That fact that 100 or so HR professionals at the SHRM conference woke up in time for a 7 a.m. session on Building a Global HR Dream Team is indicative of the growing importance of globalization in today’s world.
Even the presenter, Manjushree M. Badlani, chief HR and administrator officer of Jhpiego, said she “didn’t expect so many people here.”
After talking about the four typical types of global HR organizations (centralized, decentralized, regionalized and divided between headquarters and country), she split up the audience into groups and asked them to select the competencies and attributes required for each of them.
The attributes, developed by SHRM, were credible activist, culture and change steward, talent manager/organizational designer, strategy architect, operational executor, and business allies.
“All of them” was the common response — although each group selected a few and ranked higher than others, depending on which type of HR organization was being discussed.
When drilling down to discuss specific attributes, Badlani suggested a few she think may more be more important than others when working in cross-cultural situations: humility, good listener, customer focus, agility, unafraid to go beyond one’s comfort zone, and unflappable.
A sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either. “You have to laugh at some of the absurdities and some of the demands that people put on us,” she said.