With more than 20 years’ experience in HR, Sally-Ann Nadelman, change manager with AGL Energy, has led her share of teams through industry disruption.
How have your interests progressed throughout your career?
I’ve spent the past 20 years working across a range of industries that underwent, or are going through, massive industry disruption and change, such as manufacturing, media and finance. I started in boutique consulting and learned from that experience that my interests were organisational development, learning, change management and transformation. From there, I looked for organisations that gave me opportunities to have that role diversity.
What’s the secret to a good change initiative?
I think you have to start with the end goal in mind and make sure you involve your stakeholders in every part of the process. Change initiatives need to be fit-for-purpose, which means you need to ask “What does success look like?” from the beginning and match that to each of the target audiences. From there, it’s easier to develop the program and see how you can measure it.
What are some challenges all businesses face with industry disruption?
The pacing is different. Manufacturing experienced disruption years ago, so it’s been lean for a long time, while media is still undergoing major digital disruption. Interactions between companies and customers are changing – it’s all about the customer experience now. Expectations are higher, and from an HR perspective, this is mirrored in what employees want from workplaces. It’s a greater challenge to meet these expectations, but really rewarding.
What does success look like to you?
I’ve focused on supporting growth, adaptation and achievement of organisational goals. I consider myself successful if I’ve left things better than when I started. You don’t want to build something and have it fall apart or stop once you leave; it can’t be dependent on one person or even a few people.
What do you think about certification for HR practitioners?
We need to practise what we preach around continuous development. HR is a diverse field, and I think certification and standardisation is a great thing for the industry.