May, 2 in The Geneva advantage

Talents Synergizer 2023 : An insightful event

On Thursday, April 27th, the major event of our Geneva EMBA, Talent Synergizer 2023, was held. Around 100 people gathered at the Hive innovation Lab in Meyrin to discuss the theme of talent in companies. Among them were about thirty representatives from dynamic companies in the region, 50 students and recent graduates, as well as a dozen alumni in charge of the organization.

The discussions focused on 6 questions.

Some of the main learning were resumed by our moderator, Marc Benninger, in his linkedIn post. More comprehensive ones will be shared in the white paper that will be published in a month on our EMBA Geneva website. Let’s synthesize topic by topic.

The first 3 questions were addressed to the companies, which the students were able to challenge during the roundtables.

The first question asked, “How much business innovation and transformation have you experienced recently? How does the adoption of digital technologies help your business?” The discussions showed how companies have become somewhat hybrid, with increasing digitalization on one hand, and on the other hand, the importance of the human factor – particularly Gen Z – in driving change, agility, and innovation.

The next question was about the complexity of challenges faced by companies and the need for new skills and technical competencies. Specifically, the question was “Which are the most critical ones for your business?” Critical thinking emerged as a generic term to characterize the need to not simply repeat outdated models and question assumptions.

Finally, restructuring and job transfers can help manage headcount costs, but certain types of talent are critical and will always remain in the Geneva region. Which types of jobs hold the highest value for your company? While professions like data scientists and marketing have emerged, the main trend has focused on activities where humans surpass machines and demonstrate leadership skills.

Then, the discussions turned to the students, who were challenged by the companies with the following questions:

“How much of your work has changed due to business transformation, innovation and digitalization?” The emergence of virtual work due to COVID and the importance of artificial intelligence were certainly discussed, but the presence or absence of change champions in the company was also a focal point of the discussions. Changes are only taken into account on a daily basis if they exist in the company.

“Companies are forced to constantly innovate their technologies and operations, and digitalization changes jobs too. This requires new skills sets and technical competencies. How do you ensure you remain relevant and competitive in the modern world of work?” The main leitmotif was to embrace change and jump into the unknown. Evolutions are inevitable, and the only way to stay up-to-date is to take the plunge. This requires curiosity towards the new and emotional intelligence to apply it to one’s work.Finally, a question was asked about the attractiveness of our region for talent.

“Restructuring and transfer of jobs away from Switzerland are commonplace. What does this mean to you – a threat to your job or an opportunity to grow your career overseas? What keeps you interested in a Swiss (Geneva) work environment?” Among the most relevant factors were personal ambition and challenge, the quality of life in the region, but above all, the economic and cultural diversity, and the ability to think collectively and globally.

For all those who were unable to attend this enriching evening, as well as for the active and engaged participants, a white paper will be published to further elaborate on the trends that emerged from the discussions.

Marc Benninger, editor-in-chief of HR Today, synthesized the discussions following the roundtable discussions that brought out these trends. Then all participants were able to extend the evening and exchanges during a high-quality cocktail dinner that was greatly appreciated. Before meeting again next year for Talent Synergizer 2024, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of our Geneva EMBA.

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