Companies often find it difficult to find common ground when it comes to incorporating AI with human relations. The conjecture often revolves around how AI and automation can put people out of jobs and entirely change the way companies conduct their businesses.
The CHRO of IBM, Diane Gherson however, has different views and she has translated the term “human+machine interaction” into HRM practices. Human Resources has traditionally been very process driven. The contribution of technology in improving customer experience is well documented, but little has been done in using it for enriching workplace experiences. Diane Gherson is a trailblazer when it comes to introducing agile technologies in the gamut of Human Resources. She has shifted the focus of HR in IBM from rigid to agile policies that are fast-paced, digital-centric and reciprocal and has replaced traditional HR methods with agile tools. Some of these tools include Mural - a platform where members can organize, share and develop ideas with their team and Box – a platform where HR professionals can store and access all employee information at one place.
According to Diane Gherson, “speed and innovation” are two essential organizational competencies in the digital era. Her vision has lead IBM to venture into innovative management systems, ones that empower the employees and facilitate continuous learning through technology. Under her leadership, IBM has incorporated automation and AI throughout the employee life cycle. This has made the company more efficient in dealing with talent issues, matching employees and career opportunities and proactively retaining its most valued skills.
Diane Gherson sees failures as opportunities for growth and encourages employees to venture out of their comfort zones. Training in analytics, automation, robotics and adaptation of design thinking at scale throughout the company, are some of the ways in which she is helping employees improve their efficacy in the digital era.
IBM is often touted as the best place to work and Diane in her thirteen years of working with IBM has made that happen with her forward thinking. Data and analytics is yet another area which Diane has emulated in IBM’s strategic imperatives to improve employee experiences. Fast and flexible responses, better employee engagement, more efficient measurement of performance, and detecting issues, as a result of data collection and analyzing have been possible due to Diane’s efforts in fostering technology-employee interaction.
Leadership skills, confidence and the courage to pursue the unconventional, are the traits that brought her the HR Executive of the Year Award-2018. The evidence of such traits can be mapped back to when she left home at only eleven years old. That was when she first learned the importance of adaptability and independence and since then, these traits only burgeoned and lead her to be the head girl of her secondary school and now the CHRO of a multinational corporation. “You need heightened self-awareness and the skills to discern cultural norms, adopting different world views, and styles of communicating, interacting and making decisions,” says Gherson, and her work is truly an epitome of her beliefs.