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Dave Ulrich: How to create value through HR Trends in Organizational Transformation Highlighted at Executive Human Resource Development Educational Event

Oct. 21, 2019

The University of Houston Executive Human Resource Development program connected with human resource coach and consultant, Dave Ulrich, the featured presenter for the University of Houston Executive Human Resource Development luncheon. In his presentation, Creating Value through HR, Ulrich defined why leadership matters and shared specific insights into building organization capabilities, better teams and leaders.

A man in a navy blue jacket standing behind a podium with a microphone.

Making the right investment in HR matters. Ulrich said that the dominate assumption in HR is solely about the employee and that is a bias that needs to be broken. “We are becoming more strategic in that it is linked to the overall strategic vision. Key stakeholders are not just inside the company or organization. Because the world is changing, successful HR teams also turn their attention toward the key stakeholders who are external to the company – business investors, customers, and communities where we live and work. This ‘outside in’ approach ultimately delivers more value to customers and communities,” he said.

Ulrich spoke about how to transform and deliver HR services to be more valuable by changing from strict traditional business hierarchy, rules, and models toward creating and designing organizations that have agility. He challenged the audience to think about creating the right organization first and then the talent - bringing the right people into the organization, investing in their development, and gaining commitment. “An investment in the right organization and systems quadruples the impact on business results versus people and talent, he noted. Leadership intersects talent and creates the right organization," Ulrich said. Analogous to sports, 80% of the time it’s the teamwork that brings the best results. He cited examples of how 20% of the time the leading scorer is on the team that wins the championship. Commenting on leadership, Ulrich said, “People watch their leaders and pay attention to what they do; and, effective leaders build the strategy, set an agenda, have execution ability, manage people, and have personal proficiency.”

“This was a flawlessly executed educational event,” said Tracie Shavrnoch, recruitment manager, for talent and diversity at Motiva. “I intend to bring his insightful suggestions into future conversations with our leadership. The experience was extremely enriching.”

Also, impressed by the authenticity and openness of Ulrich’s presentation, Shannon Polite, senior manager, Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy at Fluor said, “I loved how he discussed the evolution of the HR practice, and how important it is for HR professionals to keep growing and deepening our contributions to our organizations, especially from an ‘outside-in’ approach. Now, instead of simply waiting for the organization to set the strategy, HR is called to be co-creators of the strategy. Having read many of Dr. Ulrich’s books over the years and agreeing with many of his points of view, it was a ‘bucket list’ opportunity to have been up close and personal with him,” she added.


A fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources, Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Professor of Business at the Ross School, University of Michigan and a partner at the RBL Group, a consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value.

(Written by Marilyn Jones)

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