DisruptHR YVR: Meet the Speakers

Last month The HR Gazette published a series of interviews, with speakers from the most recent DisruptHR YVR event. The interviews are a great read! Each speaker provides compelling, insightful answers and collectively the group has a very optimistic outlook on the future of HR.


If you haven’t had the chance to read the full interviews, you can find them here.


In this post, we decided to put together our favourite questions and answers from the speaker interviews!


What brought you to becoming a speaker at Disrupt HR Vancouver?


Angie Coates: I attended DisruptHR for the first time last year, and I enjoyed it. I remember sitting on my chair and leaning over to tell my friend, “I want to be up there next year!” It was a personal milestone, and I am very excited to be one of the speakers in March!


Brenda Rigney:I believe in DisruptHR’s mandate. I am a disruptor and I like to hang out with other disruptors. I’m not interested in learning about performance management systems or how to deliver HR strategy.


Matt Corker: The law of awesome of course! Awesome people organize this event and they have attracted an incredible group of awesome speakers. I’m grateful to have snuck my way in.


Why is your topic important to HR and Talent pros?


Rob Catalano: Recent studies show that managers have the largest impact on employee engagement, and since employees leave managers, not companies, I think high priorities for HR and Talent should be focusing on what has huge impact on engaging and retaining employees.  I also think it’s been awhile since most companies have done much to change their approach on enabling managers. It’s a good reality check and reminder to start building this into future planning.


Lorie Corcuera: All the data shows that we can create more engagement, trust, collaboration, connection, and purpose if we start with leading ourselves first and caring more for each other. It is not only a generational expectation; it is a human need that we must fulfill in all areas of our life.

People want to work with leaders, teams, and organizations that create human-centered workplaces and cultures. People wish to be part of organizations that make a bigger impact in our community and that are creating purpose.


Matt Corker: HR tends to be known as “where good ideas go to die” or “where there is more paperwork than there are results.” Not always, yet definitely often. I believe the capability for HR pros to lead the next corporate revolution is huge – and its time for them to lead.


The HR Gazette is a big believer in the shift from traditional thoughts of HR to embracing modern HR as part of ‘people and culture‘. What does ‘people and culture’ mean to you?


Kevin Hawryluk: The shift to people and culture to me exemplifies everything that a modern business should be focused on, empowering people within an organization to be the best version of themselves, both as individuals and collectively as a group. This concept is wonderful when truly embraced. What potentially concerns me is slapping the label on without fundamentally changing anything. It needs to be Owned.


Angie Coates: To me, talking about people and culture is music to my ears. It’s humanizing HR. Employees are not resources. They are individuals with values, hopes, and aspirations, friends, families, hobbies, feelings. Until we begin to understand that, we will never be able to engage the people that we work with, or create the right environments where individuals can thrive.


Rocky Ozaki: To me, people and culture is a commitment to attracting and engaging Team Members in pragmatic yet creative ways — with little influence from HR text books. It transforms the traditional HR function in a way that appeals to the connected generation, entrenches culture across the entire organization, and strategically contributes to organizational success.


Please share 2 or 3 ‘influencers’ in the talent and recruitment space who you follow and tell us why.


Lorie Corcuera: Simon Sinek – he is a thought leader in culture development and leadership, Daniel Pink – he is a thought leader in motivation and leadership, and Brene Brown – she is a thought leader in vulnerability and personal leadership. I have so many influencers. Click here to learn more.


Brenda Rigney: Josh Bersin from Bersin by Deloitte. Josh started the largest HR global research company. I’ve met Josh, worked with Bersin on a case study when I was with Earls Kitchen + Bar, and read his blogs weekly. Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook. The first executive that took a stand for diversity and inclusion in 2016. She’s going to revolutionize this topic and eradicate issues from the workplace. Brian Solis is a marketing, content genius. He has a strong point of view on digital, mobile and social solutions.


What do you think will be the major developments in the Talent space to watch out for in the next 12 months and why?


Rob Catalano: You’re starting to see it with performance management processes shifting, but I think managing talent is rapidly changing from an annual process to more real-time conversations and engagement with employees. Technology is offering the ability to do a lot of this, and you’re seeing it already: annual engagement surveys are now becoming more frequent to get a quicker pulse on employees; rewards and recognition isn’t an annual years of service approach, it’s social recognition that happens daily. At WorkTango, we see this trend in enabling managers as well. We can’t train managers for a few days and expect them to be successful, rather we should focus on how they can become more real-time in their impact. I may not be able to predict the future, but the future of HR is going to be an exciting one no matter what turn it takes with access to new technology.


Rocky Ozaki: While exciting technology and new best practices are rolling out each year, I think the major development over the next 12-months will be People and Culture’s mainstream traction. The name, purpose and impact People and Culture has will continue to transcend economic sectors and company size. As more companies recognize the changing landscape and purpose of HR, the more will adopt forward thinking practices that are engaging the future (current) workplace.


How does Disrupt HR provide you with a platform to talk about talent in new ways?


Rob Catalano: The format is a great platform because it draws a crowd from different walks of business life as opposed to just having the same type of people (for example, compensation professionals) in a room. The ability to provide insight on a potentially new concept to someone is pretty cool.  As an attendee, I like the idea of hearing up to ten concepts in the same time that it takes to listen to one longer session with one main idea.  It helps give different perspectives and broaden horizons.


Kevin Hawryluk: The very definition of this format gives permission to go places I wouldn’t otherwise go to in a speech. In addition to the format, there’s a receptive audience that’s looking to learn about disruption…that’s exciting!


Tickets for the next DisruptHR YVR are on sale now! The next event will be bigger and even more disruptive than the last!


PS Our friends at Freshgigs put together this awesome video from our last event!

Mitchelle Boyle

Digital Marketing Specialist at Learnkit
Learnkit works with industry leading businesses and top academic institutions to create innovative custom elearning that delivers measurable, real world results
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