As a member of the RBL Institute,
you set the global HR agenda.
What is The RBL Institute?
The RBL Institute is a senior executive think tank dedicated to building competencies and capabilities in the areas of Strategic HR and Leadership for top global companies.
The Goal of The RBL Institute is to advance HR and Leadership development practices through participative education, joint research, and networking among senior HR executives.
Members of The RBL Institute are carefully selected to ensure that best practice exchange is mutually beneficial. Each company must have relevant experience and knowledge that other members would value.
See current members.
Video: Dave Ulrich & Norm Smallwood talk about The RBL Institute
"The RBL Institute provides a unique forum for delivering top thought leadership and for developing and delivering innovative ideas in collaboration with world-class HR leaders from around the world." -Peter Goerke, Group HR Director, Prudential plc
Calendar of Events for 2017
2017  
Think Tank Sessions
Feb 15-16, 2017 London, England
Stakeholder Value Creation:  External and Internal Perspectives
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Think Tank Session:
Stakeholder Value Creation:  External and Internal Perspectives
When: Feb 15-16, 2017, 2017 Where: London, England Who: Senior HR Leaders

The Challenge
In French, there is a clever saying, “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”  In essence, this means that some things remain the same and other things change.  What is the same in HR?  The answer is simple:  HR has to create value.  But for HR to create more value in today’s ever changing world, HR has to progress in three ways.

First, in our recent work, HR from the Outside In, we have suggested that HR pivot its focus from internal administration to innovative HR practices to strategic HR to external (outside in) value creation.

Second, HR has to pivot its focus from talent to organization.  In this Think Tank, we will present compelling data that shows that the quality of the organization has 4 times (yes, 4 times!!!) the impact on business performance than the quality of the talent.  This remarkable finding emphasizes that HR shoulders responsibility for building and sustaining competitive organizations (including HR department) while continuing to build on the foundation of world-class talent.

Third, HR has to recognize they serve multiple stakeholders.  Traditionally, HR serves employees, managers, and the organization inside an enterprise.  Increasingly, HR serves customers, investors, regulators, and communities outside the organization. In this Think Tank, we will identity which individual HR competencies and which organization capabilities have impact on which specific stakeholder groups.  This will enable Think Tank participants to fine tune their personal and departmental efforts to create value for their most important stakeholders. 

On Day 1, we will look at how organization level work (the HR department and HR professionals building capabilities in the organization) delivers value to different stakeholders.  On Day 2, we will look at the specific HR professionals’ competencies that deliver value.  All this work comes from the 2016, 7th round of the HR Competency Study with over 39,000 respondents in 1200 business and with 22 global partners.

As with other Institute Think Tanks, we envision this workshop as a cutting-edge, forward-looking view on creating world-class HR professionals and increasingly more important, world-class HR departments.  Based on our empirical and anthropological research, we know that HR departments drive business results and we now know how to create the right HR organization.  Professors Ulrich and Brockbank have a combined 80+ years as thought leaders in managing HR departments in both academic and professional settings.

This session is intended for CHROs, Senior HR Leaders, Line Managers, HR Business Partners, or other HR Professionals who are committed to forging the linkages between HR departments and professionals with sustainable business results.  Each RBL Institute member company may send up to 3 participants to this session.

To Register Participants: Please contact Ginger Bitter, gbitter@rbl.net



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.

Feb 17, 2017 London, England
CHRO Summit #1
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Think Tank Session:
CHRO Summit #1
When: Feb 17, 2017, 2017 Where: London, England Who: Chief HR Officers

We realize that time is among the scarcest resource for any CHRO.  We also know that top CHROs want ideas that will have impact.  We have created this one-day CHRO Summit in London to maximize your time and give you ideas with impact.  The agenda for this “Think Tank” will be determined by the CHROs in attendance at the outset of the session based upon group consensus.  Once the top agenda items are determined by the group we will take a deep dive into each area through open discussion.

RBL Institute member companies will each send their most senior HR executives to discuss current challenges and share best practices.  Please join your fellow Chief HR Officers from some of the best companies in the world in an engaging open forum to share what’s working as well as envisioning new ways to accelerate progress.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.

Apr 25-26, 2017 New York, New York
Matters of the Mind:  Mindfulness and Growth Mindset
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Think Tank Session:
Matters of the Mind:  Mindfulness and Growth Mindset
When: Apr 25-26, 2017, 2017 Where: New York, New York Who: Senior HR Leaders

The Challenge and Opportunity
There is no question that the pace of change is dramatically shifting how organizations compete.  These changes are also creating physical, mental, and emotional shifts in how employees respond.  We increasingly see employees experiencing emotional malaise and stress because of the intensity, individuation, social isolation, and information overload at work. Adding to that, the constant attention with few solutions addressing the desire for “balance” exacerbates the disconnection.  When employees are disconnected in this way, organization results fall.

To reverse the emotional disconnection and increasing stress, business leaders are turning to insights from modern psychology and accepting once-alternative wellness practices to reconnect with their employees.  Under the broad rubric of mindfulness are a number of psychological processes and wellness practices that can be adapted to an organization setting.  Mindfulness has been clinically shown to improve wellbeing and physical health while reducing depression, anxiety, and stress.  Mindfulness, broadly defined as being present in the moment without judgment, includes a host of practices including meditation, yoga, introspection, and consciousness. Understanding the brain’s responses to stress coupled with the concept of a growth mindset (developed by educator Carol Dweck at Stanford University) can promote resilience, problem-solving agility, and engaged learning that encourage tenacity and creativity at work.

In this Think Tank, we will adapt mindfulness and growth mindset principles and practices to organization settings.  Chris and Anne Altizer (authors of Mindfully Mobile and experts in mindful work practices) will offer specific tips for introducing mindfulness in the workplace and integrating performance and wellness.  Wendy Ulrich (psychologist and author), will explore ways to foster a growth mindset at work. Dave Ulrich will emphasize how HR professionals can weave principles of mindfulness into HR practices that improve employee and business outcomes. 

As with other Institute Think Tanks, we envision this workshop as a cutting-edge, forward-looking view on creating world-class HR professionals and, increasingly more important, world-class HR departments.  The four faculty have over 100 years collective experience in building innovative HR practices.  As new generations of employees enter the workplace, organizations have to learn new ways to engage and connect with them. Growth mindset and mindfulness are emerging as credible vehicles for increasing employee, team, and leader performance and wellness – which means HR must take the lead.

This session is intended for CHROs, Senior HR Leaders, Line Managers, HR Business Partners, or other HR Professionals who are committed to getting higher business performance and personal wellbeing through HR work.  Each RBL Institute member company may send up to 3 participants to this session.

To Register Participants: Please contact Ginger Bitter, gbitter@rbl.net



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.

Jun 28-29, 2017 Hong Kong, China
The Future of Work Organizations
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Think Tank Session:
The Future of Work Organizations
When: Jun 28-29, 2017, 2017 Where: Hong Kong, China Who: Senior HR Leaders

The Challenge
This Institute Think Tank will focus on new models and insights about how to create competitive organizations.  We believe that in rapidly changing environments, organizations need to be more agile, talent-centric, and customer-oriented.  The challenge of recreating a new organization form applies to high tech start up companies as well as mature companies seeking to penetrate new market opportunities. We believe this emerging organization form has three defining characteristics: flat network organization (versus hierarchy), market-based collaboration (versus planning and control), and ecosystem partnership (versus supply chain).

In the last decade, “organization” has become an increasing source of competitiveness and many companies are innovating what this new organization will look like (often called post hierarchy, holocracy, boundaryless organization, high performing teams, ambidextrous organization, and so forth).  These multiple models of organization include discussions of culture, organization design, work and HR processes, talent, and leadership.  These innovative organizations pivot how management deals with challenges of control, collaboration, and through knowledge workers in many industries. 

Over the last six months, in a joint research project with Tencent and RBL Group, we have interviewed dozens of the leading organizations who are early adopters of this new organization form.  We have distilled these results into a set of principles that lead to managerial guidelines for competing through organization.  We will present our findings and offer specific guidance on how to compete through organization in a changing world.  This Institute Think Tank will have incredible relevance for any organization attempting to compete in rapidly changing emerging markets.  It will be targeted to business as well as HR leaders. 

Professors Ulrich and Yeung have chaired this research and have worked on creating innovative organizations for the last 30 years.  Their theory, research, and practice work has influenced how organizations compete through capabilities of innovation, speed, customer focus, talent, culture, and collaboration. 

This session is intended for operating officers as well as CHROs, Senior HR Leaders, Line Managers, HR Business Partners, or other HR Professionals who are committed to forging the linkages between HR departments and professionals with sustainable business results.  Each RBL Institute member company may send up to 3 participants to this session.

To Register Participants: Please contact Ginger Bitter, gbitter@rbl.net



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.

Oct 03-04, 2017 Alpine, Utah
CHRO Summit #2
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Think Tank Session:
CHRO Summit #2
When: Oct 03-04, 2017, 2017 Where: Alpine, Utah Who: Chief HR Officers
 



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.

Nov 14-15, 2017 Atlanta, Georgia
Emerging Leadership Expectations and Implications
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Think Tank Session:
Emerging Leadership Expectations and Implications
When: Nov 14-15, 2017, 2017 Where: Atlanta, Georgia Who: Senior HR Leaders

The Challenge
Over the last 20 years, we have published extensively on leadership, defining why leadership matters (Leadership Capital Index), what leadership looks like (Leadership Code), how to build better leadership (Leadership Brand), and how to be a better leader (Leadership Sustainability).  We are committed to continuing to learn how to improve leadership so that leaders add value to their employees, organizations, customers, investors, and communities. 

In this Think Tank, we want to explore new requirements for leadership.  In all of our work, we start with the premise of value defined through outside in thinking.  With that logic, we have identified four forces that are shaping the context of business. Each of these forces shifts our views of leadership. 

• Force 1 includes social, technical, economic, political, environmental, and demographic changes that pivot leaders from command and control to coach and communicate. 
• Force 2 focuses on volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA), which pivots leaders from offering clarity to being change champions through navigating paradox. 
• Force 3 reflects the increasing social malaise among employees, which we have captured in six I’s (intensity, individuation, isolation, indifference, immediacy, in-group) and requires leaders who are meaning makers. 
• Force 4 emphasizes the removal of boundaries and stakeholder involvement (e.g., customers and investors) and suggests leaders who deliver market value.

In this Institute Think Tank session, we will identify the emerging requirements of leadership based on these four forces.  By doing so, we hope to capture what leaders should be, know, and do to better deliver value.  These insights will have implications for selecting, promoting, assessing, training, and evaluating leaders.

As with other Institute Think Tanks, we envision this workshop as a cutting-edge, forward-looking view on leadership.  We want to prepare the leaders of the future, not the past.  Professor Ulrich has been acknowledged as a thought leader in leadership, organization, talent, and HR areas for many years and will facilitate the session to co create new insights with impact.

This session is intended for CHROs, Senior HR Leaders, Line Managers, HR Business Partners, or other HR Professionals who are committed to upgrading the quality of leadership in their organization. Each RBL Institute member company may send up to 3 participants to this session.

To Register Participants: Please contact Ginger Bitter, gbitter@rbl.net



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.

Mini Forums
Feb 01, 2017 10:00 am EST (New York time)
Pivoting your culture during transformation
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Mini Forum:
Pivoting your culture during transformation
When: Feb 01, 2017 What Time: 10:00 am EST (New York time) Who:

The social, technical, economic, political, environmental, and demographic context in which organizations have to survive is continually changing.  As country and industry trends change, so too must our organizations. In order for companies to remain competitive, they need to transform themselves to adapt and respond to these changes. This includes the ability to “pivot” the culture of the company during transformation - keeping the “North Star” of the culture steady while simultaneously pivoting to a new culture based on the future capabilities required to compete and win in the marketplace.  Pivoting culture during transformation requires HR to define the right culture and decide what aspects of the current culture remain and what aspects have to change to stay competitive.

During the call, we asked two questions, upon which each participant provided his or her point of view:

1. How do you define your current organization culture?  What aspects of your company’s current culture will change, and what aspects will remain the same, after your transformation?
 
2. How do you ensure the company’s core cultural values remain in place while also pivoting to a new culture that requires new capabilities?  What lessons have you learned trying to pivot your culture during transformation?

PARTICIPANTS: Each RBL Institute member company is allowed to register/nominate ONE person to be the “spokesperson” for this call.  Ideal participants include: CHROs, Corporate HR Leadership, Regional HR Leaders, Culture Change Leaders, Centers of Expertise Leaders, or other Senior HR Professionals who can share your organization’s efforts in pivoting your culture.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Mar 07, 2017 6:00 pm EST (New York time)
Scenario planning in a VUCA world
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Mini Forum:
Scenario planning in a VUCA world
When: Mar 07, 2017 What Time: 6:00 pm EST (New York time) Who:

Despite all the information organizations have, no one can predict with any degree of certainty what the future will hold as the social, technological, economic, political, environmental, and demographic context we operate in continuously changes.  This ever-changing context presents a challenge for companies as they try to plan for the future and position their companies to compete and win in a VUCA world. Increasingly, scenario planning is being used as an organizational tool to help assess and prepare for future possibilities (scenarios) so that organizations can respond and adapt faster to changes than their competitors. 

During the call we asked two questions, upon which each participant provided his or her point of view:

1. What practices or programs does your company use today to plan for the future? What has proven to be most effective in preparing for what’s possible?  Please share a specific example.

2. If your organization uses scenario planning, how has it helped your firm better prepare for what lies ahead? What tips would you give others based on your experience?

PARTICIPANTS: Each RBL Institute Member Company is allowed to register/nominate ONE person to be the “spokesperson” for this call.  Ideal participants include: CHROs, Corporate HR Leadership, Regional HR Leaders, Strategy Development Resources, Centers of Expertise Leaders, or other Senior HR Professionals who can share your organization’s efforts in this area.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Mar 17, 2017 11:00 am EDT (New York time)
Think Tank #1 Webinar
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Mini Forum:
Think Tank #1 Webinar
When: Mar 17, 2017 What Time: 11:00 am EDT (New York time) Who:

This is a summary of the Think Tank discussion from February.  The session was held in London on the topic of Stakeholder Value Creation.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Apr 04, 2017 10:00 am EDT (New York time)
Business and Organization Strategy: What really works?
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Mini Forum:
Business and Organization Strategy: What really works?
When: Apr 04, 2017 What Time: 10:00 am EDT (New York time) Who:

Business strategy sets the overall direction for the enterprise. It involves specifying the organization’s objectives, assessing the external environment, making critical choices, and allocating resources to implement the plans. In support of this is the organization strategy, which focuses on building the critical capabilities needed to win (the right talent, leadership, culture, structure, information, etc.). There are many different approaches that can be used to develop and implement strategy.

During the call we will ask two questions, upon which each participant should be prepared to provide his or her point of view:

1. How does your company go about developing its business and organization strategies? Who’s involved? What’s the process? What tools do you use to develop strategy?

2. What have you learned really works to help your company formulate, articulate, and implement business and organization strategy?  Please share a specific example.

PARTICIPANTS: Each RBL Institute Member Company is allowed to register/nominate ONE person to be the “spokesperson” for this call.  Ideal participants include: CHROs, Corporate HR Leadership, Regional HR Leaders, Strategy Development Professionals, Centers of Expertise Leaders, or other Senior HR Professionals who can share your organization’s efforts in business and organization strategy.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
May 09, 2017 6:00 PM EDT (New York time)
Managing multiple generations in the workforce
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Mini Forum:
Managing multiple generations in the workforce
When: May 09, 2017 What Time: 6:00 PM EDT (New York time) Who:

In many organizations across the world, there are now five different generations within the workforce. As a result, managers are increasingly struggling with how to effectively leverage the unique strengths and minimize the problems that can arise from managing multiple generations in the workforce. Communication styles and preferences, technological savvy, and work preferences vary across generations.  In addition, new technology and work patterns that mix workers of different ages in ever-changing teams can sometimes lead to friction that managers must learn to navigate.

During the call we will ask two questions, upon which each participant should be prepared to provide his or her point of view:

1. What are the top 1-2 challenges your organization is experiencing when it comes to managing the different generations within your workforce? Please provide specific examples.

2. How are you addressing your top challenges and what are you doing to more effectively leverage the collective experience of these various groups? What has proven to be effective thus far?  Please share a brief success story.

PARTICIPANTS: Each RBL Institute Member Company is allowed to register/nominate ONE person to be the “spokesperson” for this call.  Ideal participants include: CHROs, Corporate HR Leadership, Regional HR Leaders, Recruiting and Talent Development Professionals, Centers of Expertise Leaders, or other Senior HR Professionals who can share your organization’s efforts in managing the generations at work.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
May 31, 2017 6:00 PM EDT (New York time)
Think Tank #2 Webinar
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Mini Forum:
Think Tank #2 Webinar
When: May 31, 2017 What Time: 6:00 PM EDT (New York time) Who:

This is a summary of April’s Think Tank discussion. The topic of the Think Tank is Mindfulness and Growth Mindset.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Jun 08, 2017 10:00 am EDT (New York time)
How do you measure impact for embedded HR roles?
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Mini Forum:
How do you measure impact for embedded HR roles?
When: Jun 08, 2017 What Time: 10:00 am EDT (New York time) Who:

The business partner model has existed for many decades when effective staff support functions, including HR, have contributed to business results. Being a business partner may be achieved in many HR job categories. HR professionals generally work in one of four positions in a company: Corporate HR, HR Specialists, Service Centers, and Embedded HR. A common oversight is to solely define the embedded HR generalists as business partners, undervaluing the other critical roles of HR professionals.

As business partners, embedded HR professionals work as HR generalists within organization units (business, function, or geographic).  They collaborate with line leaders to help shape the business strategy, conduct organizational diagnoses to determine which capabilities are most critical, and design and deliver HR practices to accomplish strategy.  Given the broad scope of their responsibilities, it can be challenging to measure embedded HR’s true impact and contribution to the business.

During the call we asked two questions, upon which each participant provided his or her point of view:

1. What are the specific roles & responsibilities of the embedded HR professional in your company? 

2. How are you assessing embedded HR’s impact and measuring their contribution to business outcomes? How does this compare to other roles in HR?

PARTICIPANTS: Each RBL Institute Member Company is allowed to register/nominate ONE person to be the “spokesperson” for this call.  Ideal participants include: CHROs, Corporate HR Leadership, Regional HR Leaders, HR for HR Resources, Centers of Expertise Leaders, or other Senior HR Professionals who can share your organization’s efforts in the area of assessing the impact of various HR roles.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Jul 18, 2017 10:00 am EDT (New York time)
CALL RESCHEDULED
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Mini Forum:
CALL RESCHEDULED
When: Jul 18, 2017 What Time: 10:00 am EDT (New York time) Who:
 



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Aug 09, 2017 11:00 am EDT (New York time)
Think Tank #3 Webinar
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Mini Forum:
Think Tank #3 Webinar
When: Aug 09, 2017 What Time: 11:00 am EDT (New York time) Who:

This is a summary of June’s Think Tank discussion. The topic of the Think Tank is The Future of Work Organizations.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Sep 07, 2017 10:00 am EDT (New York time)
Innovative talent management practices
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Mini Forum:
Innovative talent management practices
When: Sep 07, 2017 What Time: 10:00 am EDT (New York time) Who:

Talent management covers a broad sprectrum of HR practices, which can include everything done to recruit, onboard, retain, build, develop, reward, recognize and enable people to perform against the business strategy.  A number of organizations are looking to innovate their HR practices in order to respond with more agility and simplicity in an ever-changing world. There are a number of trends underway in the talent management space (such as revamping the performance management process, simplification efforts, etc.) that we will explore further with our Institute members in this call.

During the call we will ask two questions, upon which each participant should be prepared to provide his or her point of view:

1. What is an innovative talent management practice that your organization is currently using, piloting, or researching?  What kind of results have been achieved, and what have you learned thus far?  Please provide a specific example.

2. What are 1-2 talent management practices that you believe your company currently does very well and why?  Please provide specific examples.

PARTICIPANTS: Each RBL Institute Member Company is allowed to register/nominate ONE person to be the “spokesperson” for this call.  Ideal participants include: CHROs, Corporate HR Leadership, Regional HR Leaders, Recruiting & Talent Development Resources, Centers of Expertise Leaders, or other Senior HR Professionals who can share your organization’s efforts in the area of Talent Management.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Oct 10, 2017 6:00 pm EDT (New York time)
Topic TBD
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Mini Forum:
Topic TBD
When: Oct 10, 2017 What Time: 6:00 pm EDT (New York time) Who:
 



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Nov 08, 2017 10:00 am EST (New York time)
Topic TBD
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Mini Forum:
Topic TBD
When: Nov 08, 2017 What Time: 10:00 am EST (New York time) Who:
 



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Dec 12, 2017 10:00 am EST (New York time)
Topic TBD
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Mini Forum:
Topic TBD
When: Dec 12, 2017 What Time: 10:00 am EST (New York time) Who:
 



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.
Dec 14, 2017 6:00 pm EST (New York time)
Think Tank #4 Webinar
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Mini Forum:
Think Tank #4 Webinar
When: Dec 14, 2017 What Time: 6:00 pm EST (New York time) Who:

This is a summary of November’s Think Tank discussion. The topic of the Think Tank is Emerging Leadership Expectations.



*Institute Members only. Contact Ginger Bitter for more information.

Benefits of Membership

For the Entire Organization

RBL Institute Library: Available to everyone in your organization, the RBL Institute’s online library is a secure website where HR professionals at all levels can access the latest intellectual property produced though the RBL Institute, which includes videos, playbooks, toolkits, white papers, and research articles on hot HR issues.

Discounts: RBL Institute members also receive discounts to additional programs, including our flagship HR Learning Partnership (HRLP) program held twice a year. Please contact gbitter@rbl.net for additional details.

For Senior HR Executives

Think Tank Sessions: Senior HR Professionals gather four times a year from around the world to leverage our research, thought leadership, and our world-class network in our unique Think Tank process as we develop new ideas and approaches to solving HR’s most demanding and current challenges. Each Think Tank session is facilitated by Dave Ulrich.

Mini Forum Webinars: Join a group of about 8-10 Institute members on a 60-minute Mini Forum call to share practical ideas, experiences, and best practices around a critical topic.

For HR Professionals

Playbooks: Get access to our comprehensive learning record from each of our 2-day Think Tank sessions, called a Playbook. Each Playbook is about 30-40 pages of great material that is available for all Institute members who were unable to attend the in-person sessions.

Toolkits: Get access to short PowerPoint pitches with key ideas from our Think Tank sessions. They are designed to be used as training for HR teams, individual paced learning, and coaching with managers. Each Toolkit has an accompanying video from Dave Ulrich or an RBL Partner explaining the concepts.

White Papers: Get access to concise (3-5 pages) White Papers that highlight best practices shared among Institute members based on our Mini Forum calls.

For the Chief HR Officer

The Annual CHRO Summit: Join an exclusive group of the world's top HR thinkers and practitioners in a special session designed entirely around the topics of interest of Institute member Chief HR Officers

Annual Partner Call: Join Dave Ulrich on a 30-minute call each year to discuss your key business issues, your focus areas in HR, and how the RBL Institute can be your thought partner to co-create a solution.

Research/Thought Leadership: You will be the first to see our research results, articles, and books on the latest trends in HR. Get pre-published authors' proofs of the latest and greatest research produced by the RBL Institute.