Learning & Development
SUMMIT Industry Knowledge


NEW FORMAT! Industry Knowledge Sessions

This year's Industry Knowledge Sessions will showcase unique thought leadership content and case studies through a 15-minute TED-talks style presentation in the General Session Room prior to lunch from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Interested in sponsoring an Industry Knowledge Session? Contact Andrew Haigh at ahaigh@hrmac.org for more information.

Learn more about each session below.

It's Their Party & They'll Cry if They Want to — Navigating Emotion to Drive Change 

Chris Williams, Managing Director, Root Inc.

11:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Change is scary. In fact, research says change is significantly more emotional than logical. Even good changes often spark fear and uncertainty. Will I succeed in my new role? Will I be happy in this new city? Will I have the willpower to stay on my diet? 

As leaders, we might be thrilled to launch and communicate a new change initiative, but our people are feeling uncertain, scared and, in many cases, skeptical. Communicating the facts alone won’t change the way our people think and feel. We have to take a more thoughtful and systematic approach to ensuring emotional and intellectual engagement. 

In this interactive and lively session, Chris Williams, Managing Director at Root Inc., will explore how organizations can navigate the emotional implications of change on their employees and accelerate their adoption and commitment. 

About Chris

Chris Williams is a Managing Director at Root Inc. Don’t be fooled by the British accent — Chris moved from New York to Chicago and now heads up Root’s Chicago team. He is a strategic change expert, with a particular passion for culture transformation and strategic onboarding. He has worked with a large range of global and local organizations on initiatives such as enterprise strategy deployment, operational excellence, IT transformation, and culture change. Chris speaks regularly at human resources, learning and development, change management, and onboarding conferences and is considered an energy amplifier in group facilitation environments.

Sponsored by:  

The Truth About Feedback (We've Been Misled)

Jeff Anderson, CEO, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management

11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Have you ever wondered why individuals and organizations struggle so much with giving feedback? Most people dread this ritual!  However, there a hole in our understanding about the concept of feedback. In this session you will learn why almost everything we have been taught about delivering effective feedback has been misguided, and what we can do to successfully use this invaluable leadership tool.

About Jeff

Jeffrey J. Anderson is the 5th President and CEO of the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM). 

Prior to joining the School, Mr. Anderson was an Associate Dean at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. As a member of senior staff, he helped oversee all aspects of the school’s operations. He also taught four classes, including the ground-breaking Leadership Effectiveness and Development (LEAD) program taken by all full-time students during their first quarter. During his tenure, this class grew to become a component of the Part-time and Executive MBA programs, and he adapted and implemented the curriculum at the undergraduate college and Law School. 

Mr. Anderson is also a partner and co-founder of The Chatham Group, an association of experienced business executives who provide strategic advice and individual coaching to senior business leaders worldwide. He has worked for more than 15 years with senior executives in a wide variety of industries including: distribution, consumer products, oil and gas, automotive, financial services, manufacturing, and telecommunications. His consulting provides a wealth of current stories and case studies that he brings to the business education world. 

Sponsored by:  

The Future of Work: Making It Real for Your Organization 

Daniel Mason, Director, Talent Management and Organization Alignment, Willis Towers Watson

11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

The world of work is continuing to change at rapid speeds. We are expecting the use of automation to nearly double in the next three years and all HR professionals need to consider how changing technology, an all-inclusive global talent market and human/machine collaboration are going to impact their organization. During this session we will provide examples of  the real life roles and tasks that we have recently deconstructed and reconstructed using automation, RPA and machine learning in order to mitigate risk, reduce the impact of turnover, and free up talent for more value add activities. We will also discuss HR’s role in leading the way for the future of work.

About Daniel

Daniel Mason is a Director in Willis Towers Watson’s Talent Management practice. Daniel has several years of talent management experience helping organizations deconstruct work and consider future of work alternatives, transformational organizational design, competency architecture, change management, assessments, and performance management. Prior to joining Willis Towers Watson, Daniel worked within the Talent Management Center of Excellence for a competitive energy provider.

Sponsored by:  

Creating a Best-in-Class Remote Work Culture Focused on Employee Connectivity 

Cheryl Johnson, Chief Human Resources Officer, Paylocity

11:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Every week, two-thirds of professionals worldwide work outside the office at least once. Remote work is becoming not just popular within certain industries, but a lifestyle in all industries and at all organizational levels. And while business benefits have been proven — lower infrastructure costs, improved productivity, and increased access to top talent, to name a few — many companies are still challenged with creating a truly remote-friendly workplace that effectively connects remote workers to each other, on-site employees, and the organization as a whole.

In this session, attendees will:

  • Learn why the future of work means engaging more remote-work capabilities
  • Discover how a new approach to recruiting can catapult the level of talent at your organization
  • Explore proven ways to engage your remote workforce and integrate those employees with the organization as if they were onsite
  • Hear about the steps one technology company took to create a best-in-class remote work culture and how it maintains that culture 

About Cheryl 

As Chief Human Resources Officer at Paylocity, Cheryl oversees strategy for people and human resources functions. She joined Paylocity in 2018 and brings with her over 17 years of HR experience in a variety of industries where she led strategies and initiatives related to attracting, retaining, and engaging talent and building culture.

Cheryl most recently served as Chief HR Officer for Echo Global Logistics, a transportation and supply chain management organization. Prior to Echo, Cheryl guided the HR strategies of many well-known companies such as ULTA Beauty, Radio Flyer, Sears Holdings Corporation, and Fossil, Inc. 

Cheryl holds a B.A. in Psychology with a focus in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Toledo. 

Sponsored by: