An update from Anita

and an invitation to HRTechRadar

Hey there,

that was the strangest sabbatical ever! Two weeks in, the borders closed and my travel plans were canceled. I now know my neighborhood really well. Not exactly what I had mind for the summer of 2020…

After a couple of weeks, I needed a new cause and I found one quickly - or to be honest, it found me! A few startup founders reached out for mentoring, and I learned that because of the pandemic, it was (and still is) hard for them to spread the word: conferences were cancelled and decision makers had other things on their minds.

At the same time, these young founders have fresh ideas leading to smart innovations that make work life better - how can they share their story? And so was born: offering news and insights about HR and workplace innovations, where emerging companies present innovative solutions.

I’ll make it easy for you to stay on top of these innovations with a monthly newsletter that shows what is new. I’ll share a couple of carefully selected links to interesting articles and events. And I hope that you will visit when you are looking for a new solution, even if it’s just to get an idea of what’s possible.

This issue focuses on strategy. The next one takes a closer look at the state of HR Chatbots. I discovered a couple of young companies that are innovating HR with chat and I’ll share what I’ve learned from interviewing their founders.

If my writing is meaningful to you, I invite you to become a subscriber today.

Stay healthy and safe! Have a great day, Anita

Insights & Ideas on Strategy

If you know me a little, you won’t be surprised that the first topic is strategy. 2020 is decidedly different. I don’t believe there is a company in the world that didn’t set aside their strategic plans in March. Some did exceedingly well and eclipsed all expectations (hello Zoom) while other industries got crushed (have you traveled to a conference lately?).

Now that office workers can reliably work remotely and leadership teams have dealt with short term consequences, it’s time to refresh your strategic plans.

What has changed for your business, what is the industry outlook, and what does that mean for your (future) workforce? To inspire you, here are 10 practical tips to refresh your strategy using a pragmatic approach that won’t break the bank.

While you are reviewing your plans, consider bringing in some fresh ideas and perspectives. Why not cast a wide net and involve some startups in this process? They are the ones working hard on innovative solutions for the 2020s. Yes, there are risks involved, but I encourage you to consider the benefits of inviting emerging companies when thinking about the next steps for your business.

Meet the Innovators

Check out these HRTechRadar members:

What’s next?

This decade could be among humanity’s most innovative, writes Danny Crichton. The 2010s were all about mobile, cloud, and data. So far, the easy stuff has been done. We now need to answer the harder questions, and discuss topics like how to make people more productive and empowered to do deep and creative work.

We now live in a ‘Low Touch Economy’ says Board of Innovation. The term refers to the way businesses have been forced to operate during the pandemic: from touchless interactions, limited gatherings and travel restrictions to new regulations etc. The report is packed with fresh ideas for new business models, expert opinions and frequently updated with the latest insights.

How is work actually getting done in your company? And why do so many knowledge workers feel overloaded? Cal Newport dives into the history of productivity in The Rise and Fall of Getting Things Done. He argues that there’s too much value at stake to keep ignoring the haphazard nature of how we currently work. Companies must start designing new work strategies.

The MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future just published Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines. History and economics show no conflict among technological change, full employment, and rising earnings. Everyone benefits. So far, work has not been turned on its head by automation, nor has the labor market. But change can generate fear, especially when the results are shared only among the few. How can we create a future of work that delivers opportunity and security to all humans?

The World Economic Forum released a dynamic map of Workforce and Employment Transformation. Click on a topic such as “Reskilling”, “New Work Models” or “Inclusive Labor Markets” and you’ll get access to the latest research from leading institutions.

While you’re there, download the new Future of Jobs Report 2020 that describes the consequences of the pandemic for labor markets around the world. It‘s not all doom and gloom: employers focus on re- and upskilling employees and take pro-active steps to improve the wellbeing of their workforce.

And employers are exploring how to create safe and effective work environments for when employees return to the office. The crisis has created a new need in the market for contact tracing services specifically designed for the workplace. As analyst Kaia Colban writes in her latest note, startups are pivoting away from previous projects to meet that new need in creative ways. But will they be viable once vaccines become available?

Movers and shakers

The latest funding rounds and company updates:

Check all announcements.


Dec 3-4 WomenTech Global Awards

View all events

See you next month!

Do you have comments, questions, tips, links for the next issue? Send me a note or schedule a chat.

Written by Anita Lettink. I write about workplace innovation and the future of work. I run HRTechRadar to showcase startups. I’m also an analyst & advisor.: ask me about HR, payroll and outsourcing. You can connect with me on Linkedin or Twitter.