FirstRand’s Caryn Baird has joined the CHRO Awards judging panel

Caryn says she looks forward to interacting with the diverse panel and contributing to its deliberations.

FirstRand’s group organisational development and human capital executive Caryn Baird has joined the panel of judges for the CHRO Awards. The panel is made up of leading HR and business experts from different industries.

“It is my absolute pleasure to be invited to join the CHRO judging panel,” says Caryn. “I look forward to interacting with the diverse leaders we have in this profession and to contributing to the deliberations of the panel in recognising the impact so many of our colleagues have in the very many successful organisations in South Africa.”

She says CHROs play critical roles in businesses today: “I often talk about the ‘intersection of strategy and culture’ and it is in this intersection that I think magic happens, and the role of the CHRO comes alive. In my mind the CHRO is the right hand to the CEO – a creator of value, a thinking partner, a soundboard and an advisor, and a source of honest feedback. I like to think about the CHRO as the conscience of the organisation, a custodian and guardian of the organisation’s culture and values, and the epitome of a brand ambassador.”

Caryn adds that in today’s ever-changing world, where change is the only constant and employees’ mental wellbeing is ever so important, she thinks CHROs need to have the qualities of systemic thinking and strategic agility, purposeful leadership, courage, connection, empathy and compassion.

“More technically speaking, I think the capabilities of organisational business transformation and change management, organisational design (the ability to design organisations for speed, simplicity and agility), systemic culture analysis and organisational intelligence and data insights are but a number of strengths required for human capital leaders in the new world of work,” she says.