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Barbara Corcoran on Crafting a Change-Friendly HR Strategy

Just because an organization has yet to fully embrace the potential of digital technologies doesn’t mean it’s too late. It just means the time to move forward is now.

In her most recent appearance on Paycom’s HR Break Room® podcast, real estate mogul and Shark Tank co-host Barbara Corcoran focused heavily on the topic of digital transformation. As usual, her insights contain wisdom for HR professionals, C-suite executives and anyone concerned with navigating times of change.

The ability to adapt is crucial to survival

“You can count on disruptions,” Corcoran said. “If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re in business, that’s the name of the game.”

As someone who has encountered significant failures in her own entrepreneurial endeavors, Corcoran is in a special position to understand the importance of adapting at a moment’s notice.

What happened after an early attempt to sell real estate using videotape technology didn’t work?

She harnessed the internet for business purposes, exchanging a fading technology for a soon-to-be-ubiquitous one.

Businesses, like sharks, must exist in a state of constant forward movement.

The expansion of easy-to-use, app-friendly technology from everyday life into the workplace promises a better future for the organizations that prioritize it.

Be open to new sources of ideas and talent

Useful input comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s solicited from a trusted colleague or professional mentor. But not always.

“Some of my best marketing ideas came from my receptionists who worked in the different offices because they were in touch with the customers,” Corcoran said.

This receptive attitude applies not just to ideas, but also to the talent needed to execute them. Corcoran talks about “shamelessly recruiting” everywhere she goes — for example, giving her card to a barista at a coffee shop who exhibits exceptional efficiency.

Part of adapting means retaining a sense of humility. No matter how skilled a person might be in their chosen field, no one is 100% self-reliant. We need other people, in business as in life — and those people can come to us from anywhere.

The importance of HR cannot be overlooked

The expansion of easy-to-use, app-friendly technology from everyday life into the workplace promises a better future for the organizations that prioritize it. When formerly manual, data-driven HR tasks are digitized and automated, HR teams gain more leeway to function as strategic partners.

“The influence that HR has is enormous,” Corcoran said. “They’re the front line of the whole business. And other than the employee’s immediate supervisor, they’re going to have the most touch points with that employee than anyone else in the business.”

When an organization’s culture properly values the employee experience — and HR professionals are free to focus on it, with the right technology in place — the results can change the whole game.

Of course, this isn’t all Corcoran had to say. Don’t miss episode 85 of HR Break Room for the full conversation.