By Jonathan Ferrar, Vice President, IBM Smarter Workforce


Questions on Talent Analytics? Jonathan Ferrar (Conference Chair) will be presenting at the Workforce Analytics Summit, New York. To learn more on IBM Kenexa Talent Insights, please click here.


Jonathan Ferrar: So, David, six weeks into your IBM career … what’s been your biggest eye opener?

David Green: I have to say that it is the quality and commitment levels of the Smarter Workforce team. Everyone I’ve met has been exceptionally welcoming, highly knowledgeable and tremendously focused on what they are doing. The breadth of the services offered in your Workforce Science and Analytics practice, Jonathan, is highly impressive and, to my knowledge at least, unique in the marketplace. Coupled with the capability offered through IBM’s wider analytics, data and cognitive computing solutions, the size of the opportunity in front of us is huge. That’s very exciting.


Jonathan: How would you describe your role at IBM?

David: I’m fortunate to have landed such a varied and exciting role, which essentially comprises two major elements. The first part entails developing and delivering people analytics solutions to clients and bridges the traditional functions of Offering Management, Sales and Marketing. This dovetails with the second element of amplifying IBM Smarter Workforce’s voice in the marketplace as it relates to people analytics, as well as advocating the wider use by HR of an insight-led and data-driven approach.


Jonathan: What impact are you hoping to have?

David: Jonathan, you’ve described the conundrum of embedding analytics in HR as one that requires a culture shift. This is a view that I wholeheartedly concur with, which means the challenge in front of us is a significant one. Fortunately, I relish a challenge and believe that IBM has a unique combination of technology, product, people and science to be at the forefront of this exciting new market in HR. Those organisations that have attained maturity in people analytics tend to outperform those that haven’t from a talent perspective but also, more tellingly, in terms of financial measures. As such the impact I hope to have is to help speed exponential market growth through the clear articulation of the benefits of applying analytical thinking to people decisions and ensuring that IBM is in the vanguard of the charge.    


Jonathan: I’m not sure if this new role was ever your dream job, but tell me what you wanted to be when you were growing up?

David: Of course it’s my dream job! Although, when I was growing up, I was a little more starry-eyed and oscillated between wanting to be a cricketer, footballer, rock star and perhaps more realistically (although ultimately futilely) a journalist.  


And now … the quick fire round …

Early riser or late finisher?Early riser

Sushi or burger?Burger (although not any of that manufactured rubbish from certain well known fast-food establishments)

Risk averse or risk taking?Risk taking, as Goethe mused “The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety”. Nothing ventured, nothing gained…

Watch or play (sport)? Both. I (still) play cricket, golf and occasionally tennis and am an avid watcher of cricket, football and rugby. I know you won’t like this Jonathan as it doesn’t tally with either of your teams, but I am a massive fan of Liverpool football club.

Beach or mountain? Beach – I’m a far better surfer than skier.

Town or country? Country – whilst I love visiting fabulous cities like Sydney, San Francisco, Cape Town, Barcelona and Paris, there’s nothing quite like being in the English countryside on a beautiful summer’s day.


David: So, Jonathan, you’ve been asking all the questions so far, let me turn the tables on you: Why did you want someone like me to join IBM Smarter Workforce?

Jonathan: Well, I believe that all the best organizations grow by bringing in experts from the outside. And in the space of analytics, I felt it was time to bring in to the team a senior leader with a great network and extensive knowledge of the workforce analytics marketplace. That is where you excel; you are a renowned blogger and expert in many HR matters having served clients in a number of capacities, most recently in RPO. I have found you to be an optimist, an inspiring writer and an ‘outside-in thinker’ – all of these are qualities will help our clients and the rest of our workforce analytics team. Apart from your love of Liverpool Football Club, you are almost perfect for this role! Thanks for joining.


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