Damian Menzies (MBA (Executive), 1999) is the founder of Choice Career Services. In this Q&A Damian talks to the AGSM about the HR challenges confronting management today and how his involvement with DisruptHR is shaking up HR as we know it.
You are the founder of Choice Career Services which helps organisations manage the human impact of change. Tell us about what you do?
Every day when organisations make changes there is always a human impact. Every time organisations mention the words 'restructure', 'change', 'new management', 'new strategy' etc. employee(s) are impacted by change. We work with managers and the employees affected to more effectively manage those changes. Our services include outplacement support for employees and executives, change management consulting, career management and management coaching and assessment. We provide services on a national basis and are the Australasian representative of OI Global Partners, an international organisation leading change for organisations and individuals.
Tell us more about your involvement and future plans for Disrupt HR and why it's shaking up HR as we know it?
Disrupt HR is a new and exciting initiative designed to provide HR professionals with a forum where they can publicly discuss and learn about the HR challenges confronting management today. It is about building a network of HR professionals who want to be recognised as leading practitioners in the area of managing change and people within their organisations. The format is deliberately designed as 'edgy' and is based on a 'Ted Talks' format of 8-10 speakers for five minutes each. The event is short, sharp and snappy, designed to provoke thought and comment amongst HR professionals.
What's the most important thing you learned during your MBA and how has this helped you get to where you are today?
My MBA has been very helpful in developing my all-round business management skills. It has given me structures and models to think about business issues and know enough to ask the right questions so we eventually achieve the right outcome.
Why did you decide to do an MBA?
Fortunately I started my professional life as a Chartered Accountant. It was a great entrée into the world of business. The challenge for all accountants is to be recognised for talents other than your financial skills. Sometimes it is difficult to market those skills to others. I came from a family background of small business and it had always been my goal to run my own business. I saw my MBA at AGSM as an opportunity to develop my skills and help me understand and develop the skill sets required to run my own business.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering embarking on an MBA what would it be?
Challenge yourself. You need to accept responsibility for managing your own career. The rigour and academic disciplines you learn from your MBA, the career development along with the friendships you make ensure the investment of time and finances are worth it.
As we enter a new decade of technological disruption, what does the rebellious future of HR look like?
I like to think of technological disruption as the way we compete. Market based economies have always functioned on the basis of meeting the needs of customers. When an organisation loses sight of its customers and isn't addressing their needs, that is the time for the disruptors. They identify industries and organisations where customer needs are not being met and they challenge the status quo of the incumbents. The rebellious future of HR recognises the successful HR professional is able to assist their organisation to identify and manage the future needs of their customers.
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