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Remastering people strategy to future-proof organizational success

November 10, 2022 - 7 min read

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Our top common challenges

Fully embrace digital to future-proof your people strategy

A redefinition of the talent and employee equation

The time to act is now: here's how

BetterUp recently hosted executive events in Paris and Munich. The conversations led to insights for leaders looking to reinvent and transform their organizations for the future.

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On my way to both cities, I noticed flying is getting easier. Airports are flowing better, and it feels like the logistics of commercial flying have settled into a new normal. This is not the case when it comes to work. Many executives are navigating a perfect storm of the evolving global market context and challenges. It feels like each day brings news requiring leaders to pause and consider how changes in politics, supply chains, and social movements will have a ripple effect on their initiatives, process work-flows, and people.

But despite the uncertainty everyone is feeling, the BetterUp events focused on solutions that can prepare people and organizations to come out of this storm stronger and better equipped with behaviors and mindsets needed for future success.  

The gatherings in both cities were intimate, with a dozen attendees, which created an environment of congeniality and trust. The groups consisted of BetterUp clients and leaders who don't use the platform but were happy to network with peers leading HR, sales, and marketing divisions. The intention was to build community and exchange best practices and ideas. The amazing locations and gastronomical experience in both cities was an absolute bonus.

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Our top common challenges

The conversations at the events emphasized that we are experiencing common challenges and opportunities. Here are the four themes that were top-of-mind for leaders in both cities.

1. The rapidly evolving geopolitical, economic order

2. Placing user-centric technology at the core of business model reinventions

3. New ways of working — hybrid, collaborative, and multidisciplinary — and how they are impacting business results and the expectations people have of their employer and leaders

4. The new sustainability imperative beyond environmental and social issues

Fully embrace digital to future-proof your people strategy

Looking at all four themes in the context of one another, it's clear that c-suite leaders must embrace the twin transition to digital and sustainability to future-proof their people strategy. Critical to successfully embracing digital is to rethink the organization's core business model and put user-centricity in the center as the north star. People expect a flawless, intuitive experience. Without that, initiatives will fail to engage a large enough employee population to get traction and make real impact.

Once people are at the center of the investment strategy, leaders must double down on good technology with a back-to-basics mindset: simple and irresistible platforms that facilitate a roadmap to bridge into the future. The best way for executives to transform their organization is by proactively supporting the transformation of their people's skills and career outlook.

Executives at the events are committed to this path. A large multilateral organization based in Paris is rethinking its employee talent lifecycle to infuse meaningful engagement and belonging to build opportunities. And a fast-growing process optimization software unicorn is strengthening its people strategy with a strong focus on its employee value chain and creating a culture of relentless innovation.

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A redefinition of the talent and employee equation

Learning and development, career growth, benefits, working arrangements — it all looks different today than it did several years ago. Employees now demand meaning in their lives and their work. This emphasis on purpose and passion is accompanied by a reshuffling of the power relationships at the workplace, in part due to new ways of working.

To fulfill people's expectations, leaders need to recognize and honor that people aren't solely workers. They have full lives with multiple identities. Businesses reap results by supporting the growth and development of the whole person. Engaged, creative, and confident workers deliver more productivity and innovation faster.

When leaders take time to understand their people, they understand their business better. Executives at the Munich event shared they were surprised the investment in BetterUp opened up parallel discussions that extracted structural challenges at their organizations. Coaching helped people to embrace authenticity and have honest conversations about what wasn't working, which gave leadership a new level of insight into the business.

The time to act is now: here's how

The current environment calls for action. Leaders need to take bold steps versus an incremental approach and nurture astute instincts that anticipate the winds to navigate the global geopolitical landscape. This starts with looking at employees as people with both a professional and personal life. It is absolutely clear employees demand meaning in their lives and their work. Foster this meaning, and through behavior change at an individual level, leaders will see the cultural shift that leads to organizational transformation and growth.

The events were successful, with executives from both saying they will come again and bring a guest. If you're interested in attending the next BetterUp executive event to network with peers and share and learn on the topics that matter most to you, please get in touch with the regional vice president closest to you. I hope to see you at an event soon!

DACH: Dagmar Golub or Angelika Elzahhar

France and Benelux: Adrien Monet

UK: Jonny Marriott or Laura Moniz de Aragao

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Published November 10, 2022

Guillermo Miranda

Guillermo is a seasoned senior executive with extensive leadership experience in complex multinational environments. Previously, he was Boeing’s Chief Learning Officer and VP of Leadership Development. He joined the Advantere Business School in Madrid, Spain in August 2022, and balances his time advising startups and early stage edtech digital platform ventures.

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