The next great HR position is going to require someone who has a multi-functional background and may in fact not be filled by someone from HR. According to writer Anne Fisher, in an interview with Peter Martin, workplace strategy director for Asia at real estate company CBRE, said that the next great HR position will be another C-Suite position.
Chief of Work
We already have a CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, and more recently CTO and the CHRO. According to Fisher, Martin says that often these functions work at cross purposes to each other. As a result Martin suggest that what companies will need is a Chief of Work.
A Chief of Work would coordinate all that, with an eye toward building a culture that attracts top talent, or what Martin calls “the complete experience of working for the company, and how that affects performance.” Finding the most efficient balance between full-time employees and growing armies of independent contractors will be in the Chief of Work’s wheelhouse, too.
I like this new position. I liken it to have a conductor of work much like an orchestra has a conductor. Someone that knows the music and what the various pieces of the orchestra can do and makes sure they work in a harmonious manner. The CEO does not perform this, rather the CEO serves in the role of composer and architect, with the Chief of Work making sure the work gets done in a harmonious manner.
Needs a cross-functional background
Because this position will have to be able to direct the work being done the Chief of Work will have to had some experience in a variety of operational positions. This is why I said that the CHRO may not be the appropriate person. Often they do not have the multi-functional experience necessary. Perhaps the Chief Operating Officer might be best suited to fill this role in many companies, but often they do not have the HR experience necessary. As companies get away from making things this position will take on a greater and greater significance.
Would your organization benefit from having a Chief of Work?