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The Future of Retail: Flexible Shift Work in the 21st Century

December 7, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Future of Retail: Flexible Shift Work in the 21st Century with: Eric Severson, former Co-CHRO & Senior Vice President, Gap Inc. Appointee, National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Q/A with Jose Davila ’87, Management Consultant, Organization Design Specialist, Global Human Resources Executive, ArchPoint Group

Over the past twenty years, flexible shift workers (who make up about 1/3 of all workers) have become increasingly scheduled by algorithms. Software tells managers when and how much work to give employees. In the short-term, automated scheduling may boost profits, but in the long-run, it destroys morale–and possibly competitive advantage.

Eric Severson will explain how this happened, the implications of the change, and how to find the right balance between algorithmic efficiency and human needs in the workplace of the future.

How do we take shift work from vicious to virtuous?

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Wine and Light Snacks

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Talk and Q/A

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Socialize
About The Speakers

Jose Davila ’87, is a global human resources leader with more than 25 years of experience in retail, consumer goods, manufacturing and sales. He specializes in strategic human resources planning, organization design, change management and talent acquisition.

Jose is currently a partner at Archpoint Group, a boutique professional services company serving clients across the globe, specializing in organization development and strategic change. Prior to this role, he spent 10 years with Gap Inc. He served as the international human resources leader for Gap based in London and also led the human resources function for Banana Republic as well as the Japan business based in Tokyo. Prior to Gap, Jose was responsible for driving the people integration agenda for Diageo during its acquisition of the Joseph E. Seagram business. In this role, he led the organization design and change management process for merging two national sales and marketing organizations. He also has served in various global human resources leadership roles in Godiva, Campbell Soup and Nabisco.

He holds a master’s degree in Adult and Workplace Education from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. He is based in San Francisco, California.

Eric Severson is a 25-year service industry veteran known for building leading edge, evidence-based systems to manage talent and drive organizational performance. The talent innovations Eric led over 15 years at Gap Inc. include the Fortune 500’s first performance management system based on mindset psychology and neuroplasticity; the largest implementation of the Results Only Work Environment in the world; the first publication of gender pay statistics by a Fortune 500 corporation; and Gap’s status as the first major apparel retailer to raise its minimum wage in the U.S. to $10.00.

Coverage of the leading edge talent practices Eric and his team implemented at Gap have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and in the books Future Work, The Diversity Advantage, Pull: The Power of Magnetic Leadership, The True Happiness Recipe: How to Stop Your Job From Killing You and Create Work-Life Harmony Everyday, Why Work Sucks and What to Do About It, and Why Managing Sucks and What to Do About It.

In addition to his role as Co-CHRO of Gap Inc., during his 15 years at the company, Eric held the positions of Senior Vice President of HR & Communications for Gap Brand, Vice President of HR & Communications for Gap Inc. Outlet, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, and Director of Employee Relations. Prior to his service at Gap Inc., Eric spent 8 years in various leadership roles at Macy’s, including Manager of Labor & Employee Relations, Regional HR Manager, and Home Store Group Support Manager.

Eric is also Director on the Board of the Felton Institute, San Francisco’s oldest and largest non-sectarian non-profit. In his 13 years at Felton, Eric helped lead a robust people strategy that includes an annual CEO evaluation process, employee engagement survey, leadership competencies, a talent review and succession planning process, 360 degree evaluations, and management training. In 2008, Eric won the Gap Inc. Founder’s Award for his work with Felton’s breakthrough early psychosis prevention and recovery program, PREP.

In addition to his leadership at Felton Institute, Eric is a Director on the Board of Human Resources People & Strategy (HRPS), the executive arm of the Society of Human Resources Management. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for Brighter (, a multichannel communication platform designed to dramatically improve employee engagement.

Based on his track record of innovation in talent management, in 2014 Eric was appointed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to a 2-year term on the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

Eric, holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in English from Arizona State University.


ILR Conference Center
16 E 34th St
New York, NY United States


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