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Building a resilient organization

Change is happening faster than ever so HR needs to focus on developing talent and leaders to adapt and flex with an organization. What can HR leaders do to ensure they're enabling their company to be agile and prepared for the future?

Building Organizational Resilience

On the HR Director Magazine and HRM Online Round Table:
Laura Croucher
Partner and National Leader of People and Change Solutions, KPMG

Helena Gottschling
SVP Leadership & Organizational Development, RBC

David Heather
VP of Human Resources, Cisco Canada

Katrina Stevens
National Director of Human Resources, Miller Thomson LLP

For more from the HR executives see the HRD 2.1.

Video transcript below:

Laura Croucher, Partner & Leaderof People & Change Solutions, KPMG
Laura Croucher:
 +My name is Laura Croucher, I am a partner at KPMG, a national leader of a People & Change Solutions practice and we are here with HR  Director Magazine today to have a round table about HR trends that are impacting our businesses right now.  

To my right I have David Heather, who is the VP of HR at Cisco, Canada.  Beside David I have Katrina Stevens, National Director of HR at Miller Thomson and to my left I have Helena Gottschling, the SVP of Leadership & Organisational Development at RBC.

Helana Gottschling, SVP, Leadership & Organisational Development, RBC
Helena Gottschling:
 We sometimes talk about change as a program or a one time event, but it’s not, I mean the world just continues to evolve and we have to be adaptable and we have to figure out how to evolve with that and we are trying to position change more from that perspective versus event based.  You know it’s just building work force capability that is more adaptable and they understand, yes this is my job mandate and it’s on the, you know, it’s on a one page or, but that mandate could change 3 months from now, so how do we, how do we build skills and have employees recognise how those skills are transferable to new projects, to new work, because their mandate usually isn’t static.  
Laura Croucher:  That has had such a huge impact on leadership, really because if you think about change and how a leader has to lead change, I mean irrespective of what they may need to do, you know it’s not just one size fits all anymore.  You know you’ve got little change, so that maybe we could that by a memo, but then you’ve got this big thing where  they have to be out engaging with people all the time to sell it and getting leaders to understand that and to create time in their life, in their calendars particularly, to be able to be that change leader for those major programs, it can make a big difference I think.

Katrina Stevens, National Director of Human Resources, Miller Thomson LLP
Katrina Stevens:
 Yeah building that resilience in your employee population has to service your leadership because you know you touch on the mental health issues much earlier in a conversation and being able to you know have your leadership buy in to prioritise their time to make time, to make a change success is about building your employees resilience to this ongoing level of change.  You know in the law firm industry, it’s been atmospheric how quickly it’s been coming, you know the days of a secretary sitting and typing are, you know that is not the focus of their life any longer, it’s changed a lot.  And so building resilience is really important for us.

David Heather, VP of Human Resources, CISCO, Canada
David Heather:
 I think this is one thing that would better from a change perspective is to communicate and treat our employees as part of the organisation, also that they are the heart of our organisation, quite rightly that’s where you want them to be, but have that dialogue with them. Yes, it’s coming, yes it’s going to be challenging, yes it’s going be an opportunity for us at the time, but this is what we are facing, we haven’t got all the solutions ready, I think leaders tend to want to have all the solutions ready.  So we say right, this is what we are going to do and this is how we are going to do it.  Sometimes we don’t hear the whole story.  And that’s what we try and push informally with our local leadership, is be authentic, be credible, articulate the opportunity, and actually a lot of great ideas will come from your employee base.