Leading with insight: Increasing business impact through leadership intelligence

Join Eightfold AI and Heidrick & Struggles as we discuss how organizations can empower their leaders to successfully navigate business challenges.

Leading with insight: Increasing business impact through leadership intelligence

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Effective leadership is essential for navigating business challenges and driving growth. Yet the rate of change is quickly outpacing many business strategies. Leadership models are no longer sufficient to navigate complex challenges, including increasing competition, regulatory pressures, evolving employee expectations, and the complexities of technology-enabled processes. Today’s diverse and dynamic workforce requires leaders to possess a broad range of skills, from emotional intelligence to adaptability and strategic foresight. These mounting business challenges demand high-performing leaders.

Today’s business leaders need advanced tools and methodologies, like intelligence platforms, so they can identify and develop rising talent who can drive innovation, inspire teams, and confidently navigate uncertainty.

Join Eightfold AI and Heidrick & Struggles as we discuss how organizations can empower their leaders to successfully navigate these challenges.

In this webinar, we’ll cover: 

  • The critical importance of effective leadership in addressing modern business challenges.
  • How to identify specific leadership roles essential for organizational success.
  • Best practices for using AI to gain unbiased insights into leadership capabilities and potential.
  • Why it is essential to create a holistic view of your leaders and their unique strengths and areas for development.

HRE Moderator 0:00
Hello and welcome to today’s webinar, Leading with Insight: Increasing business impact through leadership intelligence. I have a few housekeeping notes before we begin. If you have any questions or technical concerns, please use the Q&A module on your screen. You can resize and minimize the different modules on your screen by using the option in the top right corner of each module. This event is being recorded and can be watched later on demand using the same link. Attendees will receive the recording of today’s event. Look for that email within 24 hours after the event. We encourage you to put your questions in the Q&A module throughout the event for our speakers to address. You can also use the reaction module in the menu at the bottom to relay items you may like or want to express an emotion to. Now, I will pass the stage to Andrea Shiah, the head of strategy and transformation at Eightfold AI.

Andrea Shiah 0:55
Great, thank you so much. Hi, everyone. Erin and I are so excited to be here with you today. I’m just gonna do a quick introduction handed over to Erin. So I’m the head of talent strategy and transformation at Eightfold. Prior to joining Eightfold, I had a 25 year career at American Express, led a lot of transformation, and a lot of different areas while I was there, but one of the things I implemented was Eightfold. I saw the impact it had on our talent strategies and priorities and decided to join. And so now I spend my time talking to talent leaders about their priorities and how talent AI has a big impact on really supporting them. I’m really looking forward to our discussion today. I think we’ve got this very exciting, great partnership between Eightfold and Heidrick. And very excited about this discussion on leadership and leadership intelligence. So I’ll hand it over to Erin.

Erin Sowden 1:53
Wonderful. Thanks, Andrea. So again, my name is Erin Sowden. And similarly, I am so honored to have the opportunity to speak today about these groundbreaking capabilities that honestly I’ve had the privilege to understand in various capacities more deeply throughout my HR career. So the bulk majority of my career was an HR business partner and talent leader roles in all different types of organizations within various industries and size and, quite frankly technical sophistication all the way from cutting-edge Fortune 500 companies with deep investments in talent to the good old days of succession planning, binders and paper based performance reviews. So I have a deep appreciation and admiration for the path that HR tech is on today. And so I am thrilled to be a part of Heidrick and struggle in partnership with Eightfold in a role where I can help others understand the opportunities HR practitioners have in front of us today. So thank you so much for this opportunity. So first, I think probably the best place to start is to set the stage for the current landscape necessitating this evolutionary change. So multiple factors have been contributing to the increased need for talent strategies to ensure business continuity. One and probably the one that’s the four most to all of us is that the US unemployment is down leading to a shortage of talent. The GDP keeps going up creating an absolute divergence between economic growth and the size of the labor market. Productivity and evolving business models are definitely helping to make up for this and the value of each individual employee is increasing significantly. One of the more recently released PwC CEO surveys indicated that about 60% of CEOs believe that the businesses that they’re leading today, as currently defined and 10 years will be significantly different. So the pace of change, the rate of change, the nature of change in businesses today is accelerating quickly. And it definitely poses a threat to maintaining a healthy organizational culture, resistant to change fatigue. And I’m sure we can all relate to that. Changes used to be episodic, right, where we might go through a reorganization, we have, you know, as a result of maybe a merger and acquisition, we’d apply a change management strategy. We’d implement a new business model, and then we’re off and running, so to speak, right? But now organizations are changing all the time. So we’re always in this constant flux of evolution and change and moving in a different direction. So we are in a very different economic labor market with a new set of business issues and mounting evidence suggests that up to 50% of the leadership roles and organizations will be redefined or reorganized, begging the question, Are your leaders ready for the new challenges that they’ll face and they’re evolving roles? And so in addition, the average size of fortune 100 executive teams has also increased since 2020. So this increase in team size is also providing an excellent opportunity for companies to strengthen their leadership pipeline, and also deepen their succession pools. So how do we look more broadly and down the organization for leaders that can prepare themselves to fill these more abundant roles for both CEO and board roles. So the increasing size and scope of leadership teams is also reinforcing the importance of senior leaders, the leader is more important than ever before. So meaning that boards must focus on retaining our promising leaders at all levels through strategic transparent leadership, succession planning, and career development. So in this ever changing business environment, you need the most effective leaders possible, and retention of these leaders must be a top priority for businesses and their boards. However, as we all can relate, this is no easy task. So Andrew and I are going to spend some time with you today helping you to better understand how through incorporation of AI intelligence platforms into your existing talent strategies, and that’s important, we’ll talk about that in more detail shortly. Organizations can unlock the huge advantage, and how we manage talent today, and combat those barriers to business continuity and Leadership Excellence. So we’re going to show you how you can all get a lot smarter than you already are today. But first, we have a quick poll question to ask you. So what barriers are you facing and building strong leadership in your workforce, and so you’ll see the choices on the screen and you can select the choice. And we’ll give you guys a couple of seconds to respond. And that will help us better understand our audience and where you’re coming into our conversation today.

Andrea Shiah 6:50
So I’m just going to add to the instructions, you can actually just click on the box on your screen. And then you should be able to start to see some responses come in.

Erin Sowden 7:01
Yeah, perfect.

I look at these, Andrea and probably to some extent, every one of these is a challenge in various organizations today. But it’ll be interesting to see where folks are finding the largest barrier.

Andrea Shiah 7:22
Yeah, absolutely. Okay, yeah, I still see I feel like this is like the Jiffy Pop popcorn. For those of you who remember that we’ll just we’ll we’ll look at the results once we kind of see the inputs start to slow down.

Great. Okay. Should we take a look at the results? What are we seeing? Yeah, we’ve

Erin Sowden 7:50
got about 50%.

Andrea Shiah 7:59
Okay, all of the above? Yeah, all the above, standing out is priority as a strategy, followed by leadership data and intelligence, investment in prioritization and technology. And then all of the above? Yeah. Okay. All right, that sounds very similar. I think when I talk to tenant leaders, around the kinds of topics that are coming up, I’m going to just cover a couple of things. Like if you think about, like, the challenges that most leaders that we’re talking to are facing, you know, they know these, they’re dealing with these challenges that Erin just talked about, that are really putting a lot of pressure on HR, right, because the businesses are seeing these challenges. And so what we’re hearing from HR, what’s kind of coming up is, there’s a lot of challenges to figure out how to transform. And I want to share with you a little bit about why that might be. If you think about the history of HR, a lot of HR was really set up to manage and track kind of employees and the therefore the kind of the solutions that HR has access to really set up to inform like, what is the information that you have on your employees, what’s your employee data, managing and tracking that information, being able to make sure that’s correct and connected with pay benefits, making sure that for all compliance purposes, you have really accurate and strong data, and also centered around jobs. Right. So if you look at the left, there’s so much that’s really centered around jobs, because jobs are kind of the organizing mechanism to be able to manage things and manage them in a compliant way. So the existing technology and processes and activities that HR are focused on tend to be much more around kind of leveraging information that is more static because it’s important that it has to be compliant and accurate. And it’s very job centered. And so most of the way you look at individuals and careers tends to be centered around jobs. Now, with all the challenges that HR is now facing, and the pivots we’ve had to go through over the past three, four years have been quite intense and really critical to the business. And the challenges facing the workforce are quite large. And so what HR needs to be able to address us priorities is new capabilities, right, you need to have kind of a lot more, you need to have kind of dynamic data access to information, not just about your employees and internally facing, but more around kind of the external marketplace, what’s happening with different trends and trends around the skills, you need to have the data on kind of your employees also more broadly in one place, available in one place, you need to be able to have this information in a way that helps inform the decisions that you’re going to make. And so if you take a look at what you need, versus what you have, having all that data, especially if you take a look at leaders, having that data on kind of what is the bench strength, I have my leadership skills and my talent, and being able to kind of manage that in a really dynamic way, requires a different solution. Right? It needs to be more talent centered, AI native with all the kind of various data, as I just talked about internal external, even decisions that you’ve made, to help you really be able to meet the challenges that are ahead of you very different from kind of the solutions, processes and structure that you have today. And so that becomes why it’s so challenging around really driving big transformation.

Erin Sowden 11:51
Yeah, absolutely. And Andrea would add into and through some of the robust conversations that you and I have is, you know, again, that that architecture, this the static data built around jobs, very traditional, very understandable. However, that shift to that dynamic data really puts the employee or the individual in the forefront. And so for me, the shift breaks it from Erin being in a specific job that’s related to a specific job position. And number two, who is Erin, who did Erin brink? What did I come into the organization with? What skills and abilities and experiences did I attain, while I’ve been within the organization that more dynamic data centered around the individual, as opposed to the position really is groundbreaking, and AI Intelligence enables the ability for us to be able to see some of these insights, and it really just unlocks. That’s the way I look at this as it unlocks a much bigger picture. That’s,

Andrea Shiah 12:48
That’s a great point, right? So if you think about jobs, it limits you so much, in terms of your ability, your growth and your potential, it’s really looking at you as a talent and an individual and not even connecting you to a job that connects you to work, the skills are needed for work. So that’s one of the most critical things that has to be unlocked, to be prepared for the future and also to be prepared with the right talent. Okay, so let’s, let’s go on to our next survey. Question. So here’s a question about, you know, where are you in your journey to improve leadership in your organization? You know, the options here are a, you’ve got some projects and process improvements that are underway. Be you’ve got early stages of transformation, really exploring priorities, and really developing the strategy, see moderate transformational activity, looking at starting to implement transformation pockets, with new solutions and new processes, or major transformation underway? Are you looking at big technology, big ideas are linked to a broader and 10 strategy, or I know activities?

So please submit, we’d love to hear a little bit, I think, you know, looking at the last survey, I think, all of the above kind of tied back to what we just talked about. All of the above has to do with, you know, the processes, the understanding of the technology that’s needed. You know, the prioritization, right of leadership, senior leaders and the investment, all those things are important things that talent leaders have to kind of generate understanding and awareness about the right of leadership so that that can be prioritized, right? Because the need is so great, as it pertains to talent and leadership that that definitely has to happen.

Erin Sowden 14:47
For sure, and I’m assuming that a lot of folks on the call can relate that you might have a talent strategy that you want to deploy within your organization, but it has to be aligned in terms of priority with the evolution of technology inside your organization as well I, I can certainly speak to many of organizations that I’ve been in where there was a misalignment in terms of priority when it comes to HR is implementation, data sourcing, etc, in comparison to the type of talent activities I was trying to drive. And so that linkage is really important to make sure that you’re able to achieve some of the things that you’re trying to accomplish as a talent professional, or as an HR professional.

Andrea Shiah 15:30
Oh, this is really interesting. So the journey. The largest grouping here is early stages, followed by a tie, for some projects, some improvements happening and processes and moderate transformation. I think this is very similar to what I’m hearing, I think if you’re in that third bucket here of moderate transformation, you’re actually leading the way. Right, because of the journey and because of, kind of, I feel like I understand the priorities of talent and importance of talent. Over the past few years, we’re just seeing a lot of people starting to move in early stages, and moderate means you are kind of ahead of the curve. So this is really interesting. Okay, so I think I’m gonna click through oops, sorry. Okay, great. So, what I wanted to talk about, because I think if you think about the journey, you’re on, wherever you are, and as I said, I think a lot of people are in earlier stages of the transformation, I thought would be helpful is to talk about kind of, obviously, April has done a lot working with talent leaders, and helping them lead the transformation in their organizations. And so I thought it’d be helpful to just share some of the key things to think about, you know, when you think about transformation, what it is that you should be looking for. So I’m just going to touch on this a little bit, you know, if you start with the first kind of true talent centered architecture, what that means is basically, the point I was sharing earlier about having an HR solution that really kind of unlocks the possibilities. And it’s really challenging for the reasons I just spoke about with the current hrs platforms. And so I really need to look for alternative ways to get there. The second point is really around a curated global data set, you really need critical data on talent that’s very talent centered. And you need many different sources of data to be pulled together centrally, right. So you’ve got enterprise data. When you think about talent, data, it’s data about your employees, it’s data about the skills they have, the state of the learning that they’ve undertaken, the projects they’ve undertaken. There’s so much information from your enterprise that needs to be kind of pulled together to understand the talent, and the skills that you have in your organization. Then you also need market data, things are changing at such a quick clip, we’re seeing it three to five years ago. The evolution, evolution and emergence of skills are happening very quickly. So market data becomes really important to make sure you’ve got the right skills in your organization. And of course, user interactions, meaning understanding your organization, what are the unique needs you have, who are the individuals that are successful, right, and making sure that data is leveraged? If you talk about deep learning AI algorithms to my earlier point, it’s really looking at the kind of all the actions and interactions that are happening with talent. And so who are the individuals that are successful, and able to move successfully into really critical leadership roles, being able to look for those types of individuals deeper in your organization? And Erin, we were talking about, like the emergence of all these different tech trends, whether it’s digital, and that applies to all industries. If you talk about you know, the pharmaceutical industry is fine. Biotech is important. If you talk about the energy industries, it is renewable energy, if you talk about Telecom, 5g, I mean, it’s astounding how fast everything’s changing across industries. And so if you look at leadership now, I think what’s changing with leadership skills is domain expertise becomes also very important. So being able to kind of leverage that intelligence and look in the organization to find that right talent is important. Next is really around the dynamic individual experiences of being able to take all that intelligence that you have, and put it in the right places in the town process to make decisions and make really well informed decisions. And then finally, responsible AI by design. I mean, everybody talks about AI and all the rest of AI you definitely have to find a solution that is very rigorous on this, right, that doesn’t leverage any data that can cause bias that doesn’t, that you know, Does a regular job of kind of evaluating and analyzing the results and tracking that carefully and making sure bias doesn’t creep in. And even third parties doing that for them are all the different types of things that you have to look for as you take a look at responsible AI by design. So those are five things to be aware of as you’re thinking about transformation, things that you should be looking at, as you think about being able to equip your organization to do this successfully, and also for leadership in your workforce, but also for leadership. Great. So let’s go on to the next question. So the question is, how do you assess your leadership bench bench strength? Is it done by HRBP and business leader opinions? Do you have leadership assessments? Do you rely on performance reviews? Do you not know? And understand your leadership bent bench strength? Or none of the above?

Erin Sowden 21:10
What do I think this is? I think this is an interesting question, because it’s probably a combination of some pieces all together. Certainly HRBP. And business leader opinions are inevitably and should be part of the conversation in the process, but aided by data and insights, whether it be through talent, intelligence, or what we’ve been able to gather through 360 assessments, performance review data, nine box assessments, etc. And so really, probably, it’s a curation of a bunch of things, but I’m definitely interested in what the team on the call has to say. Okay, so let’s look at the results we’re seeing. Okay, it’s a little bit of a lot of things. Number one on this list tied at the top HRBP in business leader opinions and leadership assessments, don’t know our leadership, bench strength, and then performance reviews. And the assessments, that’s good to see. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Well, you know, as I just mentioned, so much of this discussion leads to where do we begin, right? How do we identify which leadership roles are essential for success? And many companies fall into the trap of starting with the leadership roles that they must fill in the short term, versus understanding what talent and capabilities we need organization wide for longer term success, totally normal, absolutely makes sense that we’ve been reactive for a really long time, right? You have somebody that leaves the organization, someone who’s retiring, a new position needs to be created. And, you know, we take off after that and make sure that the business and the continuity is maintained. But that strategy is typically a skills based reactive model. And it often leads to success and filling those specific roles and plugging that pull for the moment and see and the depth of understanding achieve their business goals more effectively and efficiently. So in contrast, a much more holistic organizational view of leaders facilitates both achievement in a specific role, and long term market success for the business. So the more that we widen the scope, the more that we drive more intelligence to the fingertips of our leaders and to our HR professionals, the more that we have the opportunity to shift from that reactive standpoint, to a proactive standpoint, or to be ready, right, to increase readiness, when it comes to having to adjust and adapt. And so that begins with understanding the leaders that we have, right? So how do we do some of that homework? How do we do some of that preliminary understanding? And so once your business is started to refine the leadership attributes needed to thrive against your goals, and most likely, these are common conversations that are happening, maybe some of you have competencies, maybe some of you have leadership focused competencies, and you’ve defined the values and the expectations necessary for the leaders in your organization. But once you start to understand those strengths, then you have the ability to understand the gaps of your current leaders on key dimensions to ensure organizational performance and growth. So this is where we’d like to go both now and in the future. And that’s also the beauty of talent, intelligence. And some of the conversations that we’re having today is that it takes you from the here and now and helps you start to think about where we’re going right, where we will be in five years if you could. And so this allows your company to recognize that the individuals that are already serving that need, who are those leaders that are driving that business forward that are meeting those expectations. And then in addition to that, those internally who are ready to step into the next role to fill that gap, right, so who’s already driving and moving forward, who’s getting there who’s ready maybe with a couple of development or new opportunities or experiences that they need to have to broaden their expertise and their impact in the organization? And then where are the best opportunities to bring in external talent? So it helps kind of drive that buy or build strategy that most talent professionals are trying to address? How do we make sure that we have the right talent internally in the organization? Where do we put our time and attention? And then quite frankly, do we need to adjust? due to scarcity of skills? Where do we need to look externally in the market itself. And so because management capability accounts for 70% of the variance in employee engagement, it’s vital that we get it right. And I’m sure anyone who’s running an engagement survey today understands that leaders have a real impact not only on just business success, but on their downstream teams. There’s certainly top core leaders that drive the way that the organization wishes to perform and behave that that contribute down the line to how other managers below them also act and drive the same type of important influences within the organization. And so focusing on the Heidrick and struggles understands it in an ideal assessment system for your nurse needs to be as dynamic as they are, right. So hydro focuses on business impact what you’re seeing on the screen, cultural impact leadership capability, leadership potential. And we can deliver a comprehensive view of each of your leaders. So not just looking at them through one singular dimension, but looking at them across multiple dimensions. And more importantly, also looking at where they are today, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. So it’s that holistic, almost 360 view, if you will, of the type of capabilities that your leaders have. And so this proven framework is the foundation for our leadership intelligence platform. It’s built on 70 years of collecting and analyzing leadership data from businesses across industries and geographies for the world’s largest and most influential organizations. For those of you who have partnered with Heidrick and struggled in the past, you know that we’ve been in the search industry for a long time. And so we know what good leaders look like, right. And so this partnership between Heidrick and Eightfold gives us that incredible opportunity to balance those two pieces of expertise. One of the key differentiators that I do want to point out on the screen is the digital assessment dimension of business impact, which includes both organizational impact or a measure of the leaders contributions to enterprise wide initiatives, and functional impact. So it measures the leader’s contributions to function specific business objectives and responsibilities. So it looks at the leader from that dynamic dual lens of what type of impact are they bringing to the organization? And then what type of impact are they bringing within their own specific subject matter expertise or function. And as you get to that executive level, that is both necessary, right? It’s both where you’re partnering across an executive team, you’re looking at the impact that you’re having across the organization. And then you have a lot of subject matter experts underneath your driving function specific expertise. And so you really need to be dynamic and the way that you’re looking at both of those. And so together, this dimension measures overall leader contributions and experiences that signals readiness for new roles and possibilities. And so traditionally, we focused on skills, right as a key indicator for success. But the differentiator for the way that hydric approaches this concept is that at the executive level, it’s imperative that we shift the lens of impact from what can you do to what have you done? Right? So it’s instead of saying, I’m a conglomeration of skills and experiences that I’ve had in my, my tenure of my career, but instead shifting the questions and the way that we’re looking at how we’re assessing leaders, based upon the impact that they’ve made in their previous roles, their current roles and where they can make that impact in the future. And so it’s just a shift kind of in thinking, especially as you get to those higher ranking levels in the organization.

Andrea Shiah 29:26
Yeah. And I love this, as you said, Hydrex experience in this space is kind of a leader in the space and to take that knowledge and that expertise and bring it to bear for leadership assessment is fantastic. And I look across this, you know, having been a leader in a large organization, I have been through so many different methodologies of looking at, you know, whether it’s potential looking at workstyle there’s so many different ways of looking at leaders and I love this because I think it leverages As the whole range of consideration, right, the practical very direct business impact kinds of relational and inspirational part of cultural impact leadership capabilities and even potential, right, you definitely need to bring people into leadership that will continue to grow in their leadership capacity. So these are all I find very practical and pretty extensive in terms of insights it provides, we did receive a question around how are companies defining the future leadership capabilities needed to develop for the future. And I think if you look at our survey, you know, you saw the largest grouping was in leveraging kind of the perspectives of business leaders and HRBPs tends to be and I’ve seen this in conversations I’ve had to, that tends to be kind of one of the largest inputs, when you get together and you do a review or succession planning. It’s usually a group of people who are focused on that organization, trying to, you know, talk about their talent. And so, in my opinion, I think today still continues to play a strong role. I think the challenge with that is, it’s not consistent. And it’s limited. The scope of the view, I mean, I think session planning tends to focus on one organization as an example, and intends to be limited to the perspectives of individuals in the room. And I think of HR, the biggest challenge of all, this is right, you’ve got the most senior leaders in the business, the CEOs and the business unit leaders involved in this conversation. So trying to make it robust is really critical. I think that’s been a big pain point. So having something that is more consistent, not necessarily based on opinions of certain groups at a time, I think really unleashes, you know, the possibility of looking at your talent across the organization. I just really love the scope of what this is, and how much it covers.

Erin Sowden 32:09
Thank you. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think you’re able to then pull that string to your point. So in all of your various talent related opportunities that you have, by setting that organizational context, as you see here, so that interaction of the role, the work environment and the characteristics of your organization, because you’re right, Andrea, sometimes these leadership capabilities into the question that came through, are made in a vacuum, and they’re presented out to the organization or put on an intranet site. But we lacked sometimes the ability to be able to pull that through into performance management, pull it out through into succession planning, or pull it through until learning and development and not even just to pull it through. But to be able to measure, are we actually acting and behaving in the way that we’ve set forth for our leaders? Is that actually occurring? And how do we define that? Right? So assessments and things like that, and making sure that the expectations that we set for our leaders are actually the right ones? Because it’s okay to be agile and pivot and change. And where are we succeeding? And where do we have opportunities, and help drive a lot of things. And so it’s nice to kind of think about that from the perspective of this next topic that I wanted to kind of engage in, which is very much aligned to what I just said, as spending a few minutes where we can discuss those traditional methods of assessing and developing leadership that often don’t provide that context, right, and that content that’s needed to make effective leadership decisions. So organizations need better ways, the right to create and deploy leadership strategies that drive those best case business outcomes, and enable comprehensive leadership succession planning. So talent intelligence platforms, like Heidrick Navigator can amplify those investments that you’ve already made, and enrich your leadership data in real time to aid in critical leadership planning and talent decisions. And so it’s really important that we meet you where you are right, that the commitment, and I mentioned this in the beginning, the commitment that you’ve made to impactful talent strategies are integrated into the intelligence platform, creating a combined intelligence that’s beyond what we could have concluded alone. So the work that you’ve already done is not for naught. Right. So ninebark strategies that you might have deployed, maybe you’ve spent some time and efforts identifying high potentials, right and accredited them in some in some capability. Existing successor pipelines are pools that you’ve already started to create within your organization, performance management practices that I’m sure have evolved over time, right, but understanding how we assess the performance of our leaders and of our colleagues, existing competency models. You might have deployed a particular competency model across your organization and you’re using it to drive learning strategies and understand the capabilities of your leaders or even just leadership development programs. Right how we’re: We’re addressing the skill gap or the competence of our leaders and so many talent strategies that we already have in play. This is not a complete rebranding or a complete integration of something brand new, this has the opportunity to take all the work that we’ve already done and apply that data into a larger data set, and figure out the insights that can be derived from that. So I just made that point. Because for me, when I was driving talent and previous organizations, we were hesitant sometimes to move into these as well. We’ve spent so much time and investment and money into the strategies that we already have, we don’t want to have to redo the wheel. And that’s not what this is about. And so to make this a reality, the leadership management, the assessment, the development processes that we have in place, need to move though from that narrow focus on leaders and roles, as Andrea had mentioned in the beginning, to a more comprehensive assessment of leaders across roles and across levels. So we need to move from those disconnected manual Assessment and Reporting processes to those that are integrated and automated creating a unified data set, right, that pulls and organizes and analyzes data from across all sources, thus limiting the time and the cost spent to complete these processes. So I say that with the emphasis that I said, because I know how much time and effort goes into executing these processes. And sometimes they stay siloed, right to one point in time. And this enables them to go more and broadly beyond just that one particular piece of time. And so lastly, and most importantly, we can transform biased and outdated systems, including assessments and promotion to unbiased systems, less subjective, and processes that assess leaders on the most relevant dimensions. And so for me, this is incredibly powerful. And it underscores, again, the importance of identifying leaders that are ready for their next challenge and for internal career development, as well as providing a better understanding of the diversity of your leadership population. And so that boundaryless way across functions, geographies, business lines, when you open up the scope of the leaders that you’re looking at, and that you’re assessing, you can find hidden talent, right, or hidden gems, as we like to say, people that might have been waiting in the wings. And quite frankly, if they’d been given an opportunity or some additional experiences, they would meet that expectation that’s necessary. But we’re kind of stuck in these siloed hierarchical levels of promotion opportunity. And so this just unlocks the organization to be a much more of a feeding ground to look at where we can find prospective talent, and enable that career velocity or that internal mobility, and reduce those barriers to entry. So how do we enable folks to start to see opportunities in the organization that they might not have seen before, which has a natural tie to retention? And then even considers maybe something like a rotational opportunity, right? How do I fill these gaps, mentorship, etc. And so when you open up or unlock the organization to a much more broader capacity, the possibilities are endless. And so the power behind AI enabled intelligence platforms. For me the piece that I’m most passionate about, as well as it enables you guys to level up right to change the conversations that we’re having with our business leaders from having a reactive strategy with a fuzzy ROI. Because I’ve done that before. I’ve certainly thought about how how the talent initiatives that I’m driving, how do I really exemplify the return on that investment of the time of our leaders of the of the investment that we’re making and technology to proactive strategies, right, backed by data intelligence to hit that mark, and keep pace with our ever changing organizations. And so the conversations that we’re able to have with our leaders completely shifts to partnership to proactive, right, the true partner in HR business partner, and enables us to be able to have more of those reactive, sorry, proactive conversations. Andrew, any thoughts on that, in particular of that, that shift that change and these types of intelligence and what that unlocks and opens up for, for people for HR practitioners today? And how that kind of changes the conversations and the seat at the table, if you will, I hate to say that, but the seat at the table that HR practitioners are having today with the power behind the data and intelligence that they’re getting from these platforms?

Andrea Shiah 39:36
Yeah, what I think is exciting for HR is you’re actually as I said, this process is closely monitored and managed. You take a look at your leaders and the strength of your leaders and plans around theaters. It’s monitored and participated in by the most senior leaders in the company. Right? So that creates a lot of pressure. What I think is really fantastic about this is that you Um, you would bring some great intelligence, some great ability to talk about talent, and lead talented leaders and high potential leaders broadly across the enterprise, and do it with a rigorous set of data, right, that’s consistently used. And I think that would be a giant surprise and delight for the most senior leaders and definitely an important element, I think, for HR leaders. But if you take a look at this, too, the other thing I’d say what I really love about this is, you end up forming a strategy around talent for leadership. And then you can apply that consistently across all kinds of the talent lifecycle, right? And I think that’s what’s really important, because I think that’s what’s been difficult for HR is to have a strategy for talent and be able to really, really create that strategy and bring that strategy to life. Because you’re leveraging the approach consistently, across all the interactions and decision points, you have a talent. So if I take a look at this kind of page, there are a lot of different stages of talent activities that incorporate a kind of intelligence on leadership. I think that’s really important. I also want to go back to, to chat for a second about even looking at the future. I think that was the nature of the question we were just asked about, how do you kind of make these decisions with an eye towards the future. And I do think your ship needs are changing a lot for all the reasons we talked about earlier, right? There’s a lot of transformation happening across organizations moving to a digital more digital approach, or all the other things that are happening by different industries that I spoke about. And I think leaders know what we need to be leaders is the ability to successfully lead your organization in those directions. And so the need for leadership is very different than it was even 10 years ago. And so I think that’s, that’s a little bit of the power to have intelligence, you know, combining both the leadership and the skills because I think domain expertise becomes more and more important. You want someone familiar with whatever the transformation is that you’re leading, and any organization of what that’s going to require to do that successfully. So that’s the combination of both the leadership skills and driving business results. But also kind of the domain expertise, I think becomes really important as you take a look at leaders and the future, future skills and capabilities required for leaders? Absolutely.

Erin Sowden 42:37
I mean, we’ve spent a lot of time today talking about the expertise that this brings to HR professionals. However, I think you just triggered something in my mind as well of the insights that this brings to the leaders of leaders as well, right. So how do they have better insights and understanding on what their direct reports need? How can they provide and unlock those development experiences that their talent below them are looking for? I mean, we’ve all certainly been in organizations where we asked leaders to assess talent, whether it be through a performance management process, put together a paper based development plan, we’ve all been in those scenarios. But it’s very, we say it needs to be driven by the incumbent. That’s driving the development plan. But it’s a little bit of the blind leading the blind to some extent, right. So this gives you some tried and true data and insights on to your point where the domain expertise might be needing to be enhanced or experience is being provided, where we might need to fill the gap on learning and development, or maybe just quite frankly, and unlocks the possibilities that maybe we don’t have the right talent and the organization today, and we need to shift and change our thinking. And so it enables and gives leaders today more information than they’ve ever had before to drive the success of their direct reports.

Andrea Shiah 43:59
Yeah, no, absolutely. Okay, so I’m going to wrap us up here, just kind of summarizing a couple important points. Just some practical takeaways, you know, for you to kind of walk away with and what you see on this page is kind of a summary of what you want to do, and what it takes, right. And so what you’ll see here are a couple key points. One is really around, you want to be able to continuously shape your modern workforce. I just talked about leadership and how much it is changing in terms of what you need. And so that’s where you really need to have a very talent centered ability to look at this in a dynamic way. Technology and priorities are going to continue to change through the years we’re just seeing even generative AI kind of hit the scene and grow so quickly. There’s going to be more that comes up across every industry so you need that very talent centered, very dynamic ability, that is AI native for talent, to be able to understand these trends and be able to understand where you can build that in your organization, that’s your best way to keep your strongest talent and strongest leadership talent. The second point is really around maximizing the potential of your talent, right. And so again, gets to Diane was exactly what we just talked about Erin, just looking at the data and dynamic way, but also looking at the full talent lifecycle, right, if you really want to maximize your talent, and the potential of your talent is really making sure you have that strategy and consistently apply it throughout the lifecycle of talent. And if you do that, you’re actually able to make the shifts that you want on your workforce at scale. Right? Otherwise, it’s going to be rolling out different initiatives to try to tackle bits and pieces of it in different places. And so to maximize it, you really have to have something that impacts the full talent lifecycle. And then lastly, again, going back to the point, you need to be able to be confident in the AI. So just making sure that it is proven. It’s, you know, established with large organizations, and that the steps are being taken to make sure that it is, you know, that is responsible for the use of AI. I mean, I think Eightfold I know at Heidrick two we believe what we do is to provide intelligence to help humans make stronger decisions. It’s not about leveraging AI to make all your decisions. But just making sure that this is being done in a responsible way, I think is really important. So those are kind of three critical takeaways to look at, you know, things that you want and what you need to look for. You know, when you look at this type of transformation for leadership intelligence,

Erin Sowden 46:54
I think the piece that you just mentioned is probably one of the natural substances that any HR practitioner has. I don’t want an AI algorithm or a machine, if you will, you know, providing insights that quite frankly, I’ve been able to do, based upon my expertise for ages and ages. So this is not replacing that whatsoever. What this is doing is quite frankly, giving you data and insights that you can leverage and apply your expertise directly to and it’s not perfect, it’s not going to give you the exact answer every single time. And that’s why your expertise, your understanding of your organization, the partnerships and the relationships that you make with your leaders, those are still very much paramount in the conversations and the decisions. It also is agile, right? It’s not a static output that you can’t change, you can go in and apply different filters and look at things or different lenses, and really start to be planful with your succession opportunities and some of the work that you’re doing and so that it doesn’t relieve or remove the HR practitioner from the the equation it actually just enhances your ability to add value. And so I think that’s, that sometimes is a hesitance and it certainly was to myself a hesitance of deploying some of these strategies.

Andrea Shiah 48:12
Yeah. So I ‘m gonna open it up. Now I think about the questions. I think one of the things, we got a really good question here, trying to get this done, and then feel free if you want to, I’m going to if you want to go into the chat and ask any questions that you have, I think we’re going to spend some time now going through this. So a really good question. Very specific question that we got in the chat. That was really about kind of how Eightfold and hydric works together. I think if you take a look at Heidrick and Eightfold, Hydric Navigator is actually a kind of joint platform that really focuses on leadership talent. So we’ve actually found a way to bring the best of both worlds together. So the interoperability is definitely happening and built into the platform. And what’s happening is, you know, we’re able to leverage as Erin shared, a full hydraulics, leadership assessments, again, proven through many, many years and with lots of success is available right to cook to your leadership so that you can end up understanding kind of what is the strength of leadership across your organization consistently. And at the same time, we also involve a fold of AI right, as I talked about being able to look at skills, incorporate those skills and also be able to look at the intelligence around like, what does a successful leader look like? Being able to identify what I talked about domain expertise, being able to find that within the organization and future potential leaders are all things that kind of come into play when you combine both skills and leadership intelligence. So I just wanted to answer that question about how this works.

Erin Sowden 50:19
I think that’s well said, I mean, like you said, it just combines the best of both worlds together. eightfold being a tried and true and certainly an industry leader and expert in the skills and how we unlock the ability for employees to chart their own path within organizations and provide those insights, coupled with a real deep focus on the top level of the organization. Right, our leaders, our executives, and those combinations are very powerful as we work together.

Andrea Shiah 50:49
Yeah. So I don’t know if there’s any other questions, anyone in the audience wants to add? I’ll tell you one question I see a lot as I talk to HR leaders, and maybe we can talk about this a little bit. Erin, there’s lots of questions about, okay, if I want to transform, like how do I get started? Where to read my mind, learning.

Erin Sowden 51:20
And I think there’s often that hesitance, if I could speak to that even to it’s this, I’m hesitant to enter into a relationship with an organization like Heidrick are Eightfold, because we’re just not there yet, right, our data isn’t sophisticated enough. And that’s often a concern and a barrier. What I can say to that, and we have clients today using hydric navigator that literally walked in with not a single job description, right, not even a single piece of information besides a title and a, a relatively relatively sophisticated job architecture, all the way to organizations that have robust competency platforms and programs and the like. So all over the place in terms of sophistication, you don’t need to walk in the door. With complete data, you don’t need to walk in the door with robust information. That’s the only way that this is going to work. That’s why you’re partnering with organizations like Eightfold and hijack, because we bring that to you. Now, certainly, we want to partner and make sure that it makes sense within your organization. But we were able to provide success profiles that account for each of those components that I showed you in the assessment site before that, so we come forward. And then we marry that expertise together. So it is not where the barrier to entry is not having to have sophisticated data and insights. And I’m sure you can speak to that too, in terms of the plethora of APR clients that you might have with the sophistication of data that they’re walking in the door, or they don’t even need to necessarily have an hrs as a system like Workday. You could have, you know, simply we were all in the old school ways of managing data before and we’re just helpful, unable to get you to that next level. So, Andrea, I’m sure you can relate to multiple levels of expertise walking in the door and sophistication.

Andrea Shiah 53:10
Yeah, I mean, I think most HR leaders that we talked to even for the largest companies don’t have extensive data about their employees, and what skills they have the latest information about the kind of training they’ve done or projects they’ve worked on. And so one thing that’s really great about having an intelligence platform is we’re able to aggregate any data that you have. And we’re able to build on that data. Obviously, with hydric. It’s the assessments coming into play. And so I think having that ability makes things really much more effective when you’re trying to talk about talent. So that’s one thing that’s really a great benefit. Even if you have no data or very little data or any data you have, it’s usually all over the place, being able to put that into one place so that you can review talent becomes really important. The other thing I’d say about getting started, I find a lot of questions come up like, oh, how do I make my organization I’m worried about this change about making my organization more skills oriented, or Intel, you know, really leveraging this intelligence, how hard that’s gonna be. But I feel like the reality of the situation is nobody in the organization needs to know you’re becoming more skills oriented, right? It’s really about making it easier, more transparent for people, right, giving them the opportunity for mobility, giving them the transparency about other opportunities that they might match to making that happen, is a really positive thing. And so the idea of being nervous about becoming skills based, you don’t have to be nervous about it because it’s really about the kind of the outcomes that your employees and leaders and stakeholders will experience.

Erin Sowden 54:59
Yeah, just being transparent about the culture shift that you’re trying to make to enable. There’s a question in the chat, Andrea, that you might be best to answer a little bit about: how do we keep the data confidential? Right. So within the eightfold platform, how do we make sure that that particular organization’s data is not available to other organizations?

Andrea Shiah 55:22
Oh, yeah. Yeah, no, that’s you have to be very careful across all the talent functions. I mean, eightfold manages a large scope of the talent process, everything from, you know, talent acquisition, talent management, things like planning for talent, looking at job architecture. And so one of the things there’s very different individuals with different roles, if you look at all the stakeholders, right, you’ve got employees, you’ve got leaders, you’ve got HR leadership, you’ve got people, leaders, you’ve got specific organizations, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of flexibility with a fold to establish accessibility, because of the confidentiality of that data. And because of the kind of need to know that data becomes really important. So that is something that we’re very careful about, you know, in terms of setting up accessibility to data, we also have, you know, there are some of our customers that might be have a need to look at, you know, diversity to make sure that there is an inclusive process that is in place, and what is the performance around around that that is highly confidential intelligence. And so we’re very careful and very good at making sure the availability data is really based on a need to know basis.

Erin Sowden 56:49
Yeah, absolutely. Even within the hydric navigator platform, there’s, you know, user permissioning, right, where it could be, quite frankly, that your organization decides that at first, this type of intelligence is only available to the HR practitioners within the organization. And slowly over time, as that culture shifts and changes, you open up the opportunity reports and the like and assessment results, of course, to leaders within your organization. So we have the ability to kind of control if you will, the lens that people are viewing this information and this data within your organization.

Andrea Shiah 57:26
So, Erin, fun, I think we’re at the end of our time, unfortunately, I could talk about this all day with you. And thank you, everyone, for joining us. This has been a delightful discussion.

Erin Sowden 57:39
Yeah, thank you very much. And like I said, I’m just excited with where this is gonna take us. And we appreciate your time and your attention. Just the fact that you’re here shows that you’re interested in moving in the right direction and making good decisions. So thank you.

HRE Moderator 57:56
Thank you for attending today’s webinar, you may disconnect and have a wonderful rest of your day.

Erin Sowden 58:01
Thanks. Thank you. You too.

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