Key Takeaways: Virtual Fireside Chat- Inside the mind of PMI’s Adrian Shooter

3 minutes read
By Saadiq Samodien, Online Event Specialist, Top Employers Institute
Saadiq Samodien
Regional Marketing Manager APAC

Our CEO David Plink caught up with Adrian Shooter, VP of Integrated Talent Management for Phillip Morris International (PMI) on 27 May 2021 in our second virtual fireside chat: Inside the mind of Adrian Shooter. 

Adrian shared his views on the changing landscape of diversity, equality, and inclusion. He explored audience questions on leadership and career development at PMI. He highlighted the value of the Top Employers Certification Programme and how it serves as a framework for challenging and developing PMI’s outstanding people practices. If you are short on time, here are the key takeaways, otherwise get the full picture and watch the 45-minute discussion by filling in the form. 

Diversity, equality, and inclusion 

Over the last 20 years, organisations have made great strides in diversity, inclusion, and equality. There has been a clear change in the legal protection provided to employees. Further shifts have been evidenced in more favourable parental leave and overall greater level of respect in the workplace. Diversity, equality and inclusion has moved from a 'nice to have to a strategic business imperative. For example, at Phillip Morris International, the role of the CDO position is synonymous with the role of a Chief Data Officer or Chief Digital Officer. And with the advancements in Diversity & Inclusion, the role of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) has emerged.  

As employees continue to discuss topics such as sexual orientation, ethnicity or parenting at work, leaders are asked to be vulnerable. It demands leaders to recognise this vulnerability and have brave conversations in the workplace. 

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 A new leadership paradigm 

In the past year, there has been a dynamic shift in the paradigm in the way we work, the future of work and what people expect from employers and to advance their careers. It demands a new leadership framework based on these four qualities:  

  • Leading with context – The level of ambiguity, change and the speed of complexity in the workplace is only going to increase. As a result, leaders need to focus on leading with context, transparency and systems thinking.  
  • Leading with empathy – Leaders who are more empathetic and more compassionate through the pandemic have seen differentiation in their employees' wellbeing and engagement.  
  • Leading with good judgement – Leaders who are perceived as better leaders and more impactful leaders show consistent good judgement over time.  
  • Leading with resilience – Being able to deal with adversity remains one of the key qualities of a great leader.  

Adrian also shared some of his personal story and his journey to the VP of Integrated Talent Management at Phillip Morris International:  

  • Some of the key qualities to building a career are based on resilience. "Keep going" through tough situations is one of the behaviours that Adrian highlighted as a key to his career growth. This, along with connecting the dots and thinking systematically, contributed to his growth and journey.  
  • Another key to career growth is to connect with people and build a network. Even though they don’t look like you, or sound like you, or have a different background, the ability to connect to a greater purpose is what brings everything together.  
  • Finally, the power of storytelling remains an ever-important skill. At times, HR focuses on the academic and research aspects, but being able to connect with people through storytelling is one of the most powerful skills.  

Adrian also highlighted developments in talent management and innovating in an organisation with lots of governance and other key leadership skills to consider. To hear about this and more, watch the full fireside chat, fill in the form.  


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Key Takeaways: Virtual Fireside Chat- Inside the mind of PMI’s Adrian Shooter