Career Moves



Karen Rivoire - Microsoft Start-Up CPO and Mentor

Human Revolutionary

  • by Karen Rivoire - Microsoft Start-Up CPO and Mentor
  • 14 Jun 2018

Augmenting human capability with intelligent systems

The workplace has been my playground for 27 years, inspiring people to enjoy the rides and learn from the bumps. I am passionate about putting the WOW into the World of Work!

This article has been shaped by my experience and curiosity from living in different countries within marketing and CPO roles at Sony, Carrefour, Thai Union, WPP and 12 years at Unilever. The fab people I have met through my recent advisory work have encourage me to shine a different light on HR, which in an ideal world of work means “Human Revolutionary”! Some great books have informed this article: WTF Time O’Reilly, Whiplash for a Faster Future, Joi Ito. You can hear me #workoutloud on Twitter, with Purpose-into-Action @KTRIvoire.

In the context of the current tech backlash, business leaders need to think about how to deliver value to society and sustain their business, by understanding how to become their best selves. Being digital is important but not enough to help the people in their organisational ecosystem to thrive and perform. Businesses have to learn how to close the gap between their company purpose and their business model. Doing what you say you do will encourage coherence and deliver metrics of success that include societal purpose, wellbeing and innovation, not just market cap.

This is a great time for HR to step up to the opportunity of creating shared value and ensure their voice and the voices of everyone in the organisation are heard. Every leader and partner in the ecosystem needs to be held to the highest standards of inclusion. With more inclusion, the world of work can once again breathe clean A.I.R. Adaptiveness, Innovation, and Resilience are the organisational design principles to improve people practise and full-spectrum worker experiences.

Improving worker experience will require systems thinking and a different approach to most people practices. For start-ups, this means co-creating a simple strategy-into-action, that includes ‘why’ play, ‘where’ to and ‘how’ to play, not just ‘what’ to play. This will help everyone know where they are going and why. In turn it will help the recruitment team hire for potential and destination not just for now.

The ‘how’ to play will shape learning, leadership capability and culture. The ‘what’ to play is the beginning of goal setting and total rewards. By this time the recruitment manager has either grown her new capability or she will need to be led by new people leaders. This people leader can add value by coaching the recruitment team and focussing on transparent reward schemes, to retain top talent while constantly using great data to inform her recommendations and ensure the company is doing on the inside, what it says on the outside.

I hope we all agree that closing the gap between company purpose and worker experience requires great data and better people practices. HR can put the WOW back into the World of Work. Responsible technology helps change the conversation and augment good leadership behavious in a team of teams rather than a command and control hierarchy. We have better conversations when people are treated as people and when HR stand for what they believe in.

Karen Rivoire – CPO and Working Mother of 3 sons who amaze me every day!

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