Three years ago, a very successful regional bank decided that they wanted their human resources function to contribute in a different way to their organization. They knew they needed an HR team that was more proactive and strategic in order to succeed in the future. To make this happen, they went to market and hired a strategic change agent to not only lead the HR organization, but also to join their executive team to participate in leading the company. I’m grateful to have been given this opportunity. It’s been a busy couple of years learning, growing and making things happen.
At the bank, I had the opportunity to work for an organization that truly cares about people to its very core. This experience has restored my faith in the idea of loyalty in business. Turns out, if you truly care for your employees and show it consistently over time, people will stick around, work hard for you and defend the organization. Loyalty may be rare, but it is alive and well.
I had the privilege to lead their HR organization through a transformation. In my time there, we recruited some great new talent to the HR team and we transformed what HR means and does within the organization. I leave a team I was proud to lead. I can’t wait to see what great things they do in the future.
My transition out of the bank was a mutual decision. It was the kind of grown up decision that is hard to make, but that many of us face at key points during our lives. The bank is a great organization and I’m proud of all we accomplished together. But, it had become increasingly clear that we just weren’t compatible enough to go on a long term journey together. So, rather than ignore this truth at the expense of both parties, the right decision was to resign and move on. I wish the bank nothing but great success in the future.
As I turn the page on this new chapter of my career, I now face the both daunting and exciting question, what’s next?
Any time I begin a new chapter in my life, I turn to some self-examination and discovery work. I’ve spent the past 8 years of my career in corporate Human Resources leadership roles. I love the work of HR. At its foundation, the work of HR for me is about setting talent free within organizations to drive success and growth. I do this by helping organizations and individuals find truth about themselves, their people, their leadership and their culture. I also help organizations find the courage to examine if these truths align to their intentions and goals. If there is a gap, I help design the path to close it.
I continue to run around poking status quo in the eye as half of the Talent Anarchy team. For those who don’t know about Talent Anarchy, it’s the name Joe Gerstandt and I have given to our collaborative work together in our writing and speaking. We will be keynoting at a couple awesome state SHRM conferences in the upcoming year and, more immediately, will be doing our thing at the SHRM national conference in Vegas next week. We are also in the process of finding a publisher for a book we’ve written (tentatively titled “When Talent isn’t’ Enough) about how the relationships in our lives are the key to unleashing talent.
I have also been very fortunate to find some consulting work since leaving the bank. My consulting projects to date are using my breadth of HR experience combined with my innovator’s mind. I’m helping an HR consultancy design new products for their clients. I’m also helping some peer consultants where they need a different perspective and new ideas for a project. In addition, I’m helping an organization determine how to implement more strategic HR. I’m thankful to have these assignments so quickly after leaving the bank.
As I look to the future, I see tremendous opportunity and challenge. Talent has never been so important to business and yet, we seem to be as confused as ever relative to how to find, keep and develop it. We sometimes struggle even to answer the question, “what is talent?” This is where I feel that I can help organizations make great progress.
My instincts are telling me to return to my consulting and entrepreneurial roots, to join forces with a company who helps other organizations to unleash talent and make work better. It seems that my passion, skill and talent are pointing me in this direction. The fact that several consulting projects found their way to me within days of leaving the bank may also be a good sign to follow this path.
So, I begin my search for my next professional adventure in earnest today. I am looking for an organization in the talent business who will challenge me to bring all of my abilities to bear to help them do exception work for their clients. I want to find a organization with big dreams and big ambitions where I can help them achieve them. Selfishly, I am looking to spend as much time as possible doing what I love and what I do best.
- I am an innovator, a catalyst, and a visionary.
- I help leaders envision a better future and how to create it.
- I am a relationship builder.
- I design and build people solutions that drive change.
- I challenge individuals and leaders to find the courage to unleash their talent and the talent of those around them.
- I dig big ideas.
- I am an influencer.
- I love tackling a problem that others don’t think can be solved.
- I speak and write about ideas in a way that engages and makes people think differently (and maybe even act differently).
- I crush the status quo.