Audio production by James Ede, Be Heard

Prefer listening on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify? Just click below.

Dave Ulrich is the father of modern HR. Ranked as the #1 management guru by Business Week, profiled by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 creative people in business, a top 5 coach in Forbes, and recognised on Thinkers50 (Hall of Fame) as one of the world’s leading business thinkers, he has a passion for ideas with impact.

I asked him about ideas with the most impact that he encountered in his 40-year career as a management thinker and consultant.

To my delight, Dave considers the shift of focus – from individual talent to culture – to be one of the most game-changing ideas in HR in the past decades.

But, just because focusing on culture is so important, it doesn’t mean that organizations do a good job at cultivating the kind of culture that helps them win in the marketplace.

Dave noticed that, in most cases, companies approach shaping culture from the inside out – focusing on who we are, what we do and how we do it. While it’s not necessarily wrong, Dave suggests that it’s certainly not enough.

And he encourages leaders to identify the right culture and shape it “from the outside in”.

Episode Highlights
  • Dave Ulrich’s first encounter with HR
  • What is the “value of values” and why the phrase “…so that” should be an integral part of our conversations about culture
  • Who has the primary responsibility for shaping culture
  • What’s the role of HR in shaping culture
  • How to be a culture architect and anthropologist in your own organisation
  • Why senior leaders have resistance to doing culture work in their own organisations
  • Key competencies HR executives have to master to be a valued member of management teams

Listen to the interview in the player below, or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review and it may be featured on a future episode.

Audio production by James Ede, Be Heard

Prefer listening on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify? Just click below.

More about Dave Ulrich

In his writing, teaching, and consulting, Dave continually seeks new ideas that tackle some of the world’s thorniest and longest standing challenges.

His bestselling books and popular speeches inspire the corporate and academic agenda. Dave has co-authored over 30 books and 200 articles that have shaped three fields:

Organization. With co-authors, he has influenced thinking about organizations by empirically showing how organization delivers 4 times business results over talent (Victory Through Organization), defined organizations as bundles of capabilities (Organization Capability) and worked to delineate capabilities of talent management (Why of Work; Talent Accelerator), culture change (GE Workout), learning (Learning Organization Capability), and collaboration (Boundaryless Organization).

Leadership. With colleagues, he has also articulated the basics of effective leadership (Leadership Code and Results-Based Leadership), connected leadership with customers (Leadership Brand), shown how leadership delivers market value (Why the Bottom Line Isn’t), shaped investor expectations and ability to measure leadership (Leadership Capital Index), and synthesized ways to ensure that leadership aspirations turn into actions (Leadership Sustainability).

Human Resources. He and his colleagues have shaped the HR profession and he has been called the “father of modern HR” and “HR thought leader of the decade” by focusing on HR outcomes, governance, competencies, and practices (HR Champions; HR Value Added; HR Transformation; HR Competencies; HR Outside In). He spearheaded a “gift” book on the future of HR (The Rise of HR) distributed to over 1,500,000 HR professionals), in which 70 thought leaders freely share their insights.

He has spoken to large audiences in 88 countries; performed workshops for over half of the Fortune 200; and coached successful business leaders. He is co-founder of the RBL Group a consulting firm that increases business results through leadership, organisation, and human resources. He gives back to the profession and others, having worked as Editor of Human Resource Management for 10 years, being a Trustee and advisor to universities and other professional groups, and serving on the Herman Miller board for 15 years. He is known for continually learning, turning complex ideas into simple solutions, and creating real value for those he works with.

Dave and his wife, Wendy, serve frequently in their church, have 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and get their greatest glee when their grandkids’ eyes light up at seeing them.

Authors to Follow

Professor Linda Gratton
Ram Charan
Jeffrey Pfeffer
Charles O’Reilly
Edward Lawler
Steve Denning

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