Hacking HR: The Future Of Work With Enrique Rubio

The future of work has now evolved to include artificial intelligence and many technological advancements. In this episode, Enrique Rubio, a keynote speaker, an HR tech, and the Founder of Hacking HR, joins Dr. Diane Hamilton to talk about their upcoming event, the panels to look forward to, and what to expect from it. Hacking HR is a global learning community at the intersection of future of work, technology, business, and organizations, with thousands of members of all over the world. Enrique’s success has earned him his reputation as a “future of work” expert. Learn more about the wonders of Hacking HR from the founder himself!

TTL 678 | Hacking HR

I’m glad you joined us because we have Enrique Rubio. Enrique is the Founder of Hacking HR. They have an incredible event that’s coming up soon and I’m honored to be one of the speakers on it. We’re going to find out exactly what they do at Hacking HR and why it’s different from other events. I’m excited to talk to Enrique.

Watch the episode here:

Listen to the podcast here:

Hacking HR: The Future Of Work With Enrique Rubio

I am here with Enrique Rubio, who’s an HR tech and future of work expert. He’s a keynote speaker and Founder of Hacking HR, a global learning community at the intersection of the future of work technology, business, and organizations with thousands of members from all over the world. It’s nice to have you here, Enrique.

Thank you for inviting me. It’s a pleasure to have this conversation with you.

I was looking forward to this because we’ve chatted in the past and I will speak at your Hacking HR Innovation and Future of Work Global Conference. I know a lot about your background from Venezuela and everything else, but for those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you give a little background?

Let me begin by saying that I didn’t start my career in HR. Actually, I am an electronic engineer. I worked for a number of years as an engineer in telecommunications. It was doing that work when I was somehow talking to clients and working with clients that I found out that my real passion was working with people rather than just doing technology. I decided to switch careers and move from pure technology to working with people and that was basically HR.

When I switched my career from technology to HR, I started working with a consulting company, then I became more of a practitioner. I am working with Hacking HR, which is the organization, the global community that I created to help HR stay up-to-date with all the things that are happening in this reality of work. When I started this community with Hacking HR, my main idea was, I wanted to combine technology with HR because those are my passions. I thought maybe somebody else is also passionate about these things. I found out that there were many people interested in the conversation of all things related to the future of work, technology, and human resources organizations. Of course, we have evolved from the original vision that I had with Hacking HR, which was an event to talk about technology and HR. We have become more of a worldwide community with many chapters all over the world and doing these big online events that we’re doing. That’s a little bit about me and a little bit about Hacking HR.

It’s quite an event and you gave a little background of coming here from Venezuela. You are a Fulbright Scholar, which is quite impressive. Did you study HR? What kind of studying did you do for that?

When I came to the US as a Fulbright Scholar, it was because I was already involved in a little bit in HR. I was also involved in community activities in Venezuela. I have a diverse background and I came here to do my Master’s degree in Public Administration. One of the things that they do when you do Fulbright is they assess your profile. They assess your background, and I was bringing all this diversity of backgrounds, so to speak. Technology, a little bit of HR and a little bit of community work. They saw this as a valuable profile. I got accepted into the Fulbright Scholarship program and I came to do my master’s degree at Syracuse University. It was a great experience. It’s quite a privilege.

I have a few people I know have gone through that Fulbright program and it’s amazing. I congratulate you on that. I know that you are interested in looking at HR in a new way, because a lot of people think of HR as the paperwork, the legal issues, following OSHA, and all that stuff, which it is, but what is Hacking HR?

Let me begin by saying that all of us, in everything in life, we always have to do things that we have to do because we have to do them. We may like them or not. Let me give you an example. There are things that I need to do as a runner that sometimes I may not like. For example, going to the gym to work out other muscles that are not just my running muscles but I know that I have to do those things for a larger purpose than that one thing that I’m not liking. I see HR in a similar way. HR has to do things that are “boring” or the same thing day in and day out and more transactional like policy, hiring, sometimes firing and compensation.

Those are some of the things that HR has to do but I don’t think that’s the core of the HR function. Unfortunately, for a number of years for most of the history of HR that hasn’t been too focused on the profession. That should not be it. That is what we should be doing because it’s part of what we do, but should not be the only focus of the work that we do. With Hacking HR, we are focusing on the rest and the many other things that HR could be doing and should be doing that are not the transactional things. For example, rescaling and upscaling the workforce, working in designing HR and business strategy to make sure that the organizations that those HR people serving are surviving, thriving, and relevant in this new reality of work.

HR people are providing the best employee experience. They are facilitating culture in their organizations. They are becoming the architects of a new form of organizational design. Not only are those the things that we’re focusing on in Hacking HR, but to me, those are the fun things of HR. I want to go back to the example as a runner. I love running more than I love going to the gym, but I have to go to the gym because I want to make sure that I stay healthy and strong to be able to do what I love, which is running. Same thing here in HR, we’ve got to do that 20% to 25% of transactional activities to make sure that we can also deliver on the other 75% or 80% of the fun things of HR. It’s unfortunate that HR has been mainly focused on expanding those transactional activities from 20% to 90% instead of doing it the other way around. The short answer to your question is, with Hacking HR, we’re focusing on the fun side of the things within the HR function.

Those are the things that I love to talk about. I am fortunate to be one of the speakers at your event. My session is the Learning Organization, Creating a Culture of Ongoing Learning, Unlearning, and Relearning which ties into my interest, of course, with curiosity and some of the things I talked about. I’m curious, what are some of the other hot topics that you’re getting a lot of interest in for that event?

Before getting into the other topic, I want to add a couple of notes on that panel. If you think about the title, it’s a curious title. In a lot of things in life, a lot of people get so attached to the way they do things that they lose their ability to see the things that are in contradiction to the way in which they have behaved for a long period of time. The problem with that is our world is changing so fast that if we are not able and if we don’t have the ability to say, “This one skill that I have been practicing and I have mastered, and that brought me here to what I am for the past twenty years, but this skill is not relevant anymore. I’m going to have to leave it behind to learn the new thing that will keep me pushing or going forward.” If we don’t have that ability, we’re losing already. We’re missing a big opportunity to thrive in the future, but also to remain relevant whether individually as a professional, as a function in HR, or as an organization.

TTL 678 | Hacking HR
Hacking HR: Hacking HR focuses on many other things that HRs could be doing and should be doing that are not transactional things.


That panel, in which you are participating, is designed to tell people, to help people think how important it is for them to unlearn those things that are not relevant anymore. They may be obsolete, and to start learning and relearning the things that are truly value-adding for their careers, for the profession, for their function, and for their organizations. That’s the way I envisioned that panel and I’m excited about it. I don’t know if you remember, there was a PwC data, research on CEOs in the year 2015. Michael Dell, the CEO from the Dell company, asked him what he felt was the most important skill that the CEOs of the future needed to have in order to be successful in this new reality of work? The guy didn’t take one second to say, “I think it’s curiosity.” He said, “If we’re not able to ask the questions that nobody else is asking then we won’t be able to see the opportunities that are waiting for us out there.” Google has all the answers to all the questions that have been asked before. We’re going to start asking new questions in order to unveil new information, new innovations, new knowledge, and whatnot. I’m excited about that.

The other panels, we have three days in which we cover all things related to humans meaning cultural, leadership, and diversity. We then have one dedicated to technology. We talked about the future of work, technology, and a little bit about innovation. On the last day, we’re going to be talking about organizations at work and there’s going to be a little bit of strategic planning. There’s going to be some about recruitment. There’s going to be more about innovation, the social organization, the importance of purpose in the workplace. The event is divided into three main days, humans, technology, and work. We have several panels in there and people are interested in everything. Fortunately, as opposed to all the in-person events, which I love, they have a limitation. That if you go to one breakout session, then you can’t go to the other sites. In our case, you go to one and all the other sessions will be recorded. You can watch them later so you’re not missing anything.

It’s interesting because I’ve spoken at SHRM and other events, Workhuman, you name what’s out there. This is different. I was stunned by the level of expertise that you had involved in such a short period of time of how many people you were able to get on board as amazing speakers. You have made this be so global where some of the others maybe don’t have that global reach because they’re doing local events and are doing certain things. How did you get such a speed going with getting this to such a level so fast?

That is my secret sauce.

You can tell me but you’d have to kill me.

I think there are two things. The first one, the fact that there are many speakers from all over the world. We actually have 230 speakers participated in the events. They come from all continents except Antarctica. All the other continents are represented in the events. It is a testament to the work that we’re doing with Hacking HR and the fact that we’re putting value out there. People find it a great opportunity for them to give back to share their ideas, their experiences with an expanded network that we’re also bringing to the event.

Not only are we bringing a diverse group of speakers from all over the world, but the audience that we have in the event is also pretty diverse, from literally every country in the world. It is basically because people see the value that we’re bringing to that community, and they feel like, “These guys are for real.” I’m not in the business of making money out of this because otherwise, the event will not be for free. I am in the business of making sure that we can help advance HR.

This is the way I think about HR, after politicians and business leaders, the next category of people who have the most amount of impact in the workplace is HR. The reason for that assumption is that for every HR person that we can improve the way in which they work, we are impacting maybe 2 to 300 people that they are serving in the workplace. Imagine the impact that we can have if we help HR become better. If HR becomes better, then we’re going to have a better workplace. If we have a better workplace, then hopefully we’re going to have a better world, a better society.

That’s why I think people see this in me. They see this in Hacking HR. They see, “These guys and this organization is trying to make this better. They are not just doing this because they want to make money, or they’re not just doing this because they want to build a brand. They are doing it because they want to do it better.” That’s the secret sauce of the work that we’re doing. I want to add on that and this is a confession. I’ve done several online events in the past. In 2019, we did a bunch of them. We brought about 10,000 people to all our online events. There was one panel. The name of the panel was Rebuilding HR’s Reputation.

All of the panelists are white Americans. Somebody in the panel called me out for that. She said, “Enrique, how can we talk about rebuilding HR’s reputation when all of us are coming from the same background?” I told her, “Thank you for helping me see what I didn’t see before. Thank you for helping me uncover my own biases.” I have been so focused on thinking about gender diversity, meaning bringing women and men that I totally forgot that there are many other kinds of diversity out there. For this event, I spent a lot of time, effort, and energy in making sure that we had a global panel with representation from everywhere in the world. All colors, beliefs, countries, religions, and everything that you can think of. That has become an important idea for me that when I think about diversity for the panels that I’m putting together, it’s not just bringing women and men. It goes beyond that. That’s the answer to the secret sauce.

As you bring that up, it reminds me of discussions I’ve had about Women On Boards and how they’re trying to get more women on board of directors’ positions. When I talked to people about what they’re trying to do to get these boards more diverse, they’re also talking about how it would be nice to have an HR specialist on these boards. We are not seeing that because there’s only a certain number of people on the board and you’ve got room for this financial guy and this financial woman. When it comes down to it all, a lot of the issues that we find with the workplace are soft skills and behavioral issues, and even sales and marketing. It’s different things that aren’t necessarily just being able to read spreadsheets. Do you think we’re going to see more HR represented on boards? Have you had any discussions about that in any of these events?

First of all, I sure hope that we can have more representation of the people side of the business within that thing that people call the table. I hate that expression of getting a seat at the table. Whenever somebody says that, I’m like, “Please don’t say that in front of me.” It is like somebody else owns the table and you’re asking permission to get somewhere. To me, it is the other way around. It is like, “Add value at a level that nobody would expect from you.” That table, you’re going to get there. They will want you to be there, you won’t have to fight to get there. Because when you are adding value in a way that is valuable to the organization, they will want you to be around.

To your question, first of all, I am of course, hoping to see more of the presence of HR in these board meetings and at the C-suite level. To do that, there are two things that should happen. First of all, HR has to be ready for that. Often, HR has been so focused on the transaction, on the day-to-day operation that they are missing a bigger opportunity to see the larger picture of the organization they’re working for. That’s one thing HR has to be ready. The second thing is that for HR to be present in these conversations, they have to add value as they have never added before. I wrote an article. One thing that I said was, “Why is it that HR has not been considered at the C-suite level?” Is it because business leaders have been neglecting HR for a long time or is it because HR has not added the value that business leaders need for somebody to be in those board meetings? I don’t know what the answer is but what I do know is that HR, to be sitting in there, to be participating in these high-level strategic meetings and long-term vision meetings, they must add a level of value that nobody else may be adding in the organization.

[bctt tweet=”Some people get so attached to the way they do things that they lose their ability to see contradicting things. ” username=””]

Some people may say, “The CFO is not adding that value that you’re talking about.” That’s true, but they are there and we’re not. Let’s create a value that makes it impossible for anybody to continue ignoring HR. That’s the same with Hacking HR. If I have done this event that I’m going to do a couple of years ago when we were starting Hacking HR, people probably wouldn’t have reacted or responded the same way that they are responding to our events. It is because we’re not creating and adding this level of value years ago, but now we are. We become a little bit more important when you are adding that level of value. That’s what I’m asking for HR people, continue your day-to-day operation, because you’ve got to do it. That’s the boring part of HR, but start adding so much value that you can’t be ignored. Nobody will be able to ignore you anymore, because it’s impossible to ignore you because you’re adding so much value.

I agree that you’re talking about so many things that can add value. As we talked about some of the technology that adds a lot of value, a lot of people are confused by what kind of technology works? What’s coming and having foresight for it? I read an interview that you were in when you were talking about chatbots and different things about how they could use it. What kind of technology do you find the most interesting for HR? What do you foresee becoming problematic or interesting, in general, in terms of technology for HR?

For HR and for the workplace in general, the one that scares me the most, not because of the technology itself, but because of our preparedness to embrace it is artificial intelligence. The fact is that in everything that we’re doing, artificial intelligence is already involved. Whether it is a chatbot when you’re calling to a bank or something. Whether it is Alexa or Siri or any other of this technology of assistance. Artificial intelligence is already embedded in a lot of things that we’re doing. It will continue to have a bigger impact in the workplace. There’s research out there that shows that artificial intelligence and automation, in general, could replace up to 1/3 of the global workforce within the next decade. What’s funny is that when I first said that technology could replace 1/3 of the global workforce, this was a few years ago. It’s been years, and we are still pretty much unprepared similar to the place where we were years ago. It is scary because I think the workplace is small to medium-sized organizations, HR people, business leaders are unprepared for the kind of impact of technology that we will see unraveling over the next few years.

We’re not talking about 10, 15, 20 years. We’re talking about a few years from now. My hope is that business leaders and HR people can somehow start learning about what the impact of these technologies is in the workplace and in their functions. They can either embrace the skills that they need to embrace in order to get ready, or somehow design the strategies that they need to design in their organizations to get ready. We’re pretty far from being ready and that is scary. This is not just within the HR world. It is in general, in the organizational world. Technology, artificial intelligence, in particular, is coming at a fast pace. To be honest, I think we’re going to be caught off guard and unprepared for the impact. Suddenly, we’re going to see companies laying off thousands of people because they can do stuff with a chatbot for a hundredth of the price that they were paying people to do the same thing.

It is interesting to see how unprepared everybody is and a lot of the problems I see are due to embracing status quo thinking. I guess that’s what led to my interest in writing about curiosity because what I was looking at is, why aren’t people asking questions? Why aren’t they getting out of status-quo thinking? In foresight, the lack of it was the reason my next book is going to be on perception. We need to look at all these things to be prepared. Each generation looks at things a little bit differently. I’m wondering what you think in terms of generational difference. Is that something that you’re addressing at this Hacking HR conference because it seems like I get asked to talk about that a lot?

We don’t have a panel in the next event. We’ve spoken about that in other platforms and spaces, but we don’t have a specific panel to talk about that. We do have panels that are going to be addressing, for example, the rescaling and upscaling of the global workforce. Naturally, that includes not only the younger generation, which people think they are more tech-savvy. It also includes generations like Baby Boomers or Generation X, and Millennials who are getting old.

I love it when they referred to Gen Z as the young kids.

There are still leaders that think that Millennials are twenty-somethings. I’m like, “I’m a Millennial.” I’m close to 40. Granted, I’m not 60, but I’m not fifteen either. We’re going to be talking about that across the board, but there’s no specific panel to talk about it yet. I do think there’s a concerning factor about how fast people can embrace all the things that are happening. We tend to think that the older generations take a little bit more time to embrace technology. To be honest, my perception about it is the amount of knowledge, information, the pace at which technology is developing is overwhelmingly fast.

The fact that you are 60 or 25 will determine a difference. It’s that it’s impossible for anybody to be able to catch up with everything that is going on. Maybe some generations could take a little bit of extra time to become acquainted with that technology and to be able to master the skills. My dad doesn’t even know how to turn on a smartphone. It takes him a bit of extra time to do that. For my dad, it’s a smartphone, but for somebody younger, it is like, “How do I use this artificial intelligence tool?” It is across the board, the impact maybe a little bit different. The one bottom line here is that the impact of technology is simply so overwhelming for everybody that we will require fast-paced knowledge, but also a lot of patience with what’s going to be happening.

I could see why you would take three days of multiple events going on to cover what we’re facing. It’s a free event. I’m curious if they don’t sign on when the event is occurring live, is this available? How can they watch it if necessary?

Everything will be made available for free on our YouTube channel. We are recording all of the sessions and all of them will be available to be watched. We are going to be creating a “premium service.” We’re going to be curating some of the panels and creating 5 to 10-minute bite-size nuggets of information. Of course, we have to pay for somebody to do that. We’re probably going to be adding a subscription model to those golden nuggets.

After this event, do you continue to do these smaller events, these smaller different things that you do? Is this your biggest event of the year or not?

This is the biggest event. We’re going to have another one in the fall, which I don’t think is going to be as big as this one because this is exhausting. It’s going to be called Get Ready, Thrive in the Age of Accelerations. That event is specifically designed for business leaders of small to medium-sized organizations. This is one thing that I am particularly concerned about. We talk a lot about investing in innovation, thinking about technology, and embracing cultural change. For a small to a medium-sized organization with limited resources, it always boils down to, “How am I going to be able to do any of the things that you’re talking about if I only have a small group of people and they are already swamped with the day-to-day operation? How can I do any of those things and if I can’t, does that mean that I’m going to go out of business in the next 2 to 3 years?” We’re going to be responding to some of those questions in the event that we’re doing in the fall. We’re going to try to help small to medium-sized organizations understand. What’s going on and the implications for them at their own level, and what they can do at their own level to get ready for all of these things. That event will not be as big as the previous event, but I’m hoping it’s going to be a few thousand people as well.

TTL 678 | Hacking HR
Hacking HR: When you are adding value in a way that is a valuable to the organization, people would want you to be around.


You’ve got all these events and you have all these chapters as well. I’m curious about the chapters. I saw a picture of you in the San Diego chapter. There’s obviously one there. Is that your main home base of chapters or do you have one that you consider a home base?

I move around all over the country. I’m in San Diego. That’s why I was able to come to the kickoff meeting of the San Diego chapter. We have to have chapters everywhere. There’s no home base chapter. I don’t participate in the chapter activities because I’m organizing the global work of the Hacking HR community. The chapters are self-organized. Whenever I can, I pop up in one of the chapter meetups. I’ve been to Chicago, New York, San Diego, and DC for our chapter meetups, but not all the time can I do that. I’m focused on making sure that as we build these local chapters, we’re also building a global movement, which is perhaps the most important thing for me. Making sure that we’re building this global community of people that are connected with each other, helping each other, collaborating with each other, and whatnot.

You have them all over. I was looking at Munich. If somebody wanted to run a chapter, what does that entail and how many people are involved in these chapters? Are there meetings in person and virtual? How does that work?

If somebody wants to create a chapter, they can contact me. First of all, we’ve got to see if we have another chapter in that one city. If that’s the case, I can connect people to the team already working in that city. If there’s no chapter, we have a couple of important principles. Number one, Hacking HR is an open community. We don’t sell this as a franchise, it’s not a license that people are paying for. This is just a team of people that come together following the principles that we have in our community. They welcome everybody to join the team planning activities of the chapter.

The second important principle is that the chapters are self-organized. What that means is that they decide the activities, the speakers, the format, and the frequency in which they want to put together some of the events that they’re doing. We encourage them to do only in-person events because online events are reserved for our global team. If they want to do an online event, they can do it, but we encourage them to focus more on in-person events. If somebody wants to join the local chapter or help us create a new one, they get in touch with me and I’ll follow up on that.

Looking at your sponsor page, we have quite a few sponsors that are behind this. What kind of media attention do you get for this?

For the sponsors that are participating in the event?

Yes. I’m curious if you get any media covering? You’re getting a lot of people tied into these big names. I’ve had a lot of speakers on my show. They’re major players in the HR field. You’ve got all these sponsors. Do they ever write articles about your events for news briefs or anything like that?

That’s something because of the capacity.

Let’s put that in their head.

It’s a great idea to ask them to write some stuff up for Hacking HR. Not always can I follow up on that because it’s me organizing the event and it’s a lot of work. One thing that’s been an important missed opportunity for me is to make the contacts with media, especially more mainstream media to bring them on board for the conversations that we’re going to have. It’s a lesson learned. It’s funny, there’s another event that just happened, it was an in-person event. They may have had 100 people participating in the event and twenty speakers. They got all this media attention and I’m like, “I’m bringing 230 speakers. I’m bringing 9,000 people for the events, and I don’t have that kind of media.” I should have done some work around that end, and I didn’t. That’s a lesson for me to make sure that for the next event I can build more media relationships to make sure that we provide the right amount of coverage for the event. Also for the speakers because this is a way to give back to them as well. To say, “We’re going to be talking about this and we’re going to be getting even more attention than we are already getting.”

I think press releases alone are a good way to get these things known. I know a lot of them do that, but 9,000 people, that’s quite a bit. Are they all HR professionals? Are you getting leaders? Who’s your audience?

It’s a little bit of everything. It’s not just HR professionals, but it’s 80% HR professionals. We also bring technologists, HR technologist, and business leaders. I want to say that probably 40% to 50% of all the audience is in the level of Director/VP and above, and then the rest is a mix of everything. About 80% of the people are HR people. Around 50% to 60% of the audience is from the United States. I wish I had more people from other countries but that’s part of the value that we need to continue to add. It may take a little bit of extra time to build that presence in other countries. That’s a bit of a breakdown of the audience. We get a little bit of everything.

[bctt tweet=”Google has all the answers to all the questions that have been asked before. ” username=””]

It’s tough, and I deal with that on my show. You have a beautiful accent, but you have a clear ability to speak English. When you get people from other countries. They may be the biggest expert in the world but if people can’t understand them, that’s tough. Do you have to deal with that? That’s a challenge when I interview people and sometimes that’s why my show gets transcribed. Is there any subtitled-type of thing that you guys do or is that something you haven’t thought about doing?

I have thought about that. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible for us to do something like that because of the cost, it is expensive and this is a free event. We are not bringing that. I could do this in Spanish but then I would have access to even less speakers who are native Spanish speakers in this space. Even less people would understand what we’re talking about. English is the most common language and it is the one common ground language that we can find both for the speakers and for participants. Hopefully, as we continue to evolve, maybe we’ll find some ways to include some subtitles and whatnot. It’s just not possible for us.

Are you keeping this strictly virtual or do you have plans for any big in-person events similar to what some of the other big houses do?

That’s a question that I don’t have the answer. I know that probably not in the short-term. I do want to do a bigger event. I don’t think it’s going to be a 1,000 people event or a 9,000 people event because that requires a number of resources that we don’t have. It is risky to do in-person events, whereas, for an online event, we can bring more people on board and whatnot. We are going to be doing some stuff in that space. Probably not a super large event, but maybe 300 or 400 people.

Are you going to add anything like training certifications or books? Some of those places have all extra things that they do. Is this going to be strictly a knowledge-sharing platform?

I hope it continues to be more of a knowledge-sharing platform. We can continue to bring more speakers that want to showcase their work. We just have to do it. One thing that I’m a big believer in is in transparency and fairness. What that means is that if we do something for one, we’ve got to offer the opportunity to the others too. If we say we’re going to bring one speaker to pick up their book, then we’re going to open that opportunity also for others to do the same thing because that will be the first thing to do. Maybe for an in-person event, we could add something along those lines.

You cover many topics, are there some topics that you repeat? Are there some that got super high rated they say they want to hear more about? There are some like, “We don’t want to hear about that.” What are the high and low things that people want to know about?

People are most interested in all that is related to the new capabilities that HR needs to build in order to remain relevant as a function. When we talk about the new capabilities that HR needs to build, and you look at the program that we have, everything falls into the category of new capabilities. A facilitator of culture, integrating technology, thinking about diversity, and employee experience. I don’t think there’s any topic that people will not be interested in. They may have some that are more interesting for them but it’s so diverse in terms of what people are looking for. Some of them tell me, “I’m so eager to learn about curiosity.” Somebody else is like, “I don’t want to talk about curiosity. I want to talk about technology.” Somebody else comes and says, “I’m all into the culture panel.” It’s diverse and with such a large audience, it’s difficult to pinpoint what would be the one topic that people are most interested in.

I know you have a lot of panels. I don’t know what the balance is on talking heads versus panels and why you chose one format over another. I’m curious about that.

We have 60 sessions in total. About 52 of them are panels. There are four workshops and three keynotes. There’s one fireside chat and eight sessions that are not panels. I’m more into panels than into individual presentations. The reason for that is because I like people to go away with a diversity of ideas, thoughts and insights. When you have only one person speaking, they go away with one kind of thinking trend. That’s something that I’m not much into all the time. We’re bringing three keynote speakers, but they speak for 25 minutes each one.

Who are your keynotes?

Gary Hamel. He may be perhaps one of the biggest management thinkers of our generation. Together with Peter Drucker, Steven Colby, and Peter Stingi. These guys are pretty high up. We have Liz Wiseman. Liz is one of the top 50 Thinkers50. She’s big and we’re happy to have her talking about innovation. The other one is Rita King. She is the EVP of Science House. She is a fantastic speaker in the future of work and technology-related things. She’s a LinkedIn influencer. She speaks about technology. Those are the three keynote speakers that we have.

For the workshop. We have four faculty speakers, I’m one of them talking about people center in HR. We have Dave Ulrich talking about the future of HR. We have Maryanne Spatola talking about leadership. We have Erik Van Vulpen talking about adding value through people analytics. We have one fireside chat which I moderate. I try to stay away from participating in the event. This was added at the last minute. I’m with Amy Smith with this one. She’s the Chief Giving Officer at TOMS. We talked about this social organization. All of those eight sessions, the other 52 are all panels.

TTL 678 | Hacking HR
Hacking HR: In everything that we do right now, artificial intelligence is already involved.


That’s quite a bit going on. You named several people who’ve been on my show, including Dave Ulrich and Liz Wiseman. A lot of them have been on my show and I was honored to be part of the Thinkers50 Radar. When Liz Wiseman was on the Thinkers50, she’s done much. Some of these people when I was going down the list, I was like, “I’m so glad that they’re going to be speaking,” because they’re all great. Some of them I serve on boards with like Anna Tavis. If anybody hasn’t had a chance to look at it, it’s a who’s who. If you want to know who you want to listen to in HR, they’re all on here. I don’t know how do you get so many of these people. It’s tough. Some of these people are challenging because they’re so in demand. Was it tough?

I don’t want to say that it was easy, with Anna Tavis, for example, Anna and I talk. We get into a call together one hour every month to catch up with each other. She’s doing amazing things and she knows what we’re doing. She is a great supporter. Dave Ulrich, he invited me to his house. I interviewed at his house in Utah. It’s funny because, with Dave, our first relationship was via email on a disagreement about something. Look where we are. He says to me, “You made a great point and I value what you’re doing. Even if we disagree, we’re doing it very respectfully.” He’s been a fantastic person to follow and to learn from. He’s been fantastic with our community. He’s been three times in three events with us.

There are some other names. With Liz, it took a little bit of time because she has a busy calendar. She has to make sure, “Before I commit let me make sure that everything is working well.” Rita King has been a fantastic friend of Hacking HR. Gary Hamel was a random thing that happened. We started a conversation about something totally different. I said, “Gary, do you want to join us in this event?” He said, “Yes, I would love to.” You and I, we talked on a Saturday night. I was sitting in a Starbucks and we chatted, I said, “Do you want to be in the event?” You said, “Yes.” Some people take a little bit of extra time but generally because we have already built a community that has some reputation out there, they value it. They respect it, they know that we are legit. We’re not trying to do something that is just to build a brand or make money. It’s more to add value.

I was noticing Louis Efron, who’s also one of my favorites. It’s definitely worth checking out the website. If you read this, it’s available on YouTube and other locations. I think a lot of people would want to know how they can find out more. Is there a website you’d like to share if they want to contact you and you’re also available for speaking and other things. How can they find out more about you?

There are many ways for that to happen. One of them is to know about Hacking HR. They can go to HackingHR.io. They will find out all the things that we’re doing around the world. In the website, they can find the link to the event. If they can get in touch with me, I speak about all things future of work, HR related and the impact in HR and the workplace and how to get ready for all the things that are happening. They can either email me at Enrique@HackingHR.io or LinkedIn. I am a heavy LinkedIn user, heavier than I should be sometimes. They can reach out to me via LinkedIn. I’ll be happy to connect with everybody.

LinkedIn has changed so much in the last few years. I used to think of it more of a resume, upload thing. It’s just expanded so much where everybody connects. We get to meet so many amazing people throughout the world. I know that’s how you and I met. I value all the information that you’re sharing in this free event. I think so many people could get so much value from it. I enjoyed our conversation. Anybody reading this, I hope you check out any of the past information that they have and check out Enrique’s site. Thank you for being my guest, Enrique.

Thank you, Diane. Thank you so much for having me. It was great speaking with you.

I’d like to thank Enrique for being my guest. We get so many great guests on the show. We’re on iTunes, iHeart, Roku, you name it. It’s a nice variety of places to find us. It’s nice because sometimes we talk about certain people, certain shows or certain things that you may forget about. I’m excited to speak for Hacking HR. What Enrique has done with this group is an impressive feat. He hasn’t been doing it that long and the quality of speakers, the quality of content that they have on this is quite impressive. If you’re coming upon this after the event has gone by, don’t worry. There are more events. You can find these events on YouTube and through Hacking HR. We’re going to have a great conversation about the importance of curiosity because curiosity is tied to avoiding status quo thinking. We want to be relevant and that’s what this Hacking HR is talking about and some of the most relevant ideas out there.

We know that artificial intelligence is going to replace a lot of jobs and a lot of people are disengaged. As we’re moving people around because their jobs are no longer available, wouldn’t it be great to align them with what they would be most engaged? We can find that out if we let them explore. We let them ask questions and we ask them questions. We get out of that status quo of just doing things the way we have always done them in the past. Some of that is what we to talked about in our panel discussions. What’s great with the panel discussions, as Enrique pointed out, is you get so many different insights. That’s what I love about curiosity is everybody’s asking each other questions, and we’re all building and developing based on what others have had to say.

That also ties into my work with curiosity and perception because I look at curiosity within perception. Because if we’re asking questions, we’re able to see things, not just from our own perspective, but from other people’s. That’s building our empathy, which is hugely important to communication, reducing conflict and interpersonal relationships. We all know that people are being hired for their knowledge and fired for their behaviors. If we can work on some of these behavioral things. They talk about it, but they don’t work on some of these things. What I’m anxious to talk about is what can we do to work on this?

Some of it starts with recognizing the value of curiosity. You can’t just be curious and know your level of curiosity, I should say, because say you take a curiosity test and it says you’re low in curiosity, then what do you do? That was what my problem was with the way things worked in the study of curiosity. I created the Curiosity Code Index to determine the factors that keep you from being curious because if you can figure out what stops you, and then you can move forward. You can create an action plan, which we help you do, and the report that you get back. It’s critical for people to recognize that the value of curiosity, what happens to it, where they can go to get some help, how to build an action plan, and that’s all part of the Curiosity Code Index training, which goes along with the book, Cracking the Curiosity Code.

It’s a process if you’re interested, you can read the book and take the assessment. You don’t have to do both, but they play off of one another. If you’re a consultant or an HR professional and you’d like to get certified, we certify people to make sure that they know how to give the assessment, to interpret the results and in the process, they get five hours of SHRM recertification credit, which is nice as well. There’s a lot of good content out there and working on the Perception Power Index, which is also going to be something that deals in the perception realm. All of these things can be found on the site. The Curiosity information is all there and the Perception information will be there as well if you go to DrDianeHamilton.com.

I enjoyed this conversation and thank you again to Enrique. I’m excited for so many of these speakers. It’s an all-star lineup. Liz Wiseman is always fascinating. She’s in Thinkers50. She and I work in a couple of boards with DocuSign and others that we’ve worked on. I’m honored to be part of the Thinkers50 Radar, just to even be associated with any group that has Liz Wiseman in it because she’s super amazing. I’m excited for the whole group in general. I hope you enjoyed this episode and I hope you’d come and join us for the next episode of Take the Lead Radio.

Important Links:

About Enrique Rubio

TTL 678 | Hacking HREnrique is an HR, Tech and Future of Work expert and keynote speaker and founder of Hacking HR, a global learning community at the intersection of future of work, technology, business and organizations, with thousands of members of all over the world. He came to the United States from Venezuela as a Fulbright Scholar. Prior to coming to the US, Enrique was the CEO at Management Consultants, a firmed specialized in Human Resources in Venezuela. Before Management Consultants, Enrique worked in the telecommunications sector as a Senior Project Engineer for Telefonica. He is also the cofounder of Cotopaxi, a recruitment platform focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. Enrique is a guest author in several blogs about innovation, management and human resources. Most recently Enrique worked as an advisor to the Chief Human Resources Officer at the Inter-American Development Bank. Enrique has over twenty years of experience and is an Electronic Engineer with an Executive Master’s in Public Administration from Maxwell School.

Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!

Join the Take The Lead community today:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *