It is up to you as CEO to calm the chaos and focus your organization’s people and resources on values-based value creation.
Considering the number and scope of the decisions you have to make these days, it’s probably not even humanly possible to look at everything being brought to you. The reality is that the important, urgent issues being thrown at you are not going to stop. The emotions being stirred up are not going to subside quickly. Spreading yourself thin to cover everything won’t get you or your company far in this day and age. What you need is leverage.
By Bill Allen & Shefali Salwan
We in HR live with a paradox. Most of us entered the profession because we believe that humans beings can develop and grow. Indeed, we have many ways to measure and mark the progress of individual talents. Yet, even with this data in hand, many of us are still reluctant to take a chance on people. We tend to assume that placing someone who has not already done what we need them to do in a role that’s critical to the organization would be a big risk, one usually not worth taking. This risk aversion only intensifies the issues around race and gender that we see dominating the news today. It is time we seek out risk in our talent management practices.
I never imagined a future in which I would be forced to give up traveling for work. But now, after having adjusted to the realities of COVID-19, this road warrior wonders if he will ever travel to an in-person client or team meeting again. Not only is it dangerous for everyone involved, but operating in this way wastes huge amounts of time and energy. And it contributes significantly to pollution. There will need to be a very compelling reason to take the risk and expend the energy to get on a plane again.
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?
C-suite leaders have been inundated by the practical problems they are facing in the wake of COVID-19. Many have had to completely rethink what matters to their business and adjust their operations accordingly. In the initial turmoil of the pandemic, many people became more amenable to change. Now some individuals are insisting, “Everything will be different.” Such desire for sweeping change, while it may be based in good intentions, noble aspirations and opportunistic thinking, is not always realistic.
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.
Value Coaching Insights
with Steve Courington
Steve Courington, in his role as Head of Global Talent Management for a multinational pharmaceutical company, oversaw the introduction of the Talent to Value process across the enterprise. He worked with a cross-functional team to focus on 55 enterprise roles (for which he personally worked on 15 Role•Talent Cards) that were critical to the success of the $50B pharmaceutical. The future value creation from these roles had the potential to increase the company by over 30%. We caught up with Steve in April 2020, a few months after he had assumed a new role as Vice President of Talent, Leadership & OD at Goodyear®.
Welcome to our Team Talks Series. Candid conversations on current events recorded on May 13th, 2020.This week, the three CEO Works co-founders discuss the ongoing dance between optimism and realism, the three drivers of misalignment, and the opportunity in this crisis to shatter rules and fast forward your company.
Watch the complete 40-minute video or read the transcript for details.
This is the first article in a series by Hein Knaapen, the former CHRO of ING Bank, and CEO.works’ new managing partner in Europe.
Driving Company Performance By Connecting Talent to Value™
As an executive advisor, chairman and board member, I help CEOs, CHROs and CFOs focus on what drives performance and delivers value. And in this day and age, I tell them that if they aren’t paying attention to where value is shifting in society, they will be putting the future of their companies at risk.
We build and grow our companies because we wish them to perform better for our stakeholders. That performance is measured by what we deliver to stakeholders that they value. That, in turn, gets expressed as the value of the company. The best companies have a strong, almost raw ambition to create much more value than they currently do. When a CEO and their senior leadership team couple this ambition with a desire to survive the current crisis and have things be much better than they are, then rapidly and effectively connecting talent to value becomes a leadership imperative.
Welcome to our Team Talks Series. Candid conversations on current events recorded on May 8th, 2020.
As the crisis continues, building confidence and alignment are imperative.
In this third CEO.works Team Talks conversation, Senior Partners Bill Allen and Hein Knaapen, and Associate Partner Dhaval Bhagat, talk with Shefali Salwan about what is showing up in their conversations with C-suite executives who are leading people through these uncertain times.
Watch the complete 10-minute video or read the transcript for details.