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Management consultant director on the future of work

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read

The future of work is unpredictable, making it tricky to navigate.

Russell Reynolds Associates executive director Dee Fitzgerald joined The HR Leader to discuss what this future might look like and how to overcome the challenges posed.

HR Leader: “Do you foresee more in-house training being necessary for digital skills?”


Ms Fitzgerald: “Absolutely. It’s about building digital capability, but also building digital mindsets. So, the starting point is really understanding where an organisation is in terms of its digital transformation journey. And we often find when we work with organisations that they feel that they’re ahead in terms of their maturity than they actually are.”

“Part of that challenge is shifting mindsets away from looking at digital capability as technology and operations, and really about having leaders who are tech-savvy and equipped to drive the change and growth that’s needed.” 

“That’s really underpinned by having the right mindsets and capabilities, areas where HR leaders can really support the business in driving that change and making sure leaders have the right experiences and competencies to successfully lead the organisation forward.”

HR Leader: “How important is it for leaders to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion?”

Ms Fitzgerald: “It’s really critical that leaders set the right tone from the top of the organisation, and HR leaders can play a really critical role in ensuring that that tone at the top is aligned with the experiences of their people across the organisation.”

She continued: “Do people feel that there is an open and inclusive and safe environment where they can contribute, and to what extent are leaders really holding themselves and other people accountable for leading in an appropriate way? And then, how are leaders leveraging the diversity of people within the organisation and really bringing to bear the full sets of experiences and skills and perspectives to really innovate and drive forward?”

HR Leader: “How can leaders deal with the business challenges that have been arising lately?”

Ms Fitzgerald: “It’s about three aspects. It’s working with your HR leaders to really understand the capability and the culture of your leadership team and leaders, and also the strength of the leadership pipeline to really future-proof the success of the organisation by asking three critical questions.”

“Does our leadership team have the necessary skills and experience to capture the opportunities and address the challenges ahead? How do we create that strategic alignment and cultural cohesion within the leadership team? And what are we doing to engage and develop our next generation of leaders?”

Ms Fitzgerald added: “For next-generation leaders, it’s all about versatility. It’s about having the adaptability and the ambition and the curiosity to explore new opportunities and really learn and grow throughout your career.”

The transcript of this podcast episode, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full audio conversation with Dee Fitzgerald on 14 March is below, and the original podcast article can be found here. 




Training is the process of enhancing a worker's knowledge and abilities to do a certain profession. It aims to enhance trainees' work behaviour and performance on the job.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.