IF YOU DISSECT THE WORDS, CREDIBLE IS SOMEONE WHO IS RESPONSIVE
AND RELIABLE. THAT BUILDS TRUST AND TRUST TURNS INTO CREDIBILITY.
What are the necessary competencies for success in HR
and how do you think those have changed throughout
AD: A lot of my beliefs here stem from the teachings of HR guru
Dave Ulrich. So in terms of competencies, they are being a credi-ble
activist, being a change champion and being tech savvy – that
last is about understanding the technological innovation happen-ing
all around us and its impact on business models. That’s a new
one – tech savviness didn’t exist years ago. HR practitioners also
need to learn how to build and acquire capabilities, especially the
new ones like artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, data sci-ence
and cyber security. But the number one competency for me
is being that credible activist. If you dissect the words, credible
is someone who is responsive and reliable. That builds trust and
trust turns into credibility. The activist piece is taking your cred-ibility
and leaning in – have courage and interpersonal skills and
learn how to influence and persuade.
What tips do you have for new grads or those in entry-level
HR jobs who want to move up the ladder?
AD: When you talk about moving up the ladder, I go back to
being a credible activist. Second, understand what it means to be
high potential. I associate that with having curiosity, being will-ing
to make personal sacrifice, having insight into the big picture,
embracing feedback and being self-aware. If it’s possible, be open
to international assignments. Keep a sense of humour and use it.
Finally, make sure you always have at least one sponsor or advocate.
The HR field has been evolving. What changes excite
you the most?
AD: I think this also relates to the future of HR. It’s the opportu-nity
for HR to get ahead of the digitization trend and the whole
concept of agile ways of working. It’s anticipating trends and trans-lating
them into org strategy, before the business knocks on your
door and you have to be reactive. I think the world is becoming
more consumer and customer focused, so predictive analytics
and how it relates to consumers is important. Understand the
consumer-customer landscape and understand the impact of glo-balization.
Get ahead of that and translate those trends in the
What’s the future of HR?
AD: Going back to tech savvy, whether it’s for our own function
or just more broadly, it’s going to require a higher level of techni-cal
awareness and knowledge. I also think it will require better or
different organizational design skills to support different ways of
working. If we keep hearing buzzwords like agile and adaptable,
that will challenge the traditional silo org structures. I also think
there will absolutely be a war on talent, so we need to get ahead of
that. Finally, we’ve talked for years about sitting around the table.
The head of HR should really be indispensable to the CEO. It’s
doable, but there needs to be an anticipatory focus. n
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