Sessions Overview

Track 1 - Labor & Leadership

Unemployment rates are declining, skilled labor is getting harder to find, and job creation is at an all-time high. Add the demands of e-commerce, omni-channel, and Industry 4.0 to the mix and creating talent development and labor retention strategies becomes even more critical. In this enlightening track, industry experts and HR pros help ignite transformation by sharing their top strategies for breaking the cycle of employee turnover, cultivating effective leaders, and improving retention across the entire organization.

Track 1 Sessions

  • Session 1
    Keeping Cool in a Crisis: Supply Chain’s Path to the Top Starts with Good Leadership

    Kevin Bender

    Sun Life Financial

    Monday: 9:00AM - 10:00AM
    Location: Innovation Hub P1

    When the world’s geopolitical climate churns, the nation’s trade agreements pivot, and technological shifts abound, the need for strong leadership and good decision making gets especially critical. But even within this topsy-turvy context that’s swirling around them, leaders must continue to spark creativity, drive innovation, and ensure sustainability. This presentation will show how keeping cool in crisis is helping supply chain leaders steer their companies to success amid disruption and distraction.

  • Session 2
    The Looming Retail Zombie Apocalypse

    Dr. Robert Lieb

    Northeastern University

    Monday: 10:15AM - 11:15AM
    Location: Innovation Hub P1

    With e-commerce booming, the marketplace looks like the zombie apocalypse movies that have become so popular in American cinema. Many incumbents are staggering around hoping to develop the right survival strategies. An overemphasis on the “scale” mentality (versus profitability), higher interest rates, rising oil prices, new tax levies on online sales, and a global financial bloodbath that pits the major e-tailers against one another could contribute to a global recession. In this session, you'll learn more about the key impacts that these issues are having on retailers, carriers, 3PLs, and consumers.

  • Session 3
    Transformational Leadership: Crystallizing a Compelling Vision of the Future

    Kevin Graham Ford

    TAG Consulting

    Monday: 11:30AM - 12:30PM
    Location: Kokopelli 2

    To envision means to lead from strategy, but truly transformational leaders also know how to crystallize a compelling vision of the future, demonstrate strong analytic and creative problem solving, and embrace innovative and creative approaches to systems improvement. The most successful leaders also like to try out new stuff and bounce it off of their cross-functional teams. Come to this session and learn how bringing a cross-functional perspective to organizational problems helps build understanding, problem-solving capabilities, coordination, and communication and, ultimately, improves quality and productivity.

  • Session 4
    Alternative Staffing: A Compelling Answer to a Tight Labor Market

    Tim Engstrom

    Elmhurst College

    Monday: 2:15PM - 3:15PM
    Location: White Pine 1

    Hiring one full-time person with benefits to fulfill one role just isn't cutting it in today's labor market. With the low 4.1 percent unemployment rate making it tougher for employers to hire and retain workers, for example, more firms are hiring disabled individuals who had long struggled to find jobs. Come hear how companies are working successfully with the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA) to fill the labor pipeline and how they are exploring alternative staffing options by hiring non-traditional workforce.

  • Session 5
    How to Hire and Cultivate Great Leaders

    Barry Greenhouse

    W.W. Grainger, Inc.

    Tonya Miller Ph.D.

    W.W. Grainger, Inc.

    Rob Reynolds

    W.W. Grainger, Inc.

    Monday: 3:30PM - 4:30PM
    Location: Kokopelli 2

    “It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” This famous Steve Jobs quote pretty much sums up how we should all be thinking about the task of hiring organizational leaders. In this session, you’ll hear how the supply chain leaders of one of the nation’s largest industrial distributors focus heavily on finding and cultivating the right talent to ensure that the company can adapt, innovate, and provide the best products to its customers all day, every day.

  • Session 6
    Mindful Leadership: Transforming a Toxic Workplace into Calm

    Dr. Romie Mushtaq

    Center for Natural & Integrative Medicine

    Tuesday: 10:15AM - 11:15AM
    Location: Kokopelli 1

    What does it take to attract and retain engaged workers? It’s all about the science of mindful medicine, both for the leader and for the organization itself. This session combines brain science, neuropsychology, and mindfulness to show what it takes to transform a toxic workplace into one of calm, controlled, and inspired leadership. Learn about the role of mindfulness in organizations, hear how to improve personal emotional resilience, and take away key strategies that you can use to transform a toxic workplace into a calm (and productive) environment.

  • Session 7
    Closing the Logistics and Supply Chain Talent Gap
    Tuesday: 11:30AM - 12:30PM
    Location: Innovation Hub P1

    The war for quality talent is hitting the supply chain and logistics industries pretty hard right now, and there’s no immediate relief in sight. According to Accenture’s most recent estimates, 59 percent of supply chain executives feel that by 2019, the success of their organizations will depend extensively on available talent. The good news is that there are steps that you can take to minimize — and even close — the logistic talent gap, and it starts right in your own warehouse, distribution center, or transportation network. From this session, you'll learn what it takes to retain and engage valued employees in any labor market.

  • Session 8
    Labor 2030: The Collision of Demographics, Automation and Inequality

    Andrew Schwedel

    Bain & Company

    Tuesday: 2:15PM - 3:15PM
    Location: White Pines

    As the world’s workforce continues to age rapidly, labor force growth will slow to 0.4 percent a year — a demographic shift that will halt the abundance of labor that has fueled economic growth since the 1970s. Already in motion and set to collide, demographics, automation, and inequality are all forces to be reckoned with. Come hear how new automation technologies and rising inequality will converge to create new business risks and opportunities for leading organizations.



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