People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 18
eyes and ears are HR and the time to step forward to help
drive change is now. Time and again CHROs have expressed
a concern that if HR does not seize this role, someone else
will step in or the transformation will fail.
From Blind Spot to Opportunity
Continuing to execute on legacy
matters tremendously to the nearterm health of a business, but it's just
not enough to win in the future.
As previously mentioned, every company will need to
customize their own approach to a Second Playbook. There is
no single approach that fits every company. However, there
are some key steps that every HR Leader can take, which
* For every strategic imperative, detail out the leadership implications and how they need to show up in the
* With a clean slate, collaborate with other leaders to develop the right KPIs that not only drive short-term business
results, but also mid- and long-term innovation.
* Change the language of HR to clear business terms where
no one needs a page of definitions to decode what is
* Attack the systems that are holding you back, e.g., work
with the CFO on budgeting, and work with all leaders on
performance management that aligns to strategy.
* Embrace leadership development holistically, developing
experiential learning opportunities that drive enterprise
mindset and which can cross business units and functions.
* Develop solutions for business unit leaders to help them
leverage the changing dynamics of the workforce.
* Be an early adopter of the right technologies that allow
you to see the business from new perspectives.
* Be relentless in communicating the change required and
the successes achieved.
HR leaders need to move out of their comfort zone and
own transformation, right alongside the CEO.
Even the best-intentioned CEO can get distracted by investors, the board, customers, and day-to-day business issues.
While many are passionate about talent and leadership, they
may not see what is holding the company back. The CEO's
PEOPLE + STRATEGY
Change becomes inevitable when disruption is everywhere.
This is true inside of a sports venue, on the field of battle
and in business. Every major sport has seen elements of its
game change over the years. Playbooks that worked in the
80s have been thrown out in favor of new playbooks that
adapt to the way the game has evolved. Countries have been
forced by world events to change the way they train their
militaries and fight wars.
A company's legacy can be a source of pride. But its
future will be defined by the intentionality and speed with
which it ring-fences those parts of its legacy that will not
drive what comes next. The Internet of people necessitates
changes in the way we think about leading and winning in
the most ambitious and most ambiguous areas of our companies' strategies. The organizations that succeed will not
allow their legacy to be their blind spot, but instead their
springboard for a second playbook that enables winning
today and tomorrow.
David Reimer is CEO of Merryck & Co. He can be reached at david.
Harry Feuerstein in president and head of services at Merryck & Co.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sonja Meighan is director of services at Merryck & Co. She can be
reached at email@example.com.
Scott Kelly is CTO and CHRO at Hitachi Data Systems. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interview conducted by David Reimer, April 2017.
Characteristics of wicked problems: 1) They are difficult to define
with great specificity. 2) They do not offer "right" answers, only
better answers and worse answers: the past is not a template for
the future. 3) Every time you interact with a wicked problem, you
change it into a new problem. 4) They are highly-relationship
dependent: they involve wide varieties of stakeholders who start
out with fundamentally different interests.
Merryck interviews with and global talent leaders. September 2016-
When we say "our legacy way of leading," it should be noted that
effective legacy businesses are often quite good at adapting and
exercising peripheral vision and flexibility so that they are not
disrupted by a singular focus. "Legacy" does not mean "bad" or
outdated. Rather, that it is not the future driver of success for the
company five or 10 years from now.
Interview conducted by Harry Feuerstein and Sonja Meighan, April
Interview conducted by David Reimer, May 2017.
Merryck use cases, 2014-2017.