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Insights on Building Digital Organization​:​ Interview with Parag Pande, MD - Global HR Geographic Services Delivery Lead, Accenture

 Insights on Building Digital Organization​:​ Interview with Parag Pande, MD - Global HR Geographic Services Delivery Lead, Accenture


We have featured a short interview with Parag Pande, Managing Director - Global HR Geographic Services Delivery Lead, Accenture who is esteemed member of India CHRO Forum Powered By Sodexo India And Led By Paul Writer.


What are the various challenges in setting up a digital organization today?


As per Gartner “Digital business is the creation of new business designs by blurring the digital and physical worlds”. It promises to usher in an unprecedented convergence of people, business and things that disrupts existing business models - even those born in the Internet and e-business eras. By 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and at least 30 billion devices, will be connected to the Internet, with people, businesses and things communicating, transacting, and even negotiating with each other.


At the center of this is enhancing customer intimacy and experience, in-turn helping businesses succeed, and this calls for disruption of existing business processes. Incremental improvements will not be good anymore.


Imperatives for this shift will be:


  • Redirecting organizational resources. Prioritize, Prioritize, prioritize. - Analyze which part of the organization needs to be digitized and the digital tech to be invested in. This challenge can be overcome by creating a digital priority matrix aligned to business strategy.
  • Rise of new roles and competencies – We should be ready to reinvent the organization’s roles and competencies as they exist, to run a successful digital transformation program. Roles like ‘Chief Digital Officer’, ‘Head of Employee Experience’ , ‘Chief Story Teller’ etc. are no longer new and already shaping future of organizations.
  • Talent battles – As technology becomes pervasive, Talent will become the key differentiator and organizations will fiercely compete for top talent. Areas of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be seen experiencing this today.
  • Success in the digital world will also be determined by organization’s ability to create a truly human culture. Organization are realizing more than ever before that employees need nurturing environment for their talents to flourish.
  • Leadership and Culture Readiness – Digital programs often fail due to leadership failing to adopt a digital mindset and propagate a digital culture
  • Integrating Business and IT strategies : To name a few
    • New Architecture Components – Technology is changing rapidly and this calls for increased agility. The IT architecture needs to adapt to the New – embracing existing and future technologies with Human Centered Design.
    • Data Security – In the interconnected world with information moving to the Cloud, information has acquired an incredible velocity. Organizations being custodian of customer and employee data need to secure this fast-paced data and information in an increasingly connected and complex world to prevent and misuse. Given the level of sophistication this cannot be done in-house and requires collaborating with world leading experts in Data Security.
    • Unstructured and unorganized format of current data – Most of the clients fail to implement a successful digital program due to current data being unstructured and unorganized. The organization must first cleanse and have a clear data strategy to migrate current data, to say a Data Lake to harness and harvest.


What is the role of HR in equipping workforce with necessary digital skill sets?


HR needs to be agile and responsive in enabling the digital journey. Some of the steps that HR can take to enable the digital journey / skills would be:


  • Hire and retain right talent with right skills, capabilities and attitude
  • Redefine roles and embed digital and innovation competencies/ behaviors in the competency assessment model
  • Drive rotation to New by infusing learning agility and connecting employees to the high quality digital content/ MOOCS
  • Drive culture of learning and unlearning
    • Tie up with educational institutes to bring in thought leadership in new and emerging areas
    • Implement digital tools such as on-line learning boards,  connected learning rooms, gamification enabled role plays etc. that enable the workforce to constantly learn and navigate the digital world though digital tools
  • Create internal start- ups by encouraging employees to take risks,  innovate, sponsoring their ideas and rewarding innovative ideas and prototypes. For eg: Hackathons, Ideation Portals and so on.
  • Create an organizational culture that encourages employees to use digital tools and empower the line managers to have more responsibility in re-skilling employees
  • Enable employees play to their strengths and realize their aspirations


What are must have competencies for employees to succeed in digital world?


 Some of the key competencies for employees would be


  1. Learning Agility
  2. Creativity & Critical Thinking
  3. Human-centered design skills and Problem solving
  4. Ability to embrace change  and emotional intelligence
  5. Customer Service Orientation


Profile: Parag Pande, Managing Director - Global HR Geographic Services Delivery Lead, Accenture


Parag has over 24 years of experience in Human Resources space leading various functions, Learning, Projects, Banking, Financial Services, BPO and Call centers. He has handled roles across strategy, planning, business development, mobilization, finance  and service delivery. This included setting-up green field projects, turning around troubled businesses and companies, developing and executing strategy and managing over USD 1billion dollar investments. In his past life he was a Rotarian assisting orphanages and renovating schools in Mumbai slums. Rotary International has recognized him as Paul Harris Fellow.