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Today we will turn our focus to the people who make businesses go. HR is being tested like never before in our current landscape, with a fine balance between focusing on business growth and developing performance capabilities for the now – and for the future. 

I am joined by Jon Ingham, people and organisation development strategist. Jon is a HR Executive ‘Top HR Tech Influencer’, an independent consultant, trainer, keynote speaker and analyst. His work helps companies apply academic research, new technology and innovation to the way they generate competitive advantages through their people.  

Jon was recently welcomed by IMI as part of our People Strategy Network with his session on 'HR as a Leading Growth Strategist'.

This conversation was recorded on February 22nd, 2021.
Subscribe: Spotify, iTunesTuneInSoundcloudAcastStitcher – or search ‘IMI Talking Leadership’ in your podcast provider of choice.
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Frank Ryan

Frank Ryan

24th May 2021

Related Articles

Hal Gregersen: Make Inquiry your Leadership Superpower
Jacob Morgan: Future-Proof Your Leadership
Episode 38 | Developing a Strategic HR Vision with Jon Ingham
Reimagining (Your) Leadership

Frank Ryan: The age of transparency has arrived

We are never going back to normal 

Citing the ‘ongoing commitment’ of the IDA to work with companies to succeed into the future, its Chairman Frank Ryan emphasised that we are never going back to the way things used to be. Instead, he said, we are living in a redefined and reimagined present and we must plan for the future in that context.  

Uncertainty lies ahead, but people make decisions, not companies 

Touching on the realities of geopolitical tensions and their downstream effects on businesses, the IDA Chairman admitted that uncertainties may lie ahead for the FDI sector in Ireland. He added that despite these potential obstacles, the people that make up the sector are strong, resilient and adaptable – and more than capable of weathering the storm. People make decisions, not companies, he explained, and the power ultimately lies with the individuals at the controls to make the best decisions.  

‘Green finance and sustainability are here to stay’ 

Frank Ryan explained that the green wave is set to continue over the coming years and decades, with green finance coming to the fore. It is evident in the flow of capital, he said, that businesses are embedding sustainability as a key part of their overall strategy. Implementing strong ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) practices from the top down will become the norm, something he pointed to as a key way for forward-thinking businesses to stand out in the market. 

The age of transparency has arrived 

The IDA Chairman said that we are living in the ‘information age’, where data can flow freely and where there is unprecedented access to technology and markets around the globe. The boundaries that once defined our ability to collaborate have disappeared completely. With this, he said, comes additional scrutiny for business – what he called the ‘age of transparency’. Companies will have more pressure – internally and externally – to act ‘with integrity’, with hard questions being posed to leaders.  

Innovation can be your ‘secret sauce’ 

Both internal and external communication will be tested frequently for leaders during this age of transparency. Frank Ryan said businesses have to consider what is being communicated – and even more importantly, what isn’t – and be crystal clear in terms of the strategic direction of the organisation. He pointed to innovation as the ‘secret sauce’ and encouraged leaders to maintain a culture of curiosity and constant learning to improve. 

Focus on human capital and talent management 

The IDA Chairman said that talent management and nurturing your people will be key differentiators moving forward, not corporate tax rates. He said that with companies being forced to reinvent themselves during the pandemic, the speed of change has been break-neck and people have been the driving force behind such drastic transformations. He also pointed out that keeping an eye on how potential employees view the organisation from the outside is a critical component in developing a sustainable pipeline of new blood to keep the business vibrant.  

To learn more about Leading with Strategic Intent for FDI multinationals, click here where you can also download the programme brochure