Navigating the Complexities of HR and Organizational Development in Higher Education
In this episode, Holly Marrone, Executive Director/Chief People Officer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, joins host Holly DePalma to discuss navigating the complexities of HR and organizational development in higher education. They discuss topics like transitioning to hybrid remote work, implementing assessment tools, and removing barriers to employee success. The conversation highlights the significance of relationships, learning, and understanding people’s needs, while Holly shares her career aspirations and vision for the future of work.
Holly Marrone, the Executive Director/Chief People Officer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, brings over a decade of experience in HR and organizational development. She has successfully led teams and implemented strategies to drive employee engagement and foster a culture of inclusion. With her expertise in talent management and her dedication to creating positive work environments, Holly has made significant contributions to the field of higher education. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Better People:
- Graduate school exposed Holly to the world of organizational consulting and executive coaching, fueling her passion for HR and OD work.
- Building relationships, earning trust, and producing results have been crucial in navigating the complexities of a large organization like Penn.
- Holly’s ability to see the future and lead others without fear has been her greatest accomplishment in driving organizational change.
- Understanding the cultural aspect of physical presence and the need for human interaction is key in designing the hybrid remote workplace.
- Finding the right balance between productivity and distractions is crucial in creating a successful hybrid remote workplace.
- As an HR practitioner, create connections and support individuals where they are in order to have a tremendous impact on their lives.
- Holly envisions herself as an architect of the future of work, seeking opportunities to transform organizations and contribute to societal changes.
Connecting with Holly Marrone:
Connecting with Holly DePalma:
- 09:01 – How you work with people is core and, and I’m a humanist, I believe so deeply in the beauty of, of people and that people want to ultimately do well and want to thrive. And if you can find out what their goals are and how you help advance those and partner with them while also advancing yours, it’s, it’s the magic, you know, elixir to everybody being successful.
- 25:01 – And so when an employee brings you a problem, we have to kind of spider that out and understand the complexity and, and do some root cause analysis to understand what is really happening. Is it people conflict, or is it task conflict? Is it a mix of both? Does it look like it’s people conflict, but it’s really about the process? And so I think understanding, you know, people conflict versus task conflict is really important.
- 19:22 – I mean we are certainly as leaders in organizations juggling many, many different things post Covid-19 and challenges, and really we tend to call them, I think people call them the softer side of things. They’re really more the human side of things.
- Holly DePalma: So in talking about sort of this new world of work and it, it sounds like you have some people who are home, some people you’re kind of a hybrid model. How is that, how do you, how was that working?
- Holly Marrone: So for me, you know, the forward-thinking nature of this was right before Covid-19 happened. I had already kind of spoke to my boss about this concept of reimagining the workplace. And I said to her, what if everybody’s not in the building all the time?
- Holly Marrone: I’m not educating students, or I’m not, you know, doing research, or I’m not doing those, but if I support those people who are, if I can remove the obstacles if I can recognize what gets in the way of them being successful, and I can help them get around those, then I can contribute to that ultimate success of the organization.
- Holly DePalma: The way that you very succinctly laid out how you contribute to the results of what’s happening in your organization is a powerful way to look at things and your impact that you have as an HR leader, as somebody who is there to support, maybe not, you know, do the experiments or do the teaching, but you’re there to support.