CEO Letter 2019
Swiss-born Mrs. Eyholzer is a pioneer and thought-leader in Lean | Agile People Operations and the CEO of Just Leading Solutions, a New York based consultancy for HR and Business Agility. Mrs. Eyholzer joined JLS after an engagement as Executive Advisor for agile enterprises. Prior to this she was Partner at one of the leading European management consultancies. Together with her team, she helps enterprises to accelerate their agile transformation by focusing on their crucial asset: their people.
As 2018 has drawn to a close, we reflect on a year that had great things happening for and with HR. After years of talking about the need for HR not just to change its name, but to embrace a business and leadership model fit for the digital age, Agile is finally finding its foothold across the world of Human Resources. We have much to look forward in 2019 as we build on the excitement around the Agile HR movement.
In many ways, HR is the last bastion of the ‘bureaucratic and organizational old-school’ to fall and succumb to the new management ideology. We can no longer operate within a closed system and focus on perfecting our process-oriented transactional work. It is time to break down barriers and invest in an open and inclusive eco-system.
After all, the world today is more open, connected and dynamic than ever before. It is a world that thrives on interactions and diversity of thought. And HR should be the champion of this new world of work.
It goes without saying, HR has already undergone major changes over the past decade, and we have certainly come a long way from our ‘personnel’ days. But those where mere cosmetics at a time when we needed an extreme makeover. Our profession has been (too) slow and (too) reluctant to embrace the transformation needed. We often talk a good game about the importance of people and the challenges of cultural change, but we are not so good at it applying it to our own department.
It used to be the early adopters, the groundbreaking HR folks, who redefined their role from transactional to interactional HR. But now HR teams across industries embrace Agile to shape a people-centric culture. We have been so focused on proving our business acumen, that we forgot our true customer: Our employees.
Our role is not to run the business; our job is to create engaging and inspiring places of work and help people and teams to be extraordinary and exceed their potential. We are the hidden heroes who work behind the scenes to make people, and thus companies, successful. Our (new) mantra is therefore: People first, organizations second.
But there is nothing simple or easy about changing the DNA of HR. Even at best of times, being in HR is nothing for the faint-hearted and embarking on an agile transformation certainly is an uphill battle. You will clash with established rituals and behavioral patterns and require yourself and others to constantly challenge your own thinking and step outside your comfort zone.
The task may seem impossible, but even against all odds: We need to lean in and shape the narrative about who we are and who we should be. Because HR stands at a crossroads, a moment in time, at which we are competing for the hearts and minds of the wonderful people out there, we need the courage to tackle the hard stuff and face the challenges of redefining HR in an effort to create contemporary places of work, that encourage people to thrive.
Our companies are a melting pot of ideas and creativity. Imagine what you could achieve with your people if you help them tap into their potential and beyond. People (and their triumphs) are the essence of the Agile HR movement.
We have proudly served the Agile HR community for five years now. In that time, we had the pleasure of working with amazing companies and people. Thank you for being on this journey with us. We look forward to the next wave of HR Agility.
As always, let us know if we can help you innovate and evolve in 2019.
Chief Executive Officer
Just Leading Solutions LLC