July 16th, 2021 | Rob Hendriks, Chief HR Officer at Zurich International, based in Dubai, recently joined international leadership advisory RIVIONT as Board Advisor for Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Richard A. Vincent, Managing Partner & Founder of RIVIONT meets Rob for a further acquaintance.
“What made you join RIVIONT as Board Advisor?”
“The diversity of the team. RIVIONT brings together a wealth of international experience with people from different backgrounds, roles, industries, and we cover different parts of the world. All these experiences will provide our clients with a diversity of thought which is critical in today’s business to consider implications and make plans to growth.”
“What are your experiences with growth, change and transformation?”
“I have been working in organisations in HR roles for more than 30 years and the common theme is TRANSFORM. To transform and grow organisations, you need to transform people. Over the years I understand better the drivers for change and the critical factors to consider to be successful. A comprehensive transformation touches every facet of the organization, people, processes, strategy, structure and technology. Every transformation starts with an aspiration and requires a strong and aligned leadership team at the top. In the next phase it is important to have a clear picture where value is created, this fundamentally links to the strategy of the organization, in the design phase it’s important to make small steps and experiment with new approaches. It’s quite common to have multiple rounds of experimentation before making real progress and implement successful change. Just remember changing structures is easy, changing mindsets and people requires time!”
“You have made an international career, working on multiple continents and in multiple cultures. What are the most important criteria that a leader should meet in your view?”
“I am not so sure if differences in culture make a huge difference in leadership. What I have learned abroad is flexibility and adaptability. But in general every leader no matter where he operates needs to be excellent in stakeholder management, able to influence and have impact on others. He or she needs to be able to motivate and engage with the whole organization, he or she needs good judgment skills and I like the concept of a Growth Mindset and the blend of passion and persistence called “Grit”.”
“What is your view on the composition of the Supervisory Board? And if there is one thing you would advise the Supervisory Board, what would it be?”
“I would recommend more diversity in Boards. My personal view is that Boards today are well equipped to discuss Finance, Risk & Compliance and Governance matters, but they are light on the people and culture component. My experience is that remuneration, culture and succession of leadership take up a huge part of the Board agenda and I would definitely see more HR leaders being part of the Board. It requires also HR leaders to understand the drivers of the business and have a more holistic business view in return; that might be challenging for some HR leaders today. The second comment I would like to make is, what is it the organization wants to achieve, bringing in someone with a different background or from another industry might accelerate your ambitions!”
“Why should supervisory boards and management teams contact you?”
“We bring a different perspective and given our diverse group of advisors we ensure we look at different parts of your organization. We work in teams, which again ensure that you as a client benefit of our diversity of thought.”
RIVIONT is an international leadership advisory. We help our clients achieve sustainable growth, change and transformation by improving the interconnection between business-people-culture, starting with the top leadership team. Our integrated solutions include Culture Transformation, Leadership Development, Assessment & Succession, Interim Management and Executive Search.