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Sound Bites

Sound Bites | Human Resource Executive Online Memorable quotes from IBM's HR chief, Randy MacDonald, taken from Human Resource Executive® through the years.

Thursday, October 16, 2008
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[If healthcare reform takes too long], you'll see an erosion of health benefits from employers. The role of employers has to be defined in relation to shareholders. We have to do what's right for the business.

-- From A Mandate for Change, May 2, 2008

The development of leaders is the way of setting the tone of the culture. You drive ethical behavior because people tend to watch what leaders do. That's why somebody is a leader. Most people don't follow followers.

-- From Taking the Lead, May 16, 2007

There is a skills gap [or shortage] in HR of out-of-the-box thinkers. ... A good HR person should be able to be proactive and get out in front [of] front-line manager needs.

-- From Filling the Gap, January, 2005

You don't become an adviser who can influence the CEO overnight. At first, you do a lot of listening, get the lay of the land, observe, learn the business and then deliver with great quality. You focus on the business issues. You always act with persistence and determination, but you learn when to hold them and when to fold them and walk away.

-- From Trusted Adviser, Oct. 20, 2002

[E]veryone seems more worried about talent, healthcare, retention, etc. ... I worry about making sure the HR function adds value. How does the function drive change and become an integral part of the leadership? How does HR make a difference by adding value?

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-- From Ripe for Change, September, 2002

I personally am -- and I think more HR people should be -- turned on by change ... not just change for change's sake [but] adding value, continually improving. That's [what] I look for in HR people.

-- From Ripe for Change, September, 2002

You know, part of the problem is a lot of HR people have a theory and try to apply it, but they don't understand the business model, what the business wants to do. Based on that, we need to translate the theory and skill base we have into actionable items. I don't think we do that. I think we kind of live in a cocoon, comfortable with the support organization. Me, I want to be proactive. I want to drive change, I want to drive the business, have a sense of passion ... for the business, the function [and] the people.

-- From Ripe for Change, September, 2002

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