Strategic CHRO?! Now it is your turn!

April 6, 2020

“You cannot change the wind, but you can adjust the sails of the boat to arrive where you want.” Confucius

HR leaders: This is a great moment! The decisive climax for the Strategical CHRO!

In all the world-wide human resources congresses of leaderships of late years - or, even of the last decades - the thematic anchor has been “the Strategical HR”, one ode to the coming times in which the HR would finally occupy its deserved role as the organization helmsman. Certainly, a pertinent thematic in face of the increasing potential loss of influence of the HR area in the organizational decision- center power, in which the Finance and Operation Departments leader have increasingly occupied space with its arguments considered more “pragmatic, concrete” in the generation of value.

Even shorter cycles of the executive body and exacerbated focus on the return on capital in exiguous tenor have had as a common consequence in the long term deferral agenda in favor of immediate actions in the generation of value in the molds required by the global capital market. It is obvious that the HR Area has also deliveries of high impact in short term, in the heat of the emotions of current times. But its structural impact in the construction of the foundations of human capital and organizational drawing are much more relevant for the perpetuity and relevance of the organizations.

However, the kidnapping of structural agendas for short term actions was followed by the increasing of the process complexity in the management of human resources in uncertain, inhospitable and unstable environments. All bureaucratic agenda of human resources has been increasingly defied by new organizationals arrangements and more complex relations with stakeholders in this context of total transparency provoked by the social network, anachronic labor laws and syndical ostracism.

It is worth highlight the sprouting of the  Contemporary "Digital  HR" Guideline  with its myriad of possibilities on traditional process automation of human resources and updated models for qualification of the organizations to deal with this new power of work, and its different necessities, expectations and aspirations. Yet in this digital context - it is out of common place  the innumerable ludic, blinding and, many times, useless tools - the two great phenomena to be administered are the fearsome war of talents and the urgent necessity of reskilling and upskilling  the work power used in the companies.

And then the black swan Covid-19 appears! A social hecatomb!

Its impact in the organizational world was immediate: both for the lines of defense and for the attack forces. From one hand, the necessity of protection of the employees and reduction of the expenditures and investments; on the other hand, the urgency in adjusting operational models in times of social distancing. The rupture with the status quo has not presented advance warning! A sudden nightmare that insists on not leaving us for several weeks, perhaps months ahead

It is clear that the pandemic passes! In life, all passes! But the impact seems to also have left excellent landmarks for the society and for the organizations.

And, in this context of adversity, the moment is especially favorable for the accomplishment of the professional ambitions  of human resources: to become the Strategical CHRO.

At this present moment, shareholders, investors, advisor members and executives are immersed in multiple analyses of context, decoding diffuse signals, acting in multiple dimensions to mitigate the impacts in their organizations, becoming involved themselves with social responsibility agendas. And one of the main thematic is, inexorably, PEOPLE.

Therefore, Finance and Operation Departments leaders open space for Human Capital leaders, once the more critical area in this pandemic is exactly the continuity of the businesses made possible by people. Exactly the ones that, beyond the challenges of productivity, adaptability, happiness, capacity and health in the work, are now living with anxiety and agony the severe contemporary times, intensified by social distancing but already widely advanced by the institutional scourge of family, church, government and communities. There is no safe shelter, beyond oneself.

And amongst some possible papers for the Strategic CHRO, I detach the gold tripod:

1 To be the center of the management of the organizational performance, making possible the continuity of the business strategy of one side, and assuring work power capable, adaptable and compromised with the intention, the strategic vision and lines of direction.

2 To be the coordinating agent of the change management, balancing the natural search for stability and previsibility of the internal context with the dynamic external environment of volatility and uncertainty. Such duality is the performance core of the organizations, even more plastic, fluid and organic. Culture and leadership are the success keys (or failure).

3 To be the politic articulator of the power relations in favor of the necessity of organizational re-drawings, construction of productive ecosystem and value generation shared with multistakeholder. Sail in raging seas is for few.

Strategic CHRO's . “Come, let's go, as wait it is not wise, who knows makes the time and does not wait until it happens”.


Daniel Motta is the Founder and CEO of BMI Blue Management Institute, a leading niche consulting firm. He is a global thought leader focused on culture, strategy and leadership. He has a PhD in Economics, MSc in Financial Economics and BA in Economics. He is also an OPMer from Harvard Business School. He is the Managing Director of USA-based VC company White Fox Capital and the Senior Tupinambá Maverick of bossa&etc. He was a co-founder of Brazilian Society of Finance. He currently serves NGO UNIBES as Strategic Planning Principal. He is the author of the best selling books Essential Leadership and book Anthesis. He also has three articles published by Harvard Business Review. He is a Board Member of MASP.