“Organisations with people driven by purpose & passion, don’t need to manage them by position & hierarchy”, Richard Lobo

All good decisions are made using a combination of both data and gut feel, Richard Lobo, EVP & head HR, Infosys, for HR 2020 Forecast

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Technology, data, employee experience: What’s high on agenda

The focus for 2020 will be on the ‘human at work’ and on ‘making work more human’.

To make this happen, we will have to focus on all the three — technology, data and employee experience. Put together, these make the triad that defines the future of work. To me, intelligent usage of data and technology makes for better employee experience. That makes for happy and engaged employees, who, in turn, make for happy and engaged customers and the circle continues this way.

The biggest challenge for HR in your sector

The biggest challenge will be to enable people to be future-ready.

A huge amount of learning and reskilling is needed in the technology field, because of the pace at which technology and business are changing. Getting ready for the future has to be a constant effort from everyone.

Another challenge is embracing new ways of working. Today, we have a multigenerational workforce coming together at the workplace, and that makes for an interesting work environment. While there are barriers and differences, creating a common purpose is what HR needs to focus on. Purpose, together with evolving technology, communication tools and willingness to experiment, is what will make work and the workplace exciting.

Data Deluge: More power to HR

It is never an ‘either/or’ situation. All good decisions are made using a combination of both data and gut feel.

Gut feel is the sum total of one’s experiences, emotions, and knowledge. Hence, it is very close to us, and as humans, we rely on it a lot. That’s the way it is supposed to be, and it’s good to bring emotions and passion to work. Cold, hard data, on the other hand, is available to everyone. It adds value to our experience, helps us make decisions and also tells us things in a dispassionate way. The combination of the emotional and the logical is what makes good decisions.

With the increasing ease of access to data, better analytical tools, and processing power, we have tremendous power to add to our instincts. We just need to embrace both.

The future of ‘Teal’ organisations

I believe the concepts expounded by this theory are already in practice in good organisations and have been there for quite some time. They may not have been defined in this particular manner before, but they definitely do exist in practice. Any organisation, which has started from the ground up, and has moved up to become great has relied on these qualities through its evolution. It is the qualities of self-management, wholeness and evolutionary purpose, which make good organisations tick and perform.

If organisations have people who are driven with purpose and passion, then there is no need to manage them by position and hierarchy. Such organisations are naturally in close touch with their clients, are agile and also responsive to business needs. This is not a utopian vision of the future but is something that all good companies have in their DNA today. One just needs to observe the best, learn from them and incorporate what works.

(This article first appeared in HRKatha print magazine)

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