Ep 3 | Decoding Future Leadership | Performance and Productivity
EPISODE 3: Performance and Productivity
We now live in a world where talent is rarer than capital. Decoding Future Leadership is an audio-visual podcast breaking open the capabilities, technologies, growth strategies and mental fitness required to lead our future working world. This week, Adam Kyriacou, Partner at Fisher Leadership, interviews Vipul Mathur, Chief Business Officer, Talent Solutions, PeopleStrong.
High growth companies need their leaders to have the courage to take a value-driven approach in the competitive, hybrid world. This is no easy task. This podcast episode discusses the tools leveraged by value-driven people leaders to harness technology when it comes to performance, productivity, and belonging.
Vipul Mathur emphasises that today’s first priority for leaders should be to drive alignment in teams. He discusses the imperative for each team member to understand how they are contributing to the bigger picture. Such clarity is a two-way channel, with leadership gaining oversight on where talent gaps may lie. Vipul says additionally when people understand the way talent is aligned to growth, people begin to identify their own capabilities and need for development. Driving a culture of visibility and foresight is key to responding quickly to opportunities.
Mathur asks, ‘Now that we are not on the front line with physical sales, where are we getting the customer signals from? And if we are not aware of the way the market is moving, how can we know what capabilities are needed to fill these gaps?’
The answer? High-growth companies are leveraging technology… connecting the dots between purpose and values, skills and outcomes. PeopleStrong has the HR tech capability to unify disparate company data points in their propriety skill cloud. PeopleStrong launched its Talent OS 12 months ago, believing talent is the core differentiator between any organisation and their competitor.
Mathur notes, ‘The balance between values, performance and productivity is the balancing act that operating systems can bring to the table seamlessly.’
While we tend to think of values-driven leadership as something innately human, in today’s hybrid world we need to combine empathy and purpose with a data-driven approach. Increasingly, the ability to enhance people’s performance is coming through market intelligence and AI.
To lend a real-life example, Mathur shares the story of Genie, an AI-driven, virtual coach that can be accessed by all employees. Genie proactively prompts employees, checking on mental health, giving tips to work towards business outcomes, and helping fill capability gaps with upskilling suggestions.
Genie then prompts team leaders to act using the intelligence gained. Genie might ask them, ‘Do you want to have a conversation? Perhaps it is time to build this relationship?’ By sharing data about how they are performing, and where they might be struggling, leaders are able to bring greater value to the conversations. Genie then provides an additional layer of information to the CEO or Executive about how people around the firm are connecting, responding to each other, and building capability.
When it comes to the future of productivity and performance, it seems the Genie is out of the bottle!
Mathur insists that technology is an enabler of culture. He explains, ‘Technology has two uses: data to drive better decisions and reduce opportunity cost, and data to connect and engage better conversations.’
Technology like PeopleStrong pulls data from across the company to collate relevant insights in real time. For example, rich data across geographies reveals drivers of human behaviour, intelligence across industries reveals trends and market shifts in the making, recruitment data provides insight into what new roles are gathering momentum within the context, and hiring outcomes show us what skills are needed for these new roles.
Aggregated data can help address the common challenges in the current hybrid environment that Mathur hears about regularly:
- How do I drive agility?
- How do I drive accountability?
- How do I scale?
- How do we build capability?
- How do we drive engagement?
And importantly, where would an organisation start?
- With the executive strategy in place
- With an operating plan in place
- With the right structures in place
Mathur introduces us to the CSC model, one he says enables high growth companies to really leverage results. What does CSC stand for?
As we are all aware, culture starts at the top. Leaders need to be clear on the value creation they are currently offering, and ask what is their future ambition? The strategy follows on from this and the result should be a very clear value proposition. Next, leaders must ask ‘What are the operating systems that will enable this strategy? Do we have the know-how, the capability, and the skills to take you forward for growth?’
When this CSC framework hangs together, it is not difficult to deploy at scale, assures Mathur.
So why are so many organisations struggling to implement and integrate technology in a way that values the human-centric experience of work? According to Mathur:
- Companies rarely have one comprehensive talent operating system
- Companies are operating in silos
- Companies are failing to correlate data for business outcomes
Using AI to aggregate comprehensive data gives leaders the insights needed to create contextual learning paths for people to upskill for a clear future role that will lead to a clear future business outcome.
As we embrace a future where hybrid working is the norm, how do we embrace high performance for our customers while looking after our teams?
Here are the key hacks from this compelling conversation:
- Communication from leaders is the most important thing to align teams
- Focus on outcomes and empower the managers and team members who can unlock those outcomes, through data and insights
- Embrace collaboration as we have moved from hierarchical structure to a network structure, this must reflect the way we values-align our people
- Invest in wellbeing
- Think about skills upgrades as upgrading the operating system of your people
- Leverage technology to bring all this together because people and systems both work better when they are interconnected.
This, says Mathur, is the recipe for growth.
The PeopleStrong Talent Operating System is an AI-powered integrated talent management platform that helps organisations recruit, mentor, retain, and engage their future-ready workforce. It takes disparate and distributed data points illustrating the lifecycle of an individual and offers insights for career decisions moving forward.
Decoding Future Leadership is a collaboration between PeopleStrong, APAC’s Customer’s Choice for HR Tech, and Fisher Leadership. Each episode addresses the challenges of a hybrid workforce, with a blend of human capability and HR technology solutions.