforces.
Lessons in Program Expansion
Other breakout sessions from Thursday included “Lessons in Program Expansion,” with one session focusing on the Beeline Services Procurement solution and the other focusing on enterprise expansions. A major indicator of progress toward maturity is program expansion. The Services Procurement panel discussion was for those considering adding the solution as a way to manage statement of work based services. It allowed attendees to learn what they should expect from their peers who have already added this solution to their VMS. The enterprise expansion panel discussion focused on organizations wishing to increase their geographical reach or adding additional labor categories under management. Again, attendees heard inside stories from their peers about the lessons they learned in the process.
Connecting with Millennials with the Gen Y Guy
The last keynote speaker, Jason Dorsey, spoke about the generational divide in the workforce, explaining that this is the first time in history that four different generations of people are working together, and that a fifth generation will be entering the workforce soon. Extremely high-energy, Dorsey used humor to interact with the audience and explained how different generations have different work styles and challenges. He explained that parenting is the greatest influence of generational behavior, saying, “How you are raised is the greater predictor of what you will want to do in the workplace.” He then spoke in detail about technology and how millennials often have a reputation for being tech savvy. Being a millennial himself, Dorsey explained, “We are not tech savvy, we are tech dependent,” adding, “we don’t care how it works, why it works, we just want it to work.”
He also talked about how millennials often have a reputation of being entitled, but he explained, “you are not born entitled, it is learned.” He explained to the baby boomers that they are the parents of millennials, and if “parenting is the greatest influence of generational behavior,” that millennial behavior was not necessarily influenced by technology, but by the baby boomers themselves. One example included the mobile phone. The baby boomer generation invented the mobile phone, but they are the generation that understands it the least! He had a lot of advice for those leaders in the workforce who are hiring millennials. He explained that text messaging, emails, and social media are the three most important forms of communication for millennials. He also encouraged leaders to provide specific examples of what they expect from millennials, and that they are visual learners. He encouraged baby boomers and those in Generation X to take pictures and videos to help millennials understand what is expected of them, as 100 percent of millennials are visual learners. He also explained that millennials need ongoing feedback about how they are performing, saying that the first day of work is the most important, and that millennials will decide by their lunch hour if they want to stay at a company. Being a company that bridges the gap between technology and the workforce, Jason Dorsey was a perfect keynote speaker for the Beeline Conference.
Hacking our Way to a Better Solution
Shortly before the Conference closing, the Beeline hackers – a team of software developers who worked on designing system enhancements during the Conference – presented their Hack-a-Thon ideas and features. The team revealed three new enhancements and showed off the new Beeline User Interface, as well. One of the new features includes a customizable dashboard, where users have the ability to drag and drop any widgets that they may want added to their dashboard. A truly global team initiative, the group brought the team of hackers working in the Philippines up on the screen via Skype, who also had an opportunity to speak about their enhancements.
The 2015 Beeline Conference was an amazing event. Truly inspirational and productive for clients, and an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, the Beeline Conference is unlike any other event in the industry. At the end of the event, we felt like we really did “win the day.”