Open Talent Economy

Helena conducted the “Open Talent Economy” webinar -hosted by ALFRA Institute- as part of a series of meeting for leaders around relevant trends. In this session Helena M. Herrero Lamuedra approached the redefinition of talent management in a borderless organization, the importance of the identification of critical roles tied to business strategy, and rethinking recruiting as relationship generation and management.

Latinarrific

Helena Herrero participated in Latinarrific 1st Annual Retreat, as a Facilitator and Coach. She led different exercises, leveraging guided meditation, applied neuroscience and mindfulness, to support the participants’ generation of the appropriate mindset to reflect on purpose,  create a  mind-mapping and tell their story.
Please see further detail in latinarrific.com

 From left to right: Carola Berra, Matha Jeifetz and Helena Herrero

From left to right: Carola Berra, Matha Jeifetz and Helena Herrero

You already know the first Design Thinker in history...

Let us share with you the story of Thomas A. Edison (a.k.a. the light bulb inventor) and how Tim Brown (the “father” of Design Thinking) designated him as the first Design Thinker in history:

 

Edison created the electric light bulb and then wrapped an entire industry around it. The light bulb is most often thought of as his signature invention, but Edison understood that the bulb was little more than a parlor trick without a system of electric power generation and transmission to make it truly useful.

So, he created that, too.

Thus, Edison’s genius lay in his ability to conceive a fully developed marketplace, not simply a discrete device. He was able to envision how people would want to use what he made, and he engineered toward that insight. He wasn’t always prescient (he originally believed the phonograph would be used mainly as a business machine for recording and replaying dictation), but he invariably gave great consideration to users’ needs and preferences.

Edison’s approach was an early example of what is now called “design thinking” -a methodology that imbues the full spectrum of innovation activities with a human-centered design ethos. By this I mean that innovation is powered by a thorough understanding, through direct observation, of what people want and need in their lives and what they like or dislike about the way particular products are made, packaged, marketed, sold, and supported.

Many people believe that Edison’s greatest invention was the modern R&D laboratory and methods of experimental investigation. Edison wasn’t a narrowly specialized scientist but a broad generalist with a shrewd business sense. In his Melo park, NJ, laboratory he surrounded himself with gifted tinkerers, improvisers, and experimenters. Indeed, he broke the mold of the “lone genius inventor” by creating a team-based approach to innovation.

Although Edison biographers write of the camaraderie enjoyed by this merry band, the process also featured endless rounds of trial and error -the “99% perspiration” in Edison’s famous definition of genius.

His approach was intended not to validate preconceived hypotheses but to help experimenters learn something new from each iterative stab.

Innovation is hard work; Edison made it a profession that blended art, craft, science, business savvy, and an astute understanding of customers and markets.

Design thinking is a lineal descendant of this tradition. Put simply, it is a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.

Like Edison’s painstaking innovation process, it often entails a great deal of perspiration.

Employee Experience and Employee Journeys Webinar

Helena facilitated the webinar"Employee Experience & EmployeeJourneys", hosted by ALFRA Institute of Mexico.

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Helena Herrero during Webinar

She shared key aspects referred to Design Thinking, led exercises about the process to identify "personas" and their needs -in order to design experiences and journeys aligned with value proposition, and finally centered the discussion around HR impact in a digitized world.

Stay tuned for upcoming sessions on this topic and others, related to People and Organizations' Transformation.

 

Helena Herrero at Latinarrific!

Helena Herrero has seen “The Wall” (the 1982, Roger Waters film) over a dozen times. During our recent conversation I felt as though I’d been transported into Carlos Castaneda’s non-fiction classic; “Journey to Ixtlan”.

And while Helena is compassionately cosmic, she is also profoundly grounded, so much so that she has “coached top executives in business and career transitions, overseen the Human Capital Strategy for different businesses in alignment with overall business intent and specific culture and financial metrics, and has been a catalyst in organization design and transformation in related to mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

Simply put, Helena Herrero cuts a dashing dichotomy—moving seamlessly from the metaphysical to the practical.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1960 (the eldest of five siblings), Helena refers to her father, Nino, as a Renaissance-Man—a thought leader, a writer, an artist, and major-domo in human resources, strategic planning and government relations. She proudly boasts that her mother (and namesake) was the first from her family to receive a formal education. Mom would go on to become a principal at several local elementary schools.

It just wouldn’t be right not to mention Amelia (or Bel as her grandkids fondly called her), another key figure in Helena’s upbringing, her paternal grandmother.

 

 I speak my mind and say what I mean!” 

“My father was a complex, bright man who embodied strong intellectual and professional influences of my life, while my mother represented and impacted my deeper inner soul. As for ‘Bel’ she was simply one tough cookie—a reference for strength and determination!

“And what can I say about my siblings! While we are all very different, we are close knit—especially since the passing of our parents. We celebrate and honor mom and dad by this filial bonding and have each of us, passed this legacy on to our sons and daughters.”

The attempted censorship of the spirited lass when she was a mere 15-year old high school student had a profound impact on Helena’s moral fiber and future mien.

“I was enrolled at a Catholic school. During a religion class discussing Martin Luther’s break from the church, I defended Martin Luther and his Protestant Reformation—blaming the Roman Catholic Church for the schism.”

Needless to say the shocked Nun/instructor sent the provocateur student to the Principal’s office, where Helena was promptly reprimanded. The imbroglio led to a family sit-down with the Principal. But prior to that fateful gathering, Helena’s father assured his spirited daughter that she was ‘entitled to her opinion’ and that she ought to speak her mind and further, that he had her back!

That experience—the fearlessness of her father’s conviction of standing up for her beliefs, remained with Helena and in fact, motivated and guided her—a lesson she would translate into her professional and personal life.

“I speak my mind and say what I mean!” She says proudly…

After high-school Helena had sites on college and a degree in either education or psychology. Her father, however, suggested business. It was a dangerous and treacherous time in Argentina—the Dirty War, military coups—Father and daughter struck a deal! “He agreed to my field of study and I agreed to the school of his choice (the private, Universidad de Belgrano—located in Buenos Aires). The college experience—the mingling of minds, the variety of people, and the intellectual impetus— all helped to invigorate and liberate the young scholar’s personal transformation.

Helena received a degree in Psychology and soon went to do clinic work.

As fate would have it, at just that time, her father was stepping down from his job at IDEA (Institute for the Development of Executives in Argentina). Advised, by her father, of a potential opening, the independent spirited Helena applied and was hired.

“I began working as part of the team coordinating the Young Professionals Program, aiding in career enhancement, profile expansion and transformation—both organizational and personal.”

{In an ironic moment, at this point in our interview, Helena realized that IDEA was not so far off from IDEAS Generators, the company founded by her (current) husband Eduardo and the company in which she currently works}.

In 1987 Helena married for the first time, but it didn’t last, a divorce was finalized a mere two  years later.

Ultimately, feeling she’d done all she could with IDEA, the soul-seeker was hired as a Human Resources executive for a major global financial institution.

Helena married Eduardo in 1994. The following year she gave birth to their first son Nicolas. In 1998 their second son Alex was born.

In 2002 the family moved to SoFlo (Helena being promoted by the aforementioned financial institution).

“While it was a bit of a culture shock, we were determined to maintain our Latin heritage while melding and blending with the ways of our new country.”

Frankly, Helena had had some practice in the art of co-mingling cultures. She, a Roman Catholic, had married Eduardo, a Jew. The concept of tolerance, understanding and adaptation was something she had already experienced, and in fact embraced.

“We were thrilled at the opportunity to participate in this new layer of multiculturalism…”

Helena’s mother passed in 2013 (her father a few years later), but a funny thing happened on the way to a jazz concert in New York City on the first anniversary of her mother’s death.

As Helena walked to the show, she confided to her girlfriend that she was missing something —lacking a greater meaning in life—and voila, as if mom gave her the nudge, Helena had her epiphany. She would start a mature search for meaning—one which eventually led her to leave the corporate life and immerse herself in people and organizational transformation—including yoga! She felt it finally was time to fine-tune the body, mind and soul and become a human centered being.

In 2016 Helena’s ever soul-searching sojourn seemed to congeal. Her study of Mindfulness and Buddhism, the aforementioned yoga certification, and a deep understanding of her own human condition found her joining up with Eduardo at Ideas Generators, where she launched her People Strategy practice—an organic evolution from Ideas Generators’ branding practice, “Because, at the end, what are people working in an organization other than brand ambassadors!

“My focus is the integration and convergence of Design Thinking, Digital Disruption and Applied Neuroscience, and its impact in Culture and Leadership Capabilities to foster organization’s transformation to their upmost potential.”

Helena is launching with two dear colleagues—sister souls in the path to personal discovery,

Chrysalis Path—a journey of self-transformation, with the purpose to share with others the joy of inner self-realization.

Latinarrifc salutes Helena Herrero…