IQNavigator’s Conference Kicks-off: Innovation and “The Internet Of People”

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True in form and substance to its stated commitments of the past year to demonstrate innovation at IQNavigator as well as support new forms of exploring innovation within the contingent workforce management community, the IQNsiders conference kicked-off in a refreshing, energizing way. Foregoing the typical opening hour-long keynote address delivered at 8 a.m. at most conferences, IQNavigator started the day with a well-organized collection of 16 different topic discussion tables, which attendees could select. The level of interest and engagement in the hall through the period was palpable, and participation was generally quite enthusiastic – especially for such an early hour in the morning!

Topics included some that could be considered well within the “guide rails” of mainstream (parochial) contingent workforce management issues and subjects of interest (e.g. “Benchmarking Your CWM Program,” “Expanding Your Program Into the SOW Landscape, Implementing Your VMS—It’s Easier Thank You Think”). However, a solid number of the topics were what I would consider “pressing the envelope” topics (e.g. “Influencing the Strategic Direction of Your VMS,” “Total Workforce Management—The Merger of All Workforce Analytics,” “VMS—Where Do We Go From Here?” or “Talent Pools: The New Frontier”).

Innovation Interest Heats Up

I personally sat in on several of the discussion tables and attended carefully to both what the participants were specifically saying and how their inputs and interests seemed to measure up to the more “out of the box” concepts presented at the tables. What I came away with was that that while practitioners are very immersed in moving their programs along to achieve more immediate, perhaps “run-of-the mill” objectives, the interest in innovative approaches and possibilities now on the horizon was intense and serious.

I suppose another way of saying this was that I was very impressed by the absence of cynicism or dismissiveness about innovation at the doorstep (something I have encountered among staffing suppliers in similar discussion forums). One of the more memorable assertions I heard was from a manager of one of the very largest MSPs, who stated with a combination of frustration and piercing vision, “We need to all stop this talking about the ‘Internet-of things’ and start talking a lot more about ‘the Internet of people.’”

It’s a great thought and captures the essence of the potential change at hand.

My major take away from this innovative “kick off” of the IQNsiders conference today was that there is a lot of “kick” in this contingent workforce management community of businesses and professionals. Having players like IQNavigator and its ecosystem partners materially stepping up to the innovation leadership challenge and seeing practitioners so serious about what they need to accomplish in the near term and fearlessly looking to understand and grapple with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead – these are signals that register with me as portending the embracing of innovation in the contingent workforce management community in the years to come.

This has largely been a staid industry for far too long. The bottoms-up enthusiasm for change from all sides of it could truly lead to a new revolution in the sector.

It’s about time.

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