No, there’s never a dull moment in the work we do here at UNLEASH.
Covering such a broad spectrum of topics across several global markets, there’s plenty to opinionate on from the last few days in the world of HR and business. Here are a few things that caught my eye recently.
ESG gains popularity with the C-Suite
HR tech companies take note, ESG reporting is this year’s must have. Of course, it’s a lot more important than that, but I think we will see more and more HR tech companies tracking ESG performance at an individual as well as company level.
According to recent reports, 73% of S&P 500 companies now tie executive compensation to ESG (environmental, social governance) performance. This is up from 66% in 2021. A 14% uplift is not to be sniffed at. It’s fundamentally a good thing of course, but there are, unsurprisingly, caveats.
First, there’s work to be done on whether the firms actually deliver on their ESG goals, or whether this is just ESG-washing (you heard the term here first). Nice to say you care about the environment, social issues and ethical governance but do you, really? How are you making a difference beyond a snappy vision statement to go beneath the logo on your homepage?
Next, it’s also very apparent that much of the goals are centered around the S (social) of ESG and less so around the E (environmental) or G (governance). This is not a shock – after Black Lives Matter, #OscarsSoWhite, continued political unrest and ongoing culture wars, organizations big and small are looking to be seen leading on social inclusion and justice. This starts at the top of every business, and what better way than to monetize your efforts.
I’d like to see more being done in the environmental area of ESG, but we’ll take what we can get. Progress can be slow, so an extra shout out to all the companies moving faster.
Next step – demonstrate your efficacy. And for a bonus point – prove you’re not doing it just for the money.
Elon, Twitter and the role of network effects
Everyone has an opinion on Elon Musk and his business dealings don’t they? Here’s mine – I can’t think of a single iPhone App Store update in the last decade that didn’t involve Twitter making minor tweaks to the front end. I can certainly see that trend continuing in the Musk-owned Twitter era. Same micro-blogging platform, different owner. Or is it?
This piece in the Verge explains why it might not be such plain sailing for the SpaceX owner (hint: it’s about free speech, and we won’t be discussing that side of things very much here, thank you).
I understand the sentiments of most of the article but I think, to get the most out of Twitter, you need to find your people, build your network, be positive and try not to get too jaded by the bot armies.
Starting afresh on a new platform (hello, Mastodon), is hard and takes bloody ages. So, my prediction is a lot of people will say they are going to leave and then not actually follow through. If you do stay, just try to curate yourself a positive and productive Twitter experience, and hope that Musk’s stewardship doesn’t change that.
Twitter is a key social channel for UNLEASH – it’s the quickest way to get news and updates out there, to collate opinions, to temp check the industry. I value it. We value it. Let’s hope Musk does more than monetarily value it. $44 billion is a decent chunk of change, even for the richest man in the world.
He’s got to have some big ideas. Here are a few of them in this fascinating and slightly conspiratorial medium post. Perhaps we will be able to move the UNLEASH HQ to Mars, like we always dreamed.
Anyway, here’s what whistleblower and former UNLEASH keynote Edward Snowden thinks of it all (killer last line):
Anybody at Twitter who cares about what advertisers think should not be working at Twitter. Twitter lives or dies based on a single metric: is the most important conversation in the world happening here?
Make it fun and make it matter. That's how you win.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 2, 2022
The shows are back in a big way
Finally this week, a reflection on our two shows of 2022. Our first events for three years, and my first ever UNLEASH shows. It was genuinely emotional seeing the video flash up on screen in the main stage area at UNLEASH America back in Las Vegas this past May. My UNLEASH journey felt like it really started. As my friend and colleague Kate Graham said in her preview piece for UNLEASH World:
“I’ve been attending UNLEASH events since 2014. I’m a bonafide fan. The first time I sat down at the main stage I had plenty of years of conferences behind me. I knew what to expect – or so I thought.
All of a sudden a bassline begins throbbing through the huge hall, taking me (and I’m sure plenty of others) by surprise. Then a countdown clock appears on the enormous screen at the front. Goosebumps start to prickle up my arms. It was the start of a thrilling, mind-expanding two days during which my pre-conceptions of both HR tech and the events business were challenged. And at every UNLEASH event after that, I still experienced a moment of frisson at the beginning. If you’ve been before, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re joining us for the first time, then I’m actually a bit jealous of you getting to see it all afresh.”
A shout out to Gergo Huszar, our video editor, quietly working away in the background, being a genius. Let’s relive that America video one more time…
The International Festival of HR is back! Discover amazing speakers from the world of HR and business at UNLEASH America on 26-27 April 2023.
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