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What I Learned At IAMPHENOM 2023

You may have heard that Phenom held their IAMPHENOM conference last week in Philadelphia.  

I am no stranger to Phenom and their signature conference which has always been full of thought-provoking content and breakthrough product innovations.  However, this year they took it to a whole new level.  The main stage with the lighting and wrap-around wide screens and vivid imagery hit you square between the eyes.  

While the audiovisuals and format of the presentations were excellent, the content was even better.  

Below are 5 things I learned at this year’s IAMPHENOM. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be expanding on the topics below. Follow us to not miss a thing. 

  1. Experiment or Die – Safi Bahcall, the award-winning author of Loonshots, gave us a keynote that highlights what organizations need to do to survive the constant and often unpredictable change that we live in.  He artfully told stories that made it clear that you must experiment with your business model to see where there is traction and not rely on your legacy opinions.


  1. The Power of Peer-to-Peer Connections –  I ran into one of my clients who over the last couple of years had encountered some challenges with adoption within his organization.  After a day and a half of connecting with other people in his same position, he told me how glad he was to make the trip. The peer-to-peer connections gave him ideas, inspiration, and confidence that “it can be done.”  I am sure he shared some of his own knowledge and experience that made others feel the same.


  1. Generative AI – Ever since last November when ChatGPT hit the scene, there has been a lot of buzz about AI refueling the fears that it will take our jobs or create bias in our hiring practices.  The demonstration of the Phenom X+ product gave us a glimpse of how generative AI can be applied as an assistive technology, one that can significantly increase productivity, not make our decisions for us.


  1. Continuous Succession Planning – In my early years as an HR Generalist I used to rant often about how little corporations did to promote internal mobility.  It always struck me how succession planning always focused on leadership roles, as I watched top-performing individual contributors walk out the door.  Phenom’s product launch of the ERM (Employee Relationship Management) module can change this forever.


  1. Personalization requires Specialization.  During his keynote, Mahe Bayireddi talked about the trends we are facing, specifically how the speed of change is increasing and that we are moving more toward an era of specialization.  Phenom has been at the forefront of delivering personalized experiences, and they have continued to develop products that enable companies to get on board.  Our HR roots have taught us that we must treat everyone the same for compliance purposes.  We need to break this paradigm and figure out how to segment our talent and then design personalized experiences that are appropriate for each group.


In addition to the learning, there was a whole lot of fun, whether you went on the Rocky Balboa walk/run up the museum steps, sat in on some yoga or meditation, or rocked out with one of the best 80’s cover bands I have ever seen, a good time was had by all.


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