This is going to be a quick one as I am at Oracle OpenWorld and will need to get busy on that Trip Report soon. Certainly, the Learn.com acquisition was a big deal. I am working on a note discussing that acquisition as well as another note on the broader subject of M&A in the HCM world. I am also trying to finish up the Magic Quadrant for Employee Performance Management Software (all of the acquisitions are not helping – the latest in case you had not seen it is SumTotal announced today it had acquired Softscape).
Back to Taleo World. The thing that struck me about the event, in stark contrast to most vendor user conferences I attend, was the interview of two CEOs as keynotes. The first keynote was an interview with A.G. Lafley, former CEO of Proctor and Gamble. He put the importance of human capital management and talent management in the context of the business challenges his organization faced as it tried to turn around its performance after a lackluster period. There were many lessons to be learned from keeping things simple to create leverage of talent outside the enterprise to drive innovation (his book “The Game-Changer” is a good read to get the details). I hope that the Taleo folks recorded the session as there were many gems that could provide compelling use cases for workforce planning and analysis.
The second CEO interview was with Ken Thiry, CEO of Davita. It was quite inspirational. Davita is in a business that literally has life and death implications (dialysis treatments). Many of its workers are not highly paid. Yet, it has created a unique culture that not only has driven strong business performance, but has substantially improved employee engagement and reduced turnover. It was a strong lesson that there is much more to talent management than technology. Technology can help enable better talent management, but if the fundamentals are not in place, the best technology does not matter.