Agility, Transformation and Collective Intelligence: this years’ 'Congrès HR' in Paris

18 october 2017

The conference was opened by Philosophy Magazine and philosopher Pierre-Henri Tavoillot, where he talked about the current fears of the world and its crises in values.

To explain in simple words: 
During the Renaissance period, the pillars of the ancient times being: Authority, the order of Nature and the strength of the Divine, have disappeared. 
In our current society these points of reference have been replaced by:
- The State (we ask to be guided) 
- The Market (we ask to be supported economically) 
- And the Insurance. (we ask to be insured for everything in our lives) 

Unfortunately these three newcomers have shown us their fragility in the past decades by healthcare system overload, 2008s' economic crises and insurance limitations and clauses. 
The logical consequence has been that people started to be afraid and doubt the force of the State in being able to guide us, of the Market to be stable and of the strength of the Insurance.

His recommendation: reject all old and new ways of thinking and replace them by putting back the Adult in the centre of life … and of the company. This by starting to be conscious of our fear and taking responsibility instead of waiting to see what will be offered to us.  
This also applies to companies. Where managers shouldn’t be afraid of taking decisions and guiding their employees in the best way possible. 

All that takes us to transformation, agility and the general adaptation to business transformations.


First of all this applies to the guidance of talents and leaders in complex environments. 
Nowadays we live in a decade of transformations (business model change, digitalization, etc.) and because of it, we see that more and more job roles within companies start to change. 
The key here for managers is to adapt to it by transforming the roles of their employees or making choices when they are no longer needed. The managers have to be able to deal with economic transformations and take decisions to lead their employees correctly by taking into account the economical side as well as the side of their company and workforce.  

Managers are demanded to be more responsible, 
more adult and more proactive 

The way to apply it is different from one organization to the other, mostly depending on the corporate culture. While some go all-in by training their entire management and employee unity at once, others chose the Buy-In track and apply changes step by step, training by training to show that change can work and to take away the fear of it, which has established in many companies. 

The trend of new references and values


  • An interest is developing of organizations for hackathons. 
    It is seen as an important part of the ‘leadership of tomorrow’ because hackatons abandon the 'from top to bottom’ policy and involve all levels in the organization to think and take decisions together. Like this they develop the 'Best Practices'  for all parties.  
    A good example of this is the company Bel, where the strategy is so, that hundreds of talents are accompanied during a 16-month program with individual coaches to develop their skills and find the best suited way of working for each individual.

  • Another popular interest is the one for start-ups. They are appealing for big groups because for one, the start-up can add a good new idea to their already existing business units. Otherwise it also has an interest on the recruitment side since it is an easy way to find new talents and finding employees who are informed on the latest trends. 
    Therefor the logical consequence is that the big groups who are showing them interest and wanting to work with them are numerous, proposing them contracts and trying to play the mother-hen.

  • An additional important point of change is the evolution in recruitment. Where it used to be so that organizations mostly used specialized agencies for the recruitment process, it is now so that most companies have invested in good internal recruitment and HR departments and only use agencies for hard-to-find profiles, allowing them to be more involved in the process and also be more cost-effective. 

  • Same thing applies for the intern mobility. Where instead of hiring other profiles, internal job roles start to be changed where needed and employees adapt or learn other skills.

  • The improvement of collaborative work and common culture is something to keep in mind as well. Where large companies have to deal with sometimes very different company cultures within the same organization, it is important to try to create one common culture and apply the best of all cultures into one. 
    A good example of this is the company Bouygues. Divided in three main departments with very different cultures: Bouygues construction (workers),Bouygues Télé TF1 (media) and Bouygues Telecom (customer service minded). The main idea of Bouygues is to take the best practices of all cultures and assemble them in one main culture (f. ex. modern way of thinking, developing talents, etc.) 

  • Lastly it also evolved around the adaptation to change in different cultures. Where some cultures are extremely open to transformation, others are resistant. It is key here to work differently with various cultures and keep in mind that in some countries changes may be easier than in others. 

To conclude:  the business transformation pushes enterprises
to find new references and new values.

Fun fact: Next to discussing Chabot there was presentation on A.I., which is on the rise. 
We managed to meet a robot made in France: Diya One who was created by the company Ramesh Caussy. 
A robot meant for the well-being of the employee in the office. It will measure temperature, humidity, quality of air and light in the office and can directly contact with the demotic systems to adapt where needed so that the atmosphere for employees is pleasant at all times. It begins to be placed in more and more companies like: BPI, Soiété Générale, SNCF, …


… The Future Of Work …

HRbuilders takes part in the movement of #TheFutureOfWork which consists of transition managers specialized in HR, who are pragmatic and with international experiences so they can adapt extremely fast in companies for temporary missions… competencies, agility, transformation.


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Written by

Sofie Mettepenningen

International HR Matchmaker at HRbuilders

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