from Philadelphia: Highlights from CTHRAs 2011 Symposium
Symposium focused on Changes, Challenges, and Transformations!
and wasted no time diving into the issues facing the industry.
The conference opened with Cablevision Systems Corp.s
COO, Tom Rutledge
(pictured at left), providing a few chuckles and much insight
into the current state of the industry and projections for
the future. Tom first described how our industry started
with an entrepreneurial culture, moved into a managerial
phase, and is now entering the enterprise era: a more decentralized,
systemic approach to business operations that allows for
localization, more complex technologies and a need for more
specialists than generalists in the workforce. Tom explained
that in this new era, there are three highly interdependent
legs of the industry: business operations, regulations,
and technology. He said the legal systems including regulatory
and copyright mish mash are outdated for the current
era of telecommunications, and discussed the challenges
of fast-paced technological advances saying, When
you develop a technology, you have no idea what it will
unleash. As an example, he cited that the industry
predicted telephony, but not broadband. During the transition
into this new era, Tom said the industry will rely on HR
to help manage people through the change; at Cablevision,
HR is integrated at every level of the business. In conclusion,
Tom stated, Well always need HR.
the conclusion of his remarks, Tom was joined on stage by
Nomi Bergman, President of Bright House Networks;
Margaret Lazo, EVP of HR for NBC Universal Entertainment
& Digital Networks and Integrated Media; and Christopher
Powell, EVP of HR, Scripps Networks Interactive, for
a panel discussion moderated by Seth Arenstein, Editorial
Director and Assistant Vice President of CableFAX
(panel speakers pictured above). During that discussion,
the group emphasized the importance of employee motivation,
especially in this economy where everyone is asked to do
more with less. Chris Powell explained, Motivation
gives people a line of vision.
Margaret Lazo shared the simple but effective
strategy of recognizing and rewarding success. Everyone
agreed that a culture that celebrates employee wins and
that sets the bar for achievements through communications
creates an environment that motivates people to do their
best. For further insight into motivating employees, Nomi
Bergman recommended Daniel Pinks books on the subject.
Hand in hand with rewarding success is
creating an environment that encourages risk taking in order
to help companies differentiate themselves. However, the
panelists warned that employees will not take risks if they
fear they will not survive a situation in which a risk doesnt
pan out as hoped.
After the breakout sessions, Symposium
attendees proceeded to the Awards Luncheon where they received
a warm welcome from Craig Martell of Oracle,
this years sponsor. Discovery Communications swept
the awards (see separate articles) and attendees enjoyed
a great networking luncheon and awards presentation.
The breakout session titled, Its
A Global Workforce: A Case Study in Employee Mobility,
featured Sharon Denson, VP of Global Mobility and
International Compensation for Turner Broadcasting System,
and Patti Wilkie Proietti, Senior Manager/Global
Employer Services, Deloitte Tax LLP. In this session, insights
- A one-size-fits-all approach no longer
meets the needs of a changing global workforce.
- Global mobility addresses various talent
management solutions and is increasingly a cornerstone
of an employers value proposition. While it
is a significant investment, a solid approach to global
mobility can enable a firms growth and survival
in a complex business landscape and competitive war for
- An effective global mobility program
is grounded in the organizations business strategy
and integrates strategy, process, and technology in a
way that delivers service solutions throughout the life
cycle of an assignee.
The breakout session titled Warring
for Talent: Are You Still Fighting the Battle After You
Thought You Won the War? was moderated by Linda
Chambers, Corporate VP of HR for Bright House Networks
and featured Renee Hauch, SVP of Search Management
and Research for Carlsen Resources; Lisa Kaye, President
of greenlightjobs.com; and Janet Manzullo, VP of
Talent Acquisition for Time Warner Cable. The group pointed
out that one of the biggest challenges companies face is
the fact that relocation in this economy can be a deal breaker.
Also, the panelists expressed that it is becoming more and
more difficult to recruit recent college grads: Their expectations
are higher, they want more freedom and autonomy, and they
feel more entitled.
- Instead of posting a straight-forward
job description for an open position, write a summary
of the job as though you were writing an advertisement
to entice the ideal candidate.
- Bring candidates into the workplace
so that they can get a sense of the environment and culture.
This way both candidate and employer can make a more informed
decision about the likelihood of a good match.
A trend towards centralized recruiting efforts is resulting
in a more consistent approach to the process.
- Outreach and networking are highly
effective recruiting tools. If XYZ company is laying
off employees, connect with its HR team to identify potential
candidates for your open positions, if that seems appropriate.
The panelists were split on the practice
of using social networking sites to gain insight into candidates.
Some recruiters use it, while others rely on reference and
background checks to avoid potential legal issues. Additionally,
the group discussed diversity. Lisa Kaye offered, "Although
companies continue to make an effort in diversity recruiting,
it continues to be a challenge to recruit diverse talent
at senior levels within organizations. In this we have a
long way to go to improve or efforts."
Leading with Diversity in a Changing
Economy was a breakout session featuring Dennis
Brennan, SPHR, Global Inclusion & Intercultural
Management for McDonald's Corporation; Cynthia Featherson,
Managing Director for Ivy Planning Group; and David M.
Porter, Jr., Ph.D., Executive Director, Walter Kaitz
day concluded with a highly interactive workout
with Erika Andersen (pictured at left), President
of Proteus International and author of Being Strategic.
Erika started by stating that HR professionals can better
support their organizations success and operate more
effectively as business partners by being more strategic
in their approach. She defined strategic as consistently
making those core directional choices that will best move
you toward your hoped-for future. Using the simple imagery
of capturing a castle on a hillside, Erika led the group
through several exercises to create a blueprint for developing
a successful stratey. First one must define the challenge,
then clarify what it is, envision the desired outcome, face
obstacles, and then determine the best path to reach the
CTHRAs one-day event concluded with
a relaxing networking and book signing reception, sponsored
by Starz Entertainment. While everyone left the event
with a complimentary copy of Erika Andersens book,
three exuberant attendees went home with door prizes which
included an Apple iPad 2. You can see their expressions
and the entire day in pictures by visiting our photo gallery
It takes the assistance of many to develop
the Symposium, including the 2011 Symposium Committee: Michael
Butler, SVP Compensation & Benefits, Cablevision
Systems; Rosalind Clay Carter, SVP, Human Resources,
A&E Television Networks; Karen Bennett, SPHR,
CCP, SVP, Human Resources, Turner Broadcasting System; Christopher
Powell, EVP, Human Resources, Scripps Networks Interactive;
and Tenia Davis, VP, Human Resources, Harpo Inc.
CTHRA would also like to thank those companies
that showed their generous support for the Symposium.