Changes in My Role As The Head of HR While Implementing Requisite Organization
- I was the director of Human Resources in a division at CIBC. I spent the next five years as the business HR resource implementing Requisite. org. During that period I was more a target of the change than really an agent. The learnings came later on when we took the learnings more internally.
- Most of my work as head of HR was highly tactical and operational in nature. I started operating as a true stratum three and start bridging the world between operational execution and strategy development. I didn't have a lot of difficulty adapting or resisting the change.
Speaker A My name is Rick Brown. I'm principal of an independent consulting company. My company called Insight Consulting. I started this company about three years ago when left a tier one organizatio..
Speaker A My name is Rick Brown. I'm principal of an independent consulting company. My company called Insight Consulting. I started this company about three years ago when left a tier one organization financial institution here in Canada. Let me tell you a little bit about how I got to that point. I've had a 30 year career in financial services in two major banks in Canada. The last ten years has been with CIBC. I've been operating or at that time operated as a stratum four VP of Human Resources. But I started my career in bank of Montreal Scant 30 years earlier coming out of university and joining a branch operational role, which after a training program would have been probably stratum two role. And then came into human resources and started working through a number of functional areas, largely a stratum one, progressing to a stratum two. And probably the last role as a head of staffing and employee relations group would have been a high two, possibly a low three role. Left that organization and went to CIBC where I came in as a solid stratum three. And this is where I got introduced to Requisite organization and spent a very interesting and challenging five years implementing Requisite organization. In the process moved from that stratum three role to a true stratum four strategic head of HR role. Just to put it in perspective, the division that I was responsible for grew from 1200 employees to about 1800. It had three locations across Canada, Vancouver, Montreal and most of the individuals, about 1000 located in Toronto. Contribution to the organization the bank overall was in the range of 200 to 250,000,000 net income before taxes. So it, it was a sizable organization. Let me tell you about the experience of implementing Requisite organization. I was the director of Human Resources in a division at CIBC. Had the good fortune of having a new business leader come in and ah, the business was was operating very successfully. In fact experiencing overwhelming success, growing exponentially. With that came the challenges of rapid growth in terms of duplication of effort, a lot of spin, lack of clarity. And the new business leader came in and she basically said, I know what is an operating structure that will allow us to create a framework in which we can take a lot of the noise out of the system. That operational structure was Requisite organization and I spent the next five years as the business HR resource implementing Requisite.org within that division. Now we were fortunate to have external consultants that partnered with us in terms of providing the technical understanding, the educational principles and doing a lot of the upfront assessment work in terms of looking at roles, levels within the organization, doing the assessment of where there were gaps and where there were compressions. So during that period I was more a target of the change than really an agent of the change. I think becoming the agent came later on when we took the learnings more internally within the organization. But through that whole period, with my first introduction to requisite, I found it very interesting in terms of both the academic aspect of the operating principles and the concept of delineation of accountability, both vertically and horizontally throughout the organization. And I'm going, wow, I can see this working. I very much was like a sponge in terms of trying to get as much kind of theory and understanding of the principles as possible. And as I was saying, being a target as well as an agent, this was really building my understanding and comfort with the principles of requisite.org. A good question that comes up is, how did my role change in that period? And the best way to describe it is, while I was the head of HR, and responsible for a team delivering HR services to the client group, I would describe most of that work as being highly tactical and operational in nature. So, again, within the functional area, so recruiting and compensation and employee relations and employee engagement and staffing, they were all kind of operational or tactical delivery. There wasn't a lot of forward thinking strategy. So while I would describe my role as the head of the HR function as a stratum three role, I think a good part of my time, just out of ignorance, was spent doing stratum two work. So when that got kind of fleshed out and understood, the next step was to say, okay, if that's not my work to do, I have a team of stratum two managers. So if I delegated that accountability and that responsibility to the team members of mine, that created a huge amount of capacity in my role to then start operating as a true stratum three and start bridging the world between operational execution and strategy development. And that's really the start of the evolution for me. And the move to the VP of HR. It's really it was getting clarity around the work that I was doing and the work that I shouldn't be doing, and then starting to focus on the work that I should do, which ultimately was at a much more higher and strategic level, and making a contribution to the team that I was supporting. So the question of how difficult the adjustment was for me is one that I can say. It wasn't that difficult, I think intellectually or academically? Academically. The principles seemed to make sense, and I think in looking back on it, it was principles at the right time that allowed me to it made sense, and it allowed me to kind of get to the next level at a time when I needed to get to the next level. And in that sense, it was very helpful for me. I didn't have a lot of difficulty adapting or resisting the change.