Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation are driving unprecedented change, and with great change comes uncertainty. How do business leaders manage uncertainty? By bringing the power of humanity back into their organizations, said Leena Nair, chief human resources officer at Unilever, who delivered the Customer Innovation Keynote at Workday Rising Europe.
“As human beings, we have the talent, ingenuity, intelligence, and knowledge to create opportunity from all this change,” Nair told a packed auditorium in Barcelona last week. “Those who really thrive in an upside-down world are those who can bring a more human touch to what they do.”
Nair defined an upside-down world as one where the pace of business and disruption have challenged our staple assumptions about the way businesses operate, how and where people work, and the way they are managed.
“Whenever I speak to other CHROs, everybody talks about feeling overwhelmed,” she said. “We believed in hierarchies, vertical progression—that’s gone. Tomorrow’s world is about networks, integration, and making things happen in a very different way.”
That includes rapidly changing expectations across the workforce. “Gone are the days of building long career development plans,” she said. “Today is about saying ‘How do I have the experiences that matter to me, that make me a better professional than yesterday?’”