Subir Verma

Why HR Should think like a CEO? | Subir Verma | Head -HR, IR & Medical Services | Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd

Subir Verma

If I want to reach from point A to point B, there may be many roads which can take me to the destination. But, the path I choose would depend on what is my motivation and purpose? Do I want to reach the destination faster & then enjoy or I want to enjoy the journey more, than bothering about reaching the destination faster. Both are right and it is an individual choice. I feel, most HR professional choose to enjoy the journey than worrying about the reaching destination faster. The destination could be what many love to debate, a seat on the table for HR or why more HR guys do not become CEO?

I feel there are two reasons to it. One as shared above, most of the HR folks wants to enjoy the journey of being in HR and create the impact. Second, those who want to reach the destination faster & become a CEO, do they have right competency, exposure and opportunity to be the CEO.

CEO’s role in one line is to create value for Customer, Shareholders, Society and Environment it operates by using internal and external resources for short terms and long term growth of the business, by anticipating and managing internal & external challenges. Among the most critical drivers to achieve the goal is its people. Machine, Material can be acquired, but it is the people which makes a company great.

If we look closely at today’s most successful companies, they all have one thing in common: happy people. Who is supposed to have better understanding of people than HR?

Being a CEO is factor of many probabilities, some which one can control and some beyond control. What is in one’s hand and will take them to the next level is, HR should think like a CEO, build competencies required for a CEO and grab the opportunity when it comes. Based on sector, geography, culture, opportunity, these may vary and could be many more. I have shortlisted 6S,

1. Short Speech, Big idea and Better Execution
People are smarter than we think. They do not need explanation for most of the thing. They get inspired by the vision, big idea and by watching in action, make opinion, and execute better. Incremental growth or business plan is normal and does not excite. Long presentations and meetings needs to make way for shortest content backed by the right intent. Every speech should have one big idea that gets people excited. interested and makes things memorable for them.

2. Simplify and Shoot Straight
There are many organization whose structure, business and operational models are so complex that it takes few days to really understand. Vision, Mission, Values, Organization structure, Process, Policy and Practices needs to be as simple, direct and short as possible if we want the employees to focus on core aspects of business. One of way to test simplicity is to just share these with new recruits in the company. If they are able to understand without asking questions, then it is simple. If explanation is required, then further simplification is recommended. Know the pulse of people, customer, stakeholders to communicate frequently & authentically.

3. Sense of Purpose for future
More than money or any benefits, people give their best if they feel the purpose and how important is his contribution to the company? Our dream, believe in that dream and strategy to achieve that dream set the future direction for everyone. People will go out and make it happen. They will be with you, in good times and bad.

4. Solve with Technology with heart of humanity
Digitalization efforts that were expected to take five years have happened in just few months in 2020 due to pandemic. Technology is the future and only prediction which will come true is that faster we adopt, better it is for the business. Integrate digital and technology into everything to make it agile, productive and future ready. Technology must be at the core of the business only after people. People have emotion, technology does not. People must be treated with dignity and empathy in all conditions. People will remember about how they were treated in bad times and pay back.

5. Synergy and Ownership of Business
Being aware of company business is not enough, we must know the business, inside and out.  Product, Services, Customers, competitors, how company generates revenue, financials and impact of different scenarios on the business. Measure outcomes, achievement and contribution, not work processes or efforts. One have to understand the numbers very well. How else can one offer a substantial, intelligent opinion back by data and trend in the industry, if one does not understand numbers well?

6. Speed is more important than being right
All companies are innovating their product, services, business model, pricing, technology and almost every part of the business. One can never be perfect. Go to market even if you are reasonable confident, but not perfect. The pace of the world, already breakneck, has accelerated even more because of the crisis. A timely decision is better than perfect delayed decision.

Times have changed. Earlier one used to think through the story from start till the end in the mind, before beginning to writing. But, life is not that simple and always has uncertainty around it. In current times, sometimes one has to just go ahead, write and story unfold as one go along. Being a CEO or seat on the table is the outcome. For me, what is more important is that, HR work with a “CEO mind-set”, “build CEO like competency” and “think & act like a CEO” so that when opportunity comes, one is ready and be the best CEO.