Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

What to expect from WEF 2018 at Davos

The 48th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) will be held Jan. 23-26 in Davos, Switzerland, and once again technology will be a main focus, according to ComputerWorldUK. “Last year, many of the talks were about artificial intelligence and automation, and the impact that these might have on society, employment, and productivity,” writes Tamlin Magee. “This year’s meeting of business and political leaders at Davos will include a continued focus on the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ and how technology can be applied to social problems such as global warming.” The overall theme for the conference is titled “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” Also of note, as we reported late last year, this year’s gathering will be co-chaired by an all-female board, a first in the 47-year history of the group. Tune in next week to our Talent & Organization blog for daily updates and highlights from the conference.

Attracting and retaining new bank leaders

According to 2017 Crowe Howarth LLP Institution’s Compensation and Benefits Survey, there are pronounced differences in the way banks of various sizes approach critical leadership issues. “The issue of CEO succession appeared to be a greater concern at the smaller banks participating in the survey. Among banks with $250 million or less in assets, 70.6 percent reported they had documented, board-reviewed plans for CEO or other top-level executive succession,” the Banking Exchange reports. The survey also found that smaller community banks were less likely to have a formalized leadership development process in place. “It would appear that as banks grow larger and begin to gain access to greater resources, they are better able to dedicate a portion of those resources to the ongoing development of their leadership teams,” the article notes. As for outreach efforts, most banks have started looking beyond industry experience in candidates: “The most successful organizations will recruit candidates who can help the bank adapt to the challenges of digital technology, which is playing a progressively larger role in the banking industry.”

Five HR priorities that will shape the workforce

Automation, artificial intelligence, diversity and the rise of the gig economy were the hot HR topics of 2017. In this Willis Towers Watson blog post, Sambhav Rakyan outlines five HR priorities for 2018: 1. Employees as HR ‘customers.’ Gaining a business perspective on customer needs and satisfaction can inspire new approaches for addressing employee wellbeing in the workplace. 2. Being tech savvy means HR as a strong advocate for digital transformation in the workplace. The true value and strength of HR is in engaging people and developing their potential. 3. Data needs to be interactive. Leverage data analytics to find links between people metrics and issues – such as gender parity, diversity and unfair practices – to business metrics. 4. Engaging digital talent requires offering environments where they can be agile and work on their own terms and be allowed the flexibility to continuously evolve. 5. Diversity and wellbeing. Offer personalized, flexible benefits that foster employees’ individual sense of health, not just physical, but also social, financial and mental.

AI as means to enhance employee experience

Continuing with more predictions of the latest emerging trends for 2018 is Rick Rider with this RT Insights blog post on how artificial intelligence (AI) will begin to shift enterprise as companies begin to adopt it to remain agile. “The stakes for the tasks being carried out by AI in the enterprise are often much higher – and come with significantly greater risks. As such, enterprise AI must be adopted quite differently than consumer AI,” Rider writes. “Integrating AI into enterprises is imminent, and those businesses that fail to embrace this type of technology risk becoming extinct. The question is no longer whether to use AI in business, but rather, which specific tasks are appropriate for this technology and what are the best practices for making it most valuable for your business?” Rider recommends businesses adopting AI to focus on data storage, security, feedback and citizen developer toolkits. “AI in the enterprise a relatively new phenomenon, and it should not be treated simply as an extension of consumer-facing AI,” he writes.

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