In conversation with Mr. Khalid Raza, Senior Program Manager – Talent Development, IBM.
Can you describe your role @ IBM? What does it mean to be the “Senior Manager for Talent Development”?
My role at IBM is focussed on assessing talent gaps through workforce dynamics, addressing those gaps by partnering with recruitment teams through top MBA campuses and market, and leading the career and learning path for the employees. As a consultant and partner with business, my role delivers a smorgasbord of talent solutions to all Sales business units in India South Asia.
What are some of the projects you are involved in on a regular basis?
One of the projects I am focussing on currently is dedicated to infuse and engage millennials into our talent mix. Under the #IBMISAEPS program, we on-board and develop enterprising millennials as our consultative sellers to drive business growth. This project has benchmarked the millennial engagement program for other organizations to emulate.
Could you shed some light on the challenges and advantages of working in this field?
People drive everything – innovation, technology and business. In my role, I support business by developing talent which helps us drive client satisfaction. The advantage of working with talent is that it puts you right in the middle of the business that we do and technology we deal with. It makes you aware and informed. The biggest challenge of my role is to keep the vision and execution in perspective. It is very easy to miss one while focusing on the other. Talent management is not a flat-hat role.
(A glimpse into Talent Development Tools by IBM)
Any other Talent Development programs from which you draw inspiration/guidance? (They may/may not be from IBM)
Can you tell us about the work culture @ IBM?
IBM as an organization is focused towards enabling professionals to achieve the best for the clients and for the company. The vision is instantiated through the policies and programs we carefully curate for our workforce.
IBM’s willingness to take on issues of equity, fairness and equal opportunity not only sets us apart, it makes us a magnet for the smartest and most talented people. And we have a long history of precedent-setting action in this regard. For example:
IBM has learned over the years that culture isn’t just one tool of management; it is the essence of management. It means that employees make the right decisions not because they are told what to do, but because they know what to do. When that is the case—when you can nurture a corporate culture based on thinking—you can preserve and guide an organization through centuries of change.
(A talk by Diane Gherson (CHRO, IBM) on how IBM’s HR department is spearheading game-changing initiatives that are making measurable business impact)
What does a day of yours at office look like?
This is where IBM differs – IBMers are not defined by the place we all call office. Each IBMer is equipped and determined to support business from any place – which we call our office.
A typical work day for me consists of emails, meetings, strategic discussions, transactional tasks, coffees, video calls, presentations. Each day is a journey towards a better IBM, a better me and satisfaction that work we do makes this world a better place.
What drove you to choose this profession?
Undying anxiousness to make a difference in how people run business.
Which aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
Working with talented IBMers who push you to continuously re-invent yourself.
A gadget you can’t live without?
Blogging, Tweeting, Cricket and Music
Ways to unwind or relax?
Long drives, intellectually stimulating movies and shows, playing with my 1.6 years old son.