Accelerating Innovation: Insights from Global HR Leaders and Top Experts
Accelerating Innovation: Insights from Global HR Leaders and Top Experts

Why, in spite of so much effort and investment, are the majority of companies not becoming more innovative? And what are some evidence-based methods to create a culture of innovation? These are pressing questions for all HR and L&D decision-makers.


Innovation in the spotlight

On 4-6 February 2020 in Seville (Spain), HR leaders, C-level executives, and top researchers will convene at the major event of the global MERIT Leadership Community – the Annual Summit – to discuss insights and strategies on “Leveraging a Cultural Mindset. How to Drive Innovation and Transform Organisations through People”.

MERIT’s flagship learning and networking event of the year will feature keynotes by distinguished thinkers from the corporate world, academia, and startups, including Nestlé, Vodafone, Gallup, PMI, CERN, ING, Repsol, Dell Technologies, University of California in Berkeley, IE Business School, ESADE Business School, Tel Aviv University, and a showcase of EdTech start-ups representing the newest trends in corporate learning.

This two-day exclusive gathering of experts and thought leaders is an opportunity to create lasting relationships within a supportive professional network focused on organisational transformation that can help you achieve strategic goals.


Are you a C-suite member or a senior HR or L&D executive? Claim your free pass here.


Solutions from Thought Leaders and Global HR Innovators

Keynote speeches by Margarita Mayo, 2019 Business Book Award winner in the UK and professor at IE Business School; renowned French intellectual and entrepreneur Idriss Aberkane; and Jeremie Brecheisen, Senior Managing Consultant, Gallup, will offer timely, fact-based insights into the current crisis of innovation in most large companies.

Margarita, Idriss, and Jeremie have developed original theories as to why, in spite of so much effort and investment, the majority of companies are not becoming more innovative. Margarita focuses on leaders’ loss of credibility, Idriss highlights the growing mental health crisis, and Jeremie’s research finds that dysfunctional management practices have become the norm. The three keynotes will provide the deeper, scientific understanding of our current challenges that is necessary in order to take the right action.

In 10 corporate case studies, global leaders in HR and L&D will show how they are applying new ideas and taking bold action. We will hear how Anna Walther, Senior Global HR L&D Lead at Nestlé, is implementing a new talent management strategy for 350,000 employees in over 150 markets. Nina Kreyer, Global Head of Learning at Philip Morris International (PMI), will share how she has managed the company’s rapid shift to smoke-free products, which has required retraining for all employees. Jim van Hulst, Director Learning and Development EMEA & LATAM at Johnson Controls, will present new learning technology in action: his leadership development programme creates real-time simulations for a diverse group of leaders responsible for 120,000 people worldwide.

Camille Gillon, Head of Human Resources Management at Belfius Bank, will report on the progress of her new LeaderShift programme which won the 2019 HR Manager of the Year Award in Belgium. Christophe Vanden Eede, Global Head of Talent Management at ING, will tell the story of ING’s transition to an agile structure over the past two years. Finally, James Purvis, Head of Human Resources at CERN, will show how the home of the Large Hadron Collider is turning into a site of experimentation for HR. These disruptors and innovators represent the cutting edge of the field, and the challenges they are facing today will be ours tomorrow, if they aren’t already.


Innovation Mindset Strategies from Top Experts

In a series of MERITalks, learning experts will share actionable research findings to complement strategies proposed by practitioners. Luis Vives, Deputy Dean at ESADE Business School, will highlight the 5 key behaviours of innovation leaders, as well as the behaviours that impede innovation. Delphine Paulet, Head of Faculty at Mazars University (France), will outline the emotional intelligence capabilities leaders would need in an AI world.

Carlo Giardinetti, Dean of Executive Education at Franklin University (Switzerland), will discuss the pros and cons of hiring a Chief Adaptability Officer. Richard Hargreaves, Commercial Director of the Corporate Research Forum, will explain how environments where people flourish can improve business outcomes, and Gordon Tredgold, recognised by Inc. Magazine as a top global leadership expert and speaker, will lay out his proven method of building high-performance teams.

Masterclasses on innovation mindset, diving deeper into the current research, will be led by Alex Budak, social entrepreneur and faculty at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and Udi Aharoni, Director of Executive Education at the Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University.

Workshops on both days of the Summit will allow you to develop practical strategies for creating an innovation mindset at your organisation. Among others, Nick van Dam, Chief Learning Officer at IE University, will teach L&D practices that can support a successful digital transformation. And Oliver Olson, senior lecturer of Marketing and Strategy at the Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands), will reveal the importance of mastering your employer brand: you already have one, whether you deliberately created it or not.

A choice of two streams during the programme – People Development or Leadership – will help you refine your focus and find the sessions most relevant to you.


Building an Innovation Mindset Network

Most importantly, the MERIT Annual Summit will allow you to speak directly with peers and experts – during cocktail hours, a networking lunch, a gala dinner, a city tour, and in breakout discussions during the unconferences.

A showcase of education providers, from top global universities to exciting new startups, will offer opportunities to enhance your organisational learning.

I really like this concept of bringing together leaders from education programmes and industry leaders in an informal setting. It’s a great opportunity to collaborate and network and also learn what other industry leaders are doing,” Jim Fanning, Amazon Web Services, said at the last MERIT Annual Summit in Vienna.

Creating an innovation mindset is a shared project: as the field is evolving so rapidly, we can only do this through shared learning and mutual support. Join us to become a part of the MERIT experience and bring your work to the next level in 2020.


HR and L&D decision-makers and C-level executives: claim your special free pass here. See you in Seville on 4-6 February.


By Ani Kodjabasheva