There have been a lot of exciting changes happening at Bristlecone lately, including bringing onboard Lisa Lesko, as their new Chief People Officer. And only two months into her role, Lisa has already demonstrated her ability to Rise to the challenge. We sat down with Lisa to learn more about her journey and priorities moving Bristlecone forward.
What was it like coming into a leadership role during a pandemic, and what intrigued you about the new role?
Well, it was the first time in my career where the entire hiring process was virtual, and I’ve obviously been working 100% remotely since coming on board.
A lot of change is happening at Bristlecone right now, with our new strategy and focus on growth. I feel like I have a tremendous opportunity to contribute to that momentum and identify best practices we can put in place to help us scale and create value.
There’s a big difference between HR and the role that I’m playing. I’m laser-focused on the business and work in lockstep with the CEO and leadership team. I was at IBM when I started in HR, and my boss at the time told me, “we are business leaders with HR expertise.” I still use that as my motto.
Could you tell us a bit about the new One Bristlecone strategy?
It’s really about bringing the entire organization together, unifying us in a way that highlights our supply chain distinctiveness, builds differentiation in new growth areas and delivers best-in-class solutions. At its core, it represents our customer centricity, our commitment to be the best at what we do and our promise to do what we say.
From an organization design perspective, it consists of our Commercial Organization, built around four industry-based domains, and our Capabilities Organization, in which we’ve formed what we’re calling the Five Studios: SAP, Emerging Platforms, AI and Analytics, Connected Products and Platforms, and Modern Engineering.
What programs or initiatives are you prioritizing?
The two key areas of focus for me right now are improving our capabilities and forming our culture.
With our new One Bristlecone strategy, it is important to really look at and understand what our capabilities are. I am putting plans in place to upscale employees to meet our future needs and identifying gaps and where we need to bring in expertise to meet the needs of our customers.
Regarding our culture, we have a great framework and value system, but as we evolve into a more high-growth and high-performing culture, we have to look at what it’s going to take to get us there. What do we need to do to go the extra mile and accelerate? What values do our employees buy into? How do we become more inclusive – the kind of company where people with different ideas and ways of working want to come into the organization? How do we think and operate more holistically and globally? How do we embrace the competitive spirit and win as One Bristlecone?
Where do you see the most growth potential?
Our AI and Analytics studio is really exciting. We’re looking at new skills and new technologies, and this is going to be one of our focus areas, where we want to see many of the skills created.
We have focused a lot of our efforts on our SAP work, and we will continue to drive growth and modernization through our SAP studio, but at the same time, we need to differentiate and keep growing and changing. AI and Analytics is one of the key areas where we want to target.
I also think we can do a lot with diversity and inclusion. We have an EmpowHer program to support and increase our representation of women, and we’re also working to hire more local talent to bring in different ideas.
Welcome to the Mahindra Family, Lisa! You can learn more about Bristlecone and their strategic initiatives here.