Josh Kaufman in his book How to Fight a Hydra states, “People strive to make their world comprehensible, predictable, and rewarding, but their locus of control extends only so far. No matter who you are, what you do, or the resources you have at your disposal, you have to learn to live with uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity, and fear of the unknown. That’s the cause of our discontent: we want to be assured of the outcome before we invest.”
“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.” – Kakuzo Okakura
Although change can be uncomfortable, it is a constant and can become a driving force for the shifts we may need in our lives. Those resistant to change will have a more challenging time in the coming years. Stagnation is suffocating, fear is paralysing. When a storm hits our lives, adaptability becomes a powerful tool. The levels and layers within change (looming, or unexpected) make us more courageous and adaptable, giving us the opportunity to view life through a much wider lens.
In this third episode of the series Adaptable HR - The Future is Now which features, Norlida Azmi, Chief People and Culture Officer, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Malaysia; Shaswat Kumar, Vice President & Asia Head - Payroll, Advisory, and Cloud Solutions, Alight Solutions, and Yasmin Taj, Senior Editor, People Matters, watch them reflect on why speed, agility, and adaptability will continue to be the top trends for businesses.
Chapter-1: Adaptability in HR: A brief overview
In this rapidly evolving business ecosystem, adaptability plays a central role in helping organisations navigate the uncertain and ambiguous future. The third-edition of Asia-Pacific’s largest study on the State of HR Transformation, recently launched by Alight Solutions in partnership with People Matters, focuses on the theme Adaptable HR. As businesses, talent and the HR community at large, face unprecedented situations triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, the study shows how being adaptable is no longer a choice, it is imperative, it is inevitable.
Everything at the workplace is undergoing a dramatic transformation and interestingly, what could have been a reality of the future, has now become the present. Kickstart your journey of Adaptable HR, in this first chapter of the episode, with Shaswat Kumar, Vice President & Asia Head - Payroll, Advisory, and Cloud Solutions, Alight Solutions as he decodes what Adaptable HR means and why it is the next curve for your business impact.
Chapter-2: Insights from Asia Pacific’s largest study on the State of HR Transformation: A deeper outlook
In the second chapter of this episode, Shaswat Kumar, Vice President & Asia Head - Payroll, Advisory, and Cloud Solutions, Alight Solutions answers the following key questions that might puzzle you when you activate your Adaptable journey:
- What does adaptability look like?
- What are the signs of adaptability?
- What are the kind of outcomes one should expect from their adaptable HR journey?
Moving ahead, Shaswat delves deeper into the insights of the State of HR Transformation Study 2020 as Norlida Azmi, Chief People and Culture Officer, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Malaysia poses questions on how can one navigate through the following key milestones in the Adaptable HR journey which addresses themes like:
- Enabling business transformation through HR transformation
- Moving away from HR Organisation’s 3-pillar model and focus on model-specific roles
- The top gaps in HR effectiveness agenda
- Tipping points for HR
Chapter-3: CHRO’s take on adaptability in HR
Reflecting on the enablers of successful transformation from Asia-Pacific’s largest study on the State of HR Transformation, it was found most of the success comes through when HR is willing to change itself. In fact, resistance to change from HR is the biggest barrier in realising transformation. In the third chapter of the episode, Norlida Azmi, Chief People and Culture Officer, Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Malaysia shares how the organisation is approaching a logical, disciplined, and impactful strategy towards the art of becoming adaptable.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q1. What does adaptability mean to you in today’s context?
Everybody talks about the new normal, but for us, we wanted to do this transformation earlier. What happened is that the current situation has given more dimensions to our transformation plans and has further sensitised the business strategy for this transformation. When you talk about adaptability, for us, it is how we change our operating procedures internally so that we are still on point to meet our goals - financial, people, risks, etc. and all of this becomes very complex. And as far as the lockdown is concerned, it really tests your nimbleness, how fast you can shed your old skin and adopt new ways of working. As an organisation, we feel, adaptability is very important for serving all stakeholders - customers, management, and workforce. We have recently introduced ‘adaptability’ as one of our core values and right now we are in our journey on defining ability and collaboration.
Q2. Going through the State of HR Transformation Study 2020, what are some of the trends you relate with the most?
I resonate completely with all the ten insights shared by the State of HR Transformation Study by Alight Solutions and People Matters. As I mentioned previously, we are going through a transformation which is very much focused on culture and people, so the foremost finding that I relate with is aligning HR transformation with business transformation. Under this, we are looking at redefining the roles, acknowledging the changes in the skills, and planning reskilling methodologies to equip our workforce with the right skills and behaviours to respond to the future business needs.
Q3. What are some trends that will be relevant for tomorrow?
The pandemic has brought a better sense of preparedness for the unknown.
Most of us have never been through a crisis like this that completely changed the way we operate and work within minutes. In all these six months of the crisis, what I feel is that agility and speed will continue to define an organization’s success. Resilience, collaboration, flexibility and empowering people managers should be the need of the hour to respond to the changes irrespective of any crisis.
Q4. How are you looking at accelerating your HR function to make it more adaptable?
We are already on our journey to the transformation and as I mentioned, adaptability is core to what we do. So, the HR team is already on the right path, but one thing that I especially want to highlight here is that what really makes us lead this transformation and will help us to continue to mobilize this transformation journey, is the right mix of the diversity of experience and skills in the workforce. Most of our employees are below the age of 40 and then we have employees who have spent over 30 years in this company; so the right mix of new practices and reflections from past experience will help us accelerate our HR goals.