Bloomberg People and Performance – HR as a critical enabler for Innovation

3 Minutes

Bloomberg’s People and Performance series, hosted in partnership with Elliott Scott HR, was ...

Bloomberg’s People and Performance series, hosted in partnership with Elliott Scott HR, was held in Singapore on 27th September.

Launched in 2015, this series provides a forum for HR leaders to exchange insights on industry trends, whilst allowing peer-to-peer networking in an informal setting over wine and canapes.

This event’s discussion focused on the need for HR to lead from the front in enabling innovation throughout organisations. As corporates face technological and cultural disruptions at an ever accelerated pace, how well they respond dictates their ability to survive or thrive. Continuous innovation has become a critical focal point across all industries, raising the question of how the Human Capital function acts as an enabler.

The event kicked off with an introduction by Vandna Ramchandani, Head of Recruitment, Philanthropy and Engagement for AsiaPacific at Bloomberg with a topical clip highlighting Bloomberg’s approach and commitment to innovation. Keynote speaker Steve Monaghan, Head of Edge at AIA provided remarkable insights into current and future trends that affect all organisations. He discussed the role of digitisation and simplification of processes as consumers demand faster and automated services. Mr Monaghan raised the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in this context and the important question of how this will change the talent landscape. HR will need to readjust how it evaluates talent in the context of benchmarking, development and engagement. His point was illustrated with sobering predictions on the number of jobs that would be “lost” to AI and those that would be created as a result.

A particularly thought provoking part of his presentation focused on the new, emerging talent such as data scientists and digital marketers, who do not fit into the current mould most corporates adopt for engaging their talent. HR functions, therefore, need to be thinking now about their strategy to retrain, reskill or retool these talent pools. Fostering an innovative environment is also key to an organisation’s future success. Mr. Monaghan noted that HR needs to tap into the aspiration already inherent in people to positively impact their organisations.

Creating an environment where employees are encouraged to come forward with fresh ideas is vital to this process. Attracting the right workforce, namely the innovators, is also important in order to have the skills needed for tomorrow’s workforce. HR needs to consider whether they build this talent pool of innovators from within the company, or buy them in from outside. Once they are on-board, the question will be how they reward and incentivise them for the long-term.

The keynote was followed by a panel discussion, facilitated by Vincent Romano, Managing Director of South East Asia at Elliott Scott HR, and included Chee Tung Leong, Co-Founder and CEO at EngageRocket; Juhi Singh, HR Business Partner at AXA and David Miao, Head of Data Management Asia Pacific at Bloomberg. The panel discussed how AI will have a competitive advantage in roles with highly repetitive tasks. While this may cause redundancies, it will also present a need for newly specialised talent.

How does HR need to change the way it engages this emerging talent profile, which is accustomed to a faster pace of development and progression? Chee Tung Leong raised the point that evaluation cycles need to be accelerated to increase the accuracy of how organisations respond to talent data. Traditionally data is collected once a year with a survey and then results evaluated months after the fact. HR must find ways to digitise and evaluate data at an accelerated pace to allow for the most relevant and effective response.

David Miao spoke about the importance and value of diversity in the workplace, and the need for an environment that encourages risk taking to drive innovation. Juhi Singh, HR BP at AXA, shared how AXA have developed their talent management strategy with innovation as key value in mind. AXA initiated a strategic workforce plan which maps out skillsets needed for the future so as to enable planned action on the expected skill gaps. This way, they anticipate what their staff will need to learn and provide them with the right tools and skills to do so. AXA is also utilising some digital and gamification tools.

In this context Vincent Romano asked the panel if the future of HR and learning was in gamification. The panel agreed that gamification tools like mobile apps, could be useful motivation tools, however the problem is the usage cycle – the initial hype and novelty inevitably dies down. Tools that engage employees longer term is the real challenge.

Elliott Scott HR would like to thank Bloomberg and the speakers for their contribution to making the event a success.

Take a look at our photos from the event here:

To find out when the next event will be held, or for more information, please contact Group Marketing and Communications Executive, Emily Pearson at