You’ve just been offered the CEO job at a multinational corporation and it looks like a great opportunity. The position plays to your strengths, expands your network of influence internationally, and advances your long-term career plans. But are you ready and willing to face the risks inherent in the design of this particular role?
By Bill Allen and Dhaval Bhagat
Heading into this next decade, all eyes are on HR to navigate us through the complexities of our post-pandemic reality.
You’ve just been offered your career “dream job” as CHRO. This is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead change, rather than be consumed by it. But it’s 2020. Instead of riding a bullet express train, you’ll be on a rollercoaster. The business environment is even more chaotic than during the fiscal crisis of 2008. Profits slide down suddenly, slowly climb back up, only to slide down even faster and eventually rise again. You have about six months to make an impact and be the “solution” before you become part of the “problem”. Where should you focus your time, attention and energy?
It is not uncommon for senior executives to adapt to changing and challenging circumstances by reorganizing their enterprises to win. When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, many CHROs sent as many people as possible home to work. Tech titans like Amazon and Microsoft are now telling employees to continue working from home until October, while Google and Facebook don’t anticipate reopening their offices until 2021.1 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has even told employees they can keep working from home permanently if they wish.2 It appears that, for many organizations, remote work—and remote leadership—will be here for the foreseeable future.
As an experienced CHRO, I am fascinated with what this new reality demands of senior executive leaders. The requirement to lead a primarily remote workforce, while working remotely yourself, has us having to reorganize ourselves. We now have to consider what is most valuable in terms of how we personally operate.