Enid Lizamore on charting a course for success


A glimpse into Enid Lizamore’s visionary outlook for Heineken Beverages.

Newly appointed people director at Heineken Beverages Enid Lizamore says within the first week and a half in her new position, she had already visited breweries, actively engaging in conversations with a diverse range of individuals, including brewery heads, plant operators, and salespeople.

“This allowed me to gain a comprehensive understanding of the company’s operations, products, and financials. As a deeply curious individual, one of the reasons I am drawn to the field of HR is the opportunity to find out what people are doing and delve into various aspects of the operation,” she says.

Building relationships swiftly is her forte, enabling her to immerse herself in various projects. This proactive approach has undoubtedly prepared her for her current role. As the leader of the people's agenda, Enid sees herself as a business leader who needs to intimately understand the operations and commercial aspects of the company.

This knowledge will allow her to develop a relevant and contextual people agenda that aligns with the organisation’s goals. She believes in championing the people's agenda within the context of the business, contributing to budgeting, strategy, and innovation.

Putting people first

For Enid, the concept of HR has always been about supporting people, unleashing passion, and recognising the incredible gifts individuals possess. However, she acknowledges that the corporate environment often stifles creativity and innovation.

She says one of the positive aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has refocused our attention on prioritising people and their overall wellbeing, encompassing physical, mental, and emotional health. “Additionally, the newfound flexibility in our work arrangements has been a significant advantage. Previously confined to the office, we have now entered a realm where we can live and work with greater adaptability,” he says, noting that this shift has empowered individuals to make decisions based on their own priorities and determine when to address them.

Enid firmly believes that placing individuals at the core of your endeavours yields remarkable results: “When people feel valued and appreciated, they willingly offer their utmost efforts, unlocking their hidden potential. The question arises: how can this not significantly benefit the bottom line? It’s a concept that follows a logical circle – by prioritising the welfare of your employees, your business naturally thrives.”

Leading a winning culture of inclusion

The multinational aspect of Heineken Beverage’s operations adds a layer of complexity to the notion of inclusion. Enid faces the unique challenge of integrating diverse cultures and portfolios after the acquisition of Distell and Namibian breweries. She believes that a performance-driven and inclusive culture, coupled with a commitment to supporting employees through modernisation and technological advancements, will drive success in this evolving environment.

She says, “We have to bring together two distinct cultures, each with its own unique characteristics. It is imperative that we hold ourselves accountable to ensure that we consistently prioritise adequate representation, fostering a sense of belonging among our people.”
According to her, a key aspect of inclusion lies in making individuals feel heard. “It is essential that they have the opportunity to express themselves, and representation plays a vital role in this process. While acknowledging the importance of physical inclusion in the context of hybrid and remote working, she aims to cultivate a culture and environment where individuals feel understood, irrespective of their physical proximity.”

Moreover, she believes that this approach fosters a culture that promotes collaboration and innovation, as these two elements are closely intertwined.

Data driven HR

In pursuit of fostering collaboration and innovation, Enid recognises the value of data-driven insights to inform HR decisions and interventions. Her approach is purpose-driven, people-led, and tech-enabled, as she leverages technology, including AI and data analytics, to optimise HR practices and enhance the overall employee experience.

She says, “Data is a vast and powerful tool. In my previous role, I had the opportunity to establish a people analytics department, and I am now doing the same at Heineken Beverages. I firmly believe in the importance of basing decisions on data. It allows for a more informed and effective decision-making process.”

She is fascinated by information and considers herself a data enthusiast. She says, “The beauty of data lies in its ability to tailor interventions specifically to the needs of the situation. It enables us to be precise and targeted, rather than relying on a scattergun approach. I have a deep understanding of my organisation’s activities, trends, and patterns, which allows me to focus my efforts on the most critical areas.” She says this level of precision is invaluable to her and firmly believes that the effective use of data will ultimately determine her team’s success.

Related to her passion for data is the belief that the current prevalence of AI presents an opportunity to eliminate administrative work. She says, “The approach I will take with my team at Heineken Beverages is that it is essential for us to be at the forefront of learning new technologies and understanding how they can assist us. I will rely on my team to lead the way in this regard. We can utilise AI to interpret data and implement chatbots and other emerging technologies to eliminate administrative tasks, allowing us to better support the business.”

She says with tools like AI, the possibilities are truly remarkable and that it’s worth investing time in learning new things, even outside of your discipline.

She acknowledges that in a manufacturing company like Heineken Beverages, there might be concerns regarding employment but emphasises that, “Our union is robust, and it is crucial for us to maintain a strong connection while assisting individuals in acquiring new skills and finding alternative positions. This commitment remains unwavering on our part. Therefore, embracing modernisation entails investing in our workforce.”

Recipe for success

Enid firmly believes that authenticity is the key to success. “By staying true to oneself, a leader can create a positive and inclusive work environment where individuals feel valued and understood. This fosters a sense of belonging and encourages productivity and collaboration among team members.”

Enid’s advice to young professionals aspiring to pursue a similar career path is to be tenacious and never accept no as an answer. She firmly believes that hard work surpasses talent on any given day. “It is crucial to invest time and effort into tasks, carefully considering how to improve and avoid falling into a monotonous routine. She encourages professionals to constantly challenge themselves by asking,‘“ow can I do this better? How can I approach this differently?”

Furthermore, she emphasises the significance of maintaining strong relationships and says she personally values the connections she has built since her very first job, as these relationships have proven to be invaluable throughout her career.
Beyond her role at work, Enid values her personal life deeply. She finds joy and purpose in raising her two children to be caring, empathetic, and socially conscious individuals. She is an avid runner and remains deeply committed to giving back to her community, instilling these values in her children.


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