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A Global Conversation about HR

Can Yesterday’s CHRO Be Today’s CPO?

How HR Leaders Can Reshape the Future of the Function

Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) are under pressure. They know, perhaps better than almost every other organizational officer, that leadership is evolving and this requires personal and team development to advance as well. However, when it comes to developing HR leaders for the future, CHROs often do not receive much support. They are caught between an administrative and a transformational role and struggling to deliver on lofty expectations set by CEOs without the appropriate resources or recognition—in some cases—within their organizations.

While some organizations have made a shift in title from CHRO to Chief People Officer (CPO), often that move is in name alone, without regard for the broader cultural and contextual change involved. It is essentially, moving from heading a function (administrative) to leading the most critical asset in the organization (people). While this may sound obvious, the nuances of this evolution are numerous and deserve further exploration.

We wanted to find out what was on HR leaders minds’ at this juncture and how to better support HR leaders in making these sweeping changes—to both the function and to themselves. Egon Zehnder convened leaders of the HR function in 20 cities around the world for candid discussions about what’s working in HR (and what isn’t) and to start a conversation about the need to invest more in the people function so HR leaders can play the role that is expected of them.

Five Part Series

Part 1: Leading Organizational and Functional Transformation

Part 1: Leading Organizational and Functional Transformation

Ask an HR leader what term he or she believes is most overused, and the response would likely be “transformation.” How can CHROs eliminate… Read more

Part 2: The New Skills to Lead HR Today and Tomorrow

Part 2: The New Skills to Lead HR Today and Tomorrow

HR leaders spend much of their time investing in the career development of others, but now is the time for them to also invest… Read more

Part 3: Leveraging Technology and Innovation Effectively

Part 3: Leveraging Technology and Innovation Effectively

Almost every HR process has been impacted by major technology innovations—being either redesigned or completely reinvented. What do CHROs need to know about data… Read more

Part 4: How HR Can Champion Culture, Values, Vision and Mission

Part 4: How HR Can Champion Culture, Values, Vision and Mission

Being the culture advocate for the company may feel outside of some CHROs’ comfort zones. How can HR leaders rally the organization around a… Read more

Part 5: Building and Retaining the Workforce of the Future

Part 5: Building and Retaining the Workforce of the Future

Diversity and inclusion just got more complicated. With five generations in the workplace, HR leaders need to account for extreme age diversity and differing… Read more

Global Conversation Locations

Take a Deeper Read

Rethinking the People Agenda

Rethinking the People Agenda

Human Resources

Technology, new generations in the workforce and a greater emphasis on leadership is giving CHROs an opportunity to create a future-ready organization. But with… Read more

“Transformation” Transformed

“Transformation” Transformed

Human Resources

As companies harness technology and data to transform into more agile organizations, they must also transform their cultures to support this operating shift. It… Read more

Founders: Keep the Mindset, Change the Modus Operandi

Founders: Keep the Mindset, Change the Modus Operandi

Leadership Solutions

Trapped between trust and transformation—why change is so hard for founder-led companies and how they can evolve. Read more

People Strategies in the Age of Disruption and Transformation

People Strategies in the Age of Disruption and Transformation

Human Resources

In today’s world of unprecedented change and complexity, traditional human resources (HR) management models have become obsolete and need to be refreshed. HR leaders… Read more

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