A sneak peak at the future of work

Co-blogger: Preeti Singh

The LinkedIn Talent Connect Conference

Every year LinkedIn hosts Talent Connect conference – an event that aims to bring HR-professionals from across the globe together for a couple of days to be inspired, network and discuss what the future of work will look like.

This year, a couple of us from the Spotify HR team headed to Anaheim, CA, to attend the 3 day conference along with 4000+ attendees from all over the globe. The theme for this year’s event was ‘From Insights to Impact’ which was evident across all keynote speeches and breakout sessions.

And now, it would be easy to go into “here’s all the speakers”-mode and review the sessions we saw, but instead, we thought we’d give you a look at the main takeaways from the theme and what the common messages from the stages really was.

Big Theme #1: Becoming personal in the age of AI

We were inspired by Tim Leberecht’s talk on integrating more romanticism into the world of business. Now, this isn’t something you hear often but Tim provided a thought-provoking outlook on the future of work in the age of AI. In a pragmatic world where we are always connected, he explained that human beings are actually looking for more personal and shared experiences. And when we say we want more time, what we really want is more memories. This sentiment was also shared by psychotherapist Esther Perel in her talk on ‘Relational Intelligence’ where she claimed that quality of our work relationships is becoming a top determinant of business success. We also heard Dr. Rand Hindi speak about why human-like AI may never exist since machines lack emotional intelligence which comes from humans’ consciousness and senses. Now, when we hear talks on AI, it is often painted with a dystopian picture where humans won’t be necessary. But according to Dr. Hindi it would actually be a stress-free experience where employees are enjoying the work that they are doing because we will have delegated to machines the things we humans don’t want to do. When machines do machine work, and humans do human work, not only can we potentially work less but also feel happier. This is the real promise of AI in the future of work!

Big Theme #2: Being authentically YOU

On day 2 we heard from Carla Harris – an exceptional speaker who shared her pearls of wisdom with funny anecdotes and passionate stories on her path to success. Carla used her personal narrative to describe why bringing her authentic self to work allowed her to create a distinct competitive advantage in her career journey because being yourself when you show up allows you to build trust with those around you. Furthermore, to get the best out of your employees, organizations must be intentional around authenticity and building trust, soliciting many voices to build a culture of diversity, inclusion, and innovation and being clear on their values. At Spotify, we believe strongly in our values and this talk resonated deeply with us.

Big theme #3: The data hype

Many of the breakout sessions happened to be around data – but! It wasn’t the usual “HR needs to better understand and use data” conversation that has been happening over the last couple of years. Instead, we heard industry experts talk about challenges around data integrity and data exhaustion. There seems to be an awareness that while data is important, it doesn’t quite tell the entire story and you do need to add context and analysis to get the real value from it. It was quite refreshing to hear a new perspective emerging in the HR-data space!

All in all, we left the conference energized and excited about what’s new in the talent space, so here’s a Big thank you to LinkedIn for hosting a great conference!