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Human Resources executives come in many forms of experience, approach, and business aptitude. The first rule of selling to any corporate C Suite executive is to know the company, and to the extent possible, know something about the HR leader’s approach to outside services. Some HR leaders see the use of outside services as a strategic weapon to help make their company more successful and at the other end of the spectrum are the HR “Police” that view their role as keeping all vendors, except those absolutely necessary, as far at bay as possible.

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Jeff Seacrist, Vice President of Product Management at Webtrends, discussed the evolving role of the chief marketing officer (CMO) and how CMOs can incorporate real-time data into their everyday processes.

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Fred Schlecht, Vice President of Talent Management for Dunkin’ Brands, and Holly Fasano, Senior Strategic Relationship Manager for Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning, discussed effective employee retention strategies and the shift from traditional performance reviews.

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Jing Liao, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at TriNet, discussed the role of today's modern HR organization and why HR departments are critical to attract and retain top talent.

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Lisa Reilly, AVP, Advertising & Public Relations at Mass Mutual Retirement Services, discussed the iconic MassMutual brand, how the organizational culture has evolved in recent years, and some exciting new research endeavors within the Retirement Services division.

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At a San Francisco session of  the 2012 human capital leadership forum, senior vice president of HR at Blue Shield of California delivered an address on the subject of Wellvolution, a new health and wellness program being premiered by her firm. Jackson began by saying that until two years ago, she had very little experience in the field of wellness, which she admitted was odd for a healthcare company, but since the industry has been and continues to be in such a state of flux, new and innovative approaches to existing issues are of integral importance moving forward. Since more and more people are constantly being forced to take notice of the inner workings of the healthcare industry, it is more important than ever for companies to be perceptive of and receptive to change. In addition to the changing infrastructure of the industry, there is also the question of the integration of new technological capabilities into the practices of successful corporations. For this reason, Blue Shield of California instituted a widespread approach of innovation and experimentation, despite those traits not being inherent in the DNA of the healthcare industry. “You don’t often want to be the first to market in this business because think about it.  It’s like pharmaceutical.  What it takes to actually get your drug approved; getting your plans and insurance products approved is a long process.  Then you don’t just pull them off the market if it doesn’t go well or you get too much bad risk on that plan, which has happened many times,” said Jackson.

According to Jackson, a big part of getting companies in the healthcare industry to become less risk-averse and more innovative is the successful integration of experimental modes of processing and payment, especially as the public eye draws ever closer and more sharply towards the healthcare sector. An HR response is often required by the sheer amount of money changing hands from transaction to transaction, and Jackson believes that an HR centered approach can meet many of the objectives of a company not just as it pertains to medical costs, but also in engagement and communication. Understanding a company’s structure, as well as its culture and ethos, is key for a company who is trying to provide wellness, through Wellvolution, as a lifestyle. “It became part of our culture.  I used to say that I’d get in the elevator and get the lunch confessions.  It’s kind of embarrassing because if somebody has a McDonald’s bag, you’d kind of watch their arms drop down and slowly move around their back.  Or they have their gym bag, “Look!”  They associate us with that.  We use the word Wellvolution like a verb, like a noun, like an adjective.  It has real meaning.  We got something right.”

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