People & Strategy Summer 2017 Vol. 40 Issue 3 - 70
CHRO Connection: J. Scott Boston
SB: I think more than ever CHROs
need to play a larger role in company
decision making and driving talent
and culture to achieve business results.
Each year, human capital is ranked the
No. 1 or No. 2 issue that keeps CEOs
awake at night. So rather than being
called upon to implement decisions
that have already been made, we will
need to increasingly be working closely
with our CEOs and CFOs.
Having analytics, or fact-based HR,
is important. When you treat HR as a
decision science and identify trends
in the workforce and among
competitors, you can sense
and respond early on and be
deliberate in your actions,
rather than react to a crisis.
If you can free yourself up
from the transactional stuff,
you can get a lot more done
and have more fun as a
Clark, we were rolling out our One
K-C Behaviors, which include six key
behaviors: build trust, make decisions,
win consistently, think customer,
continuously improve, and build talent.
At Kimberly-Clark, we believe that by
living our One K-C Behaviors every day
we can create a One K-C culture.
Everyone around the world gave
it their own unique cultural flair, and
we thought it was great. Wouldn't you
rather have employees be excited about
being a part of the program, instead of
being focused on whether they did it
Very early on I embraced
inclusion-the idea that
everyone should be able to
bring the best of their true
self to work every day.
LC: How would you describe
your leadership style?
SB: My style is agile and
participative. I surround
myself with talented and
diverse people and leverage
that diversity to quickly create
pragmatic solutions that
resonate with the business
and our employees. I've
probably done every role
in HR except for comp and
benefits. Agility is important,
because if you only view HR
through one lens, you miss
the opportunity to apply HR
to the entire business. If you're only in
comp and benefits or recruiting, you're
I've worked in very diverse and crosscultural businesses, and very early on
I embraced inclusion-the idea that
everyone should be able to bring the
best of their true self to work every day.
The idea of leveraging people all over
the world to do their best.
When I first came to Kimberly70
PEOPLE + STRATEGY
one of the first adopters of Workday
globally, which is the backbone of our
HR transformation. We were able to
put tools in the hands of our leaders
globally that freed up their time
for things like coaching. And now
managers, when they need to make a
transactional decision, don't have to
call an HR business partner anymore.
We are trying to use technology
as it emerges as a way not to add
LC: What makes you proudest of being
part of the HR profession?
SB: I truly believe that culture
drives performance. HR, if
done well, should be a key
player in shaping culture.
We've got to have the pulse
of the business. We've got to
be trusted, and we've got to
know what's happening in
our organizations. This war
for talent sees people voting
with their feet and asking
themselves, "What culture do
I want to be a part of?" HR
needs to shape the behaviors
that drive results and influence
behavior and culture. I believe
behavior repeats itself to the
extent it's rewarded, but also
that nobody is excited about
just making money. That's not
what gets people up each day.
LC: The future of HR is...
lockstep as you would have? The whole
implementation of the program amidst
culturally diverse people was about
outcome, not message.
LC: What are you learning right now?
SB: I am learning about automation
and how it can be used to simplify
HR service delivery and allow HR to
focus on high value activities. We were
SB: ... more focused toward
data analytics and business
strategy and less focused on traditional
transactional activities that can be
replaced by outsourcing or automated
technology. What is actually housed in
the HR department, like the recruiter
and trainer, will be less and less. We
will need to be much better at strategy,
culture, change management, and
using analytics to create insights for
the business and talent metrics for