The digital transformation that the world is experiencing today has not only been disruptive on work processes but also on HR management, with immense pressure to produce effective change leadership accompanied by measurable and speedy results. As an HR professional, I was recently asked a great question - “What is a key ingredient for success in this dynamic world?”
The answer that came to mind is “Passion”. While passion is perceived as more of an emotion than a hard skill, the context that I am coming from is that passion is the inner motor - the inner drive that propels a person forward and keeps that person going. Passion allows us to climb over the walls that hinder us, break down the walls that cannot be scaled, and chisel away at walls that cannot be battered down.
In a digital age where speed is of the essence, and any lapse could see competitive advantages eroded in a blink of an eye, this trait of passion in employees is more relevant than ever. Passion is key - people who are passionate about their occupation will look at every obstacle as an opportunity to create something new, and view every problem as an opportunity to collaborate to develop the right solution. Passion nurtures the right environment for digital transformation.
With a career in HR with Air Liquide that has spanned 10 years working across Europe, Africa and now Asia, I have had the opportunity to meet many senior managers in Air Liquide and I have often been impressed by the diversity and extent of their professional background.
It takes grit and a high degree of adaptability to take on vastly different roles, but ultimately, passion has always been the common denominator, driving the learning and acquisition of the skills to take on positions and challenges that have been thrust upon them. It is a strong foundation and one which I feel has allowed Air Liquide to be prepared for the digital transformation challenges of today.
One key Air Liquide strategy to support the talent pipeline for future leadership has been to identify fresh graduates with leadership potential, who are then groomed through a fast-track career development journey in Air Liquide. This program has to be supported by dedicated managers who are both mentors and role models for these talents. This Corporate Culture is a key competitive advantage for Air Liquide to meet the challenges of tomorrow, but one that has to be sustained by passion, both by the talents constantly being challenged, and managers who play a crucial role to keeping them motivated.
The changing landscape means that the challenges that HR will face will continue to evolve. While this calls for an overhaul of strategy, it is obvious that passion will continue to be a critical component of the HR vision and ensure that the flame of passion continues to burn throughout the employee life cycle.
I will close off with a quote from visionary, founder and Chairman of the Virgin Group who once said, “To be successful, leaders will need to be passionate about their work’s purpose, and even more passionate about their team”.
As HR practitioners, it is up to us to identify and catalyze this passion in our future leaders, and then up to these leaders to spur this passion in their teams.
'Today’s Talent; Tomorrow’s Success: Its all about Passion' is contributed by Nicolas De Poncins.