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The case for CHROs to focus on strategy and offload admin, with Dominic Barton

Dominic’s extensive leadership experience at McKinsey allows him to make succinct recommendations that influence strategy.

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In this interview, Dom identifies people as “the linchpin of every successful transformation,” while emphasizing the importance of CHRO’s unwavering focus on talent as a key driver of success.

There are many sources of talent. 

Organizations frequently experience tunnel vision when it comes to talent sources, often placing  disproportionate value on  Ivy League talent. Dom recommends that HR cast their net more broadly to tap into new centers of talent.

Critical role analysis.

Leaders need to identify the characteristics and precise skills required to excel in each role. The old adage of promoting people who ‘deserve it’ regardless of how their skills map puts organizations at a disadvantage.

Link talent to value creation. 

As companies’ priorities change, certain roles will drive disproportionate value. Leaders must be courageous to identify those critical roles and teams, and invest deeply in their success.

Leverage tools to assess culture. 

Organizations have hesitated to put rigor around people and talent. However,  leaders who are committed to sustained culture change need to integrate robust measurement tools into their techstacks to measure and track culture adoption and impact.

Radically shift ‘HR’.  

Dom calls for a radical redesign of the CHRO portfolio. He recommends that all administrative tasks, such as payroll and benefits, be transfered to the CFO. This purposefully allows the CHRO to focus on important and strategic talent problems, and to craft quick and meaningful solutions.