Workday Rising Europe Daily: Meet the Changemakers Thriving Through Uncertainty

In our final edition of the Workday Europe Rising Daily, read inspiring stories from the industry trailblazers who are meeting change head on. Read on to find out what happened on day three of our marquee customer event in Stockholm, and meet changemakers with adaptability in their DNA. 

Welcome back to our third and final edition of the Workday Rising Europe Daily! 

As our marquee customer event reached a crescendo in Stockholm, read on to learn how our customers, partners, and other members of the Workday community came together to inspire the audience with their stories of digital transformation.  

We picked the best bits from discussions on changemaker mindsets, how to move beyond the status quo when it comes to belonging and diversity initiatives, and skill-based people strategies are crucial in today’s business world.

Noa Perry-Reifer, Salumeh Companieh, Christine Leitgeb and Rogerio Almeida at the Workday Rising Europe closing keynote.

How Workday Customers Navigate Change and Emerge Stronger

Change and uncertainty have become a staple for European business leaders, but hearing how finance, HR, and IT leaders are tackling today’s macro challenges head on made for an inspiring closing keynote in Stockholm.

As day three of Workday Rising Europe came to a close, Noa Perry-Reifer, chief people officer at On; Salumeh Companieh, chief digital & information officer at Cushman & Wakefield; and Christine Leitgeb, head of finance, Europe and APMEA at Designit joined Workday’s Rogerio Almeida, group vice president, global partners to share their perspectives on embracing change.

During the packed session, the panel discussed how their own unique leadership skills had been put to the test during recent times, and the challenges facing their respective industries. The group also homed in on the importance of cross-functional collaboration if organisations are to ensure they react quickly and effectively to change.

Discussing her own skillset, On’s Perry-Reifer described the importance of embracing chaos, and systemic thinking in guiding her own organisation through a tumultuous period. “The culture of embracing chaos is something we are working very hard on. Embrace it instead of trying to change it. We are also working on systemic thinking and encouraging people to think about what is good for On as a company, rather than the team or an individual,” she said.

Highlighting the increased prominence of the CIO role post-pandemic, Cushman & Wakefield tech leader Companieh talked about how the role will continue to evolve in the coming years and what new strings IT leaders will need to add to the bow. “It’s your job to agitate people and force them to think differently. The more natural friction you can create within your teams agitates people to think bigger and better,” she said.

Workday’s Almeida brought the high-energy session to a close by emphasizing the importance of choosing the right technology partner and why innovation and investment remain key tools in helping businesses emerge strongly from challenging times.

Moving Beyond the Status Quo: How to Deliver a Belonging and Diversity Strategy

As the topic of belonging and diversity is pushed higher on the agenda of global business leaders, day three of Workday Rising Europe saw a fascinating session headlined by Carin Taylor, chief diversity officer at Workday; Johnny Briggs, DEI & resourcing director at Aviva plc; and Daniela Porr, principal solutions marketing lead at Workday. 

Carin Taylor, chief diversity officer at Workday and Johnny Briggs, DEI & resourcing director at Aviva plc at Workday Rising Europe in a session on diversity, belonging and inclusion.

Following yesterday's release of a global study by Sapio and Workday, which looked at the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the panel gave the audience best practices on how to move beyond the status quo and deliver a belonging and diversity strategy.

“Ongoing societal and business changes and new requirements such as on ESG reporting are changing the landscape for belonging and diversity in Europe. Companies that truly understand their workforce will be well positioned to lead in the future and have a massive advantage over their competitors,” Workday’s Porr said. 

The panel left the audience with a number of takeaway tips on getting to grips with belonging and diversity within their organisations:

  • Learn to understand your workforce through a full listening approach. 
  • Leverage insights from diversity and inclusion analytics to drive action and inclusion.
  • Ensure that people at all levels of the organisation are empowered and accountable to driving change.

"Ongoing societal and business changes and new requirements such as on ESG reporting are changing the landscape for belonging and diversity in Europe. Companies that truly understand their workforce will lead in the future and have a massive advantage over their competitors.”

Daniela Porr Daniela Porr Principal Solutions Marketing Lead Workday

Skills-Based Strategies – Changing Focus, Delivering for Business and Employees

In a Changemaker conversation, Richard Doherty, senior director, solution marketing at Workday; Tim Good, senior managing director at Accenture; and Josh Bersin, the founder and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company discussed why shifting to a skills-based people strategy is important for organisations.

Developing new skills is becoming increasingly important for employees and employers alike. For changemakers, learning and providing learning tools is key. Josh Bersin, a renowned HR expert, pointed out the difference between competencies and skills:  “A competency was assigned to a job, not the person and people had to fit the competencies. That was the industrial model, where we had labour assigned to jobs and people were put into slots as if they were replaceable parts. That is not the way it works anymore. What somebody knows to do defines what they are capable of doing for your company.”

In the Changemaker conversation, Tim Good and Josh Bersin discussed skills-based workforce strategies.

The session’s key take-away is that skills-based organisations will have the edge over competitors who have not integrated such forward-thinking approaches. 

“More organisations are adopting skills-based people strategies, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey and HR tech is an essential ingredient of a successful skills recipe. Ultimately, if organisations get their skills based people strategies right, it will offer them significant advantages over their competitors – such as greater agility, more adaptable organisations, more engaged employees,” Doherty said. 

The panel also shared a number of best practices to help the audience benefit from skill-based strategies: 

  • Leverage insights on workforce skills to design high impact learning programmes supported by robust learning platforms.
  • Use skills to shape each stage of the talent lifecycle, from recruitment to development to performance to reward. 
  • Engage employees in the transformation to skills based people strategies by making it clear what’s in it for them: more interesting work, career advancement, better opportunities.
  • Adopt talent marketplaces to create more agile organisations by quickly matching employees with the right skills to the work that needs to be done. 

“What somebody knows to do defines what they are capable of doing for your company.”

Josh Bersin Josh Bersin Founder & CEO The Josh Bersin Company

News and Announcements

Workday Launches New Industry-Focused Programme with Strong Partner Ecosystem to Speed Cloud Transformation in EMEA

If you’re interested in finding out more about what we announced today, check out the press releases distributed by our public relations team at the Newsroom on

That's a wrap

That’s it for this year’s Workday Rising Europe Daily! We hope you found value in all three daily recaps of the conference, which you can find here on the Workday Blog.

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