Collision Conference 2019: Top HR & Tech Founder Insights

Crowded audience at Collision Conference 2019

For those who attended the 2019 Collision Conference last week at Toronto’s Enercare Centre, we don’t need to tell you what a whirlwind it was!

With multiple stages and lots of big names and experts in the industry sharing their valuable insights, it was the kind of week where a lot of people wished that they could clone themselves so that they could be in more than one place at a time.

Luckily, the Twitterverse was full of #CollisionConf buzz, giving us a peek into some of those great moments that we missed, and a reminder of some key takeaways.

We’ve gathered in one place some of our favourite Collision insights, particularly relevant for HR leaders and tech founders that are working hard every day to build incredible company cultures, compete for talent in a tight market, and scale smart.

What sets companies and individuals apart in today’s landscape:

Safe to say that this insight is true not just for individuals, but for businesses and their leaders as well. In times of fast-paced innovation and frequent disruption, learning quickly is a skill that will serve you and your business well!

Not only do you need to learn quickly, you need to empower your team to learn quickly as well. When Deloitte surveyed millennial workers in 2017, a whopping 42% claimed that they are likely to leave a company if they are not learning fast enough.

Shopify’s CEO on discovering product-market fit and championing small businesses:

Are you trying to create demand, or capitalize on existing demand? In speaking about Shopify’s staggering growth since its inception in 2004, Founder Tobias Lütke offered a unique perspective on why he started his business and where he’d like it to go.

Lütke’s mainstage session was candid and chock-full of useful nuggets of wisdom for small business owners and larger companies alike. He talked about eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs, and challenged the mindset that assumes you must crush your competition in order to grow. The ideal, he suggests, is millions of small businesses to drive innovation and employ people.

When it comes to attracting talent…

It was no surprise that attracting the right talent was a big topic of conversation at Collision 2019. Many exhibiting companies were advertising open positions, and there was no shortage of interested candidates milling about for them to talk to.

Collision’s future of work panel claimed in its description that “the biggest threat to organisation is the distance between a company’s vision and their ability to hire and retain the right talent to get them there.”

Panel participant and CEO of Lever Sarah Nahm didn’t mince words when talking about the hiring challenges facing companies today, suggesting that many out there will need to adopt new strategies and approaches in order to remain relevant for candidates.

Steve Aoki hit us with some truth bombs and gave us all something to aspire to:

Not only did Collision attract some big name speakers from the tech industry, but the lineup also included speakers that are better known for their expertise in other areas, from Seth Rogen and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Akon and Steve Aoki. They offered their own unique insights.

What the headline makers from every industry agreed on was that success often comes from pursuing your passion, and surrounding yourself with others who will fuel, encourage and help you channel that passion. While it might sound trite, at the end of the day…

…it’s all about the people

People can make or break a company. People are the difference between a company culture that drives innovation and exudes positive energy, and an office that workers are reluctant to go into on Monday mornings.

One resounding theme throughout the conference was the need to ensure that founders think about company culture early and often. Great leaders show a passion for clearly defining and communicating their company culture and their company’s vision internally. Frankly, we couldn’t agree more!

In summary:

The Honeybee team had a terrific time at Collision Conference 2019, meeting up with existing clients and partners and connecting with new people and companies who are doing great things in the world of tech.

If you missed it this year, not to worry—Collision will be back in Toronto in both 2020 and 2021. We hope to see you there!