Home' HR Monthly : November 2015 Contents HRM: What are your main two or three priorities in the job?
KD: It’s a diverse portfolio and they’re all intrinsically linked. The key
priority over the nex t couple of years is to ensure we have genuinely
customer-centric leaders at all levels.
It’s taking our talent strategy to the next level and ensuring we have
the right people in the right roles now and in the future. Being even
more strategic and organised to ensure we are finding the best people,
accelerating their impact on the business, and future proofing the
business by anticipating future needs.
The other priority is creating a genuinely inclusive workforce where
people are respected for being different and valued for who they are,
so they can bring their whole selves to work and give of their best.
Inclusion and Engagement was reframed from what was formally
known as Diversity and Inclusion because we aim to create true
engagement at work by having a wholly inclusive environment.
HRM: Would that fit with the idea of creating customer-centric leaders?
KD: That’s right. We have an ethos at NAB that ever yone is a leader.
So regardless of level, you lead by influencing and role modelling.
HRm: What did you do to prepare yourself for the GM role,
professionally and academically?
KD: I’ve been lucky enough to have a variety of global roles that gave
me different perspectives to bring to each strategic challenge I faced.
My degree was in psychology and all the professional development
I’ve done has been based around leadership or management, or
the psychology of leadership and management. Ever y business is a
people business regardless of how you frame what you do because
everything is enabled through capable and engaged people.
HRM: HR is sometimes perceived as a ‘soft skills’ discipline. Is that an
accurate description of the HR function?
KD: I feel despondent when I see how that’s often referred to. A
business doesn’t exist without the work enabled through people.
So for us to think about the business in isolation from the people
is not com mercially sound. It needs to be in the DNA of
executive thinking now. Some industries and organisations
still don’t think that way. But the businesses that successfully
differentiate themselves are the businesses that will think like
that. If you have unhappy, disengaged people, you don’t have
a successful business. So then the reality becomes very hard
and not soft, doesn’t it?
HRM: AHRI is setting the bar on certification for professional
HR practitioners. What’s your view on that initiative?
KD: I genuinely think it’s a great idea. We need to have a
true industry benchmark. Industry-based qualifications and
assessment have that unique opportunity to own how the
theory is put into practice. While there’s obviously great
value in purely academic qualifications, there’s a whole niche
to be owned which is in the evaluation of how somebody
actually performs within the workplace and how that
translates into practice.
When I gained my chartered fellowship with the CIPD in
the UK, I chose specifically to do the experience assessment.
I could have done it through university but I chose the option
where you complete a series of tasks. You have to submit
many examples of your work, not work you’ve created for an
academic question. And then you sit an oral exam where they
drill you on whether you know what you think you know, and
how you would perform in certain circumstances. I think it
says something that I chose to go that way because I wanted
to be able to say “I’ve been made a CIPD Chartered Fellow by
experience assessment”. It was my way of proving to myself
that I am performing within the industry contex t and not just
in an academic sense.
For further information about senior pathways to
AHRI Certification, contact Sharada Menon at
November 2015 HRMonthly 37
Kate Dee is the GM Talent, Leadership,
Culture, Inclusion and Engagement at
NAB. She is a Chartered Fellow of the
Chartered Institute of Personnel and
Development (UK) and a Fellow of AHRI
15/10/2015 11:16 am
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