Episode 7: What Does it Mean to be a CHRO in a Digital World? (Interview with Katarina Berg, CHRO at Spotify)

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The focus on HR continues to intensify, and with it so does the importance of the role of the Chief Human Resources Officer. The CHRO role becomes even more critical in a hyper growth company where balancing culture and talent with the use of technology and data, can prove the difference between success and failure.

But what does the role of CHRO actually entail, and how has it evolved in our digital world? That's the topic for this week's episode where my guest is Katarina Berg, Chief Human Resources Officer at Spotify. You can listen below or by visiting the podcast website here.

In our podcast, Katarina and I discuss:

  • The key responsibility to the CHRO, and the unique challenges involved in leading HR in a hyper growth company

  • The importance of developing and evolving the right culture to support business growth

  • About Spotify's approach to using people data and how this has helped drive business outcomes, and employee experience

  • We also look into the crystal ball and ponder what the role of HR will in 2025

This episode is a must listen for current and aspiring HR leaders eager to develop a winning culture, and harness digital and analytics. 

Support for this podcast is brought to you by ClickIQ - find out more at www.clickiq.co.uk.

Interview Transcript

David Green: Welcome to The Digital HR Leaders Show, Katarina. It's great to have you as a guest. Can you give our listeners a bit of an introduction to yourself and your background, and your role at Spotify?

Katarina Berg: So, my role is CHRO, which is I'm heading up the global HR team but I also actually head up strategy ops, I head up GBS, which is global workplace services, and I also have brand and creative. So, it's a quite wide role but everything ties in to, actually, people.

David Green:  All into people, which is quite forward thinking for most organisations, have a CHRO and then heads of all the various other things that you've mentioned.

Katarina Berg:  I think so but it's not the first role that looks like that. It has more or less followed me right through my career, but I also have, like everybody else, close conversations with our CEO, and I think it is actually exactly the way that Daniel envisions it, and also the way that we are running the company. So, a couple of the CXOs have a bit more of multitasking in a different way, I think.

David Green: And you've been with Spotify for quite a while. How big was Spotify when you joined and how big is it now?

Katarina Berg: I might be lying now, I think it was a bit more than 850 people but we are a bit more than 4,000 now, so, fairly a big amount of growth. And we've been in hyper growth now for six years, and I think we first see that that will keep being the case for at least four more years.

David Green: So, taking a step back, what is involved in being a CHRO? Give our listeners a guide to what's involved, how the role has evolved, and what are the key responsibilities.

Katarina Berg: When I joined the field of HR or even personnel, or whatever it was called back then, I think it was a lot about knowing the labour law and it still is, right? If you don't understand where you're operating in different parts of the world, and what the rules and regulations, I think you come across as a bit short, so, it's still labour law.

There, I don't see a big difference even if that has changed in the role too. I think most people actually go into this type of field or occupation because they are interested in people, but we all know, especially the people that do work within HR, that you are the employers, right? A tool box. And you're there to actually build up the business. That is what you do first and foremost.

I think the biggest change over the 20 years plus that I've been into this field of work is that it's become much, much more strategic. It is much closer than ever to the business, and it has to do with the polarities of taking care of the individual. But when the individual grows and doing well, and developing, the company does that well. So, it's not either or, it's both and, and I think that is the biggest change.

It's very, very seldom, I think, at least where I am now and when I talk to other CHROs, that people are mistaking the role or the department, or the unit to be only taking care of listening to how people are doing, and taking care of conflicts, or making sure that everybody is on the same page in a very kind of consensus type of way.

David Green: So, turning back to your role at Spotify, you mentioned, obviously, the company's going through hyper growth and it's likely to continue to do so, moving forward. What are some of the challenges this gives you in your role and your extended role, and also the HR team itself?

Katarina Berg: I think when you talk to people that work really, and lean into employee rebranding, most of the time, when we say that we get more than 26,000 applications a month, people go like, "Oh, that is great. Good for you." I think everybody that actually do work with the talent acquisition or HR, widely, do understand that that is a bit like a head scratch.

26,000 applications. If you want to read all of them, take them very serious, and you do because you don't want to miss out on talent, right? And you want to match that role with that personality, and that talent, that gives you a bit of a challenge. The other thing is that we are trying to recruit, and have been the last six years, as I said, between 100 and 150 people each month.

So, you also have to have a good plan on how to onboard all these people in a smart way, so, you don't lose focus. So, I would say then, the need for speed and the power of focus is two areas. And then, having a couple of, but very few, goals and processes, how that works, and how you attract the right people rather than all the people.

Right now, the brand or the employer brand might be very strong and very sexy. That can change in a heartbeat, right? So, how do you keep connecting with all the talent in all the pockets around the world, and how do you, with that speed, make sure that you also have a diverse hire.

David Green: And obviously, you have a very strong consumer brand as well.

Katarina Berg: We do, and here, I think, again, it helps people to be attracted by, hey, I could most likely see myself work there. But sometimes you put everything that you perceive being part of that consumer brand into what that would be as an employee too. So, for us, it's very important that our communication is very true, very relevant, very authentic to what it would be to actually work, and try to manage expectations rather than sell a job, a role, a company or a culture or a journey that we are on.

David Green: Which leads onto the next question which is around culture. So, how do you maintain and evolve culture within an environment which is experiencing rapid growth like Spotify?

Katarina Berg: Obviously, if you put it bluntly, I think there are two schools. Obviously, there are more schools but one school is, hey, you only get the culture that you get and you don't have to work, or fuss with it. We don't really belong in that school. We do understand that it's a couple of norms and a couple of behaviours, and that should be value-driven, and that is important to us.

So, culture evolves, and all the people that are in the company are the culture, and the culture is actually the people that work with us. So, I'm fortunate that way, and I think the whole company is, that we have a CEO that doesn't believe in, now, when we have a strong or good, or even a great culture, let's cling onto that.

He understands, and I think the whole company understands that it will evolve, it will change. But there are couple things that are us, that is part of our DNA like being innovative and maybe even being a bit disruptive, and dare to try new things, and try to stay passionate, curious, and learn faster than the world is changing.

 Those things are core to us but that doesn't only define what a culture is. So, what has been important from the get go is actually to involve everybody, to give every employee, every band member a voice of what is important for you to have fun, what is important for you to grow or develop, what is important for you to do your best work but what is also important for you to come and be able to be the best version of yourself.

And that boils down to a very open and very transparent kind of passion tour, where we collected their values, and then decided these are the five values that we cherish, the five that we keep ourselves responsible to. These are the five that we want to see. And then, it's one of those hit, hit and remind, both when we have intro days, when we have everybody come to Stockholm for almost a full week. So, the new ones also have a chance to get vaccinated by them, but also pressure test them and tell us if they still hold through, and if they are the right ones.

But also that we measure, and it's not just on are you aware of them but do you live by them, and interesting enough also, do you think that other people live by them and are they helpful when you take decisions.

So, it's an ongoing kind of work where we don't cling on. I think that is an important thing. I've seen so many other companies go, "Now is such a great place and also, it's a soft spot, so, let's cling." And then you grow, and then people are like, "I don't really feel that I was part of that or that that is right." So, I think it might sound like semantics, and a lot of things might do with us, but involving everybody. And the other thing is not talking about a strong culture, but talking about the right culture, is important to us.

David Green: So, strong vision from the top, from the CEO, a feeling of inclusion that everyone's involved in helping develop and evolve the culture.

Katarina Berg:  Right.

David Green: And how do you measure success? That age old problem.

Katarina Berg: Yeah. That old, old problem. I think there are a couple things. One, I don't think you should be scared of saying that when you walk around and you do that walk, and not just the talk, that could be a measurement. The other thing is that we do a GLE, which is not really us because GLE, if you are in a fast-moving landscape, competition is fierce and also moving very, very fast, and if you actually have the leader position when it comes to stream music in the way that you sometimes develop things that are not already there. To do it, GLE is not enough.

 But there, we have a measurement that actually says, is it very clear what direction, is it very clear where we're going, what the values are, do you live by them, and do you find them useful, and also, do you think that other people, individuals and teams ... So, that would be one of the measurements.

But then, I think when it comes down to business results, that is where we see the real, and also, if people find it to be easy or hard to navigate. If they find it to be easy or hard to come up from the starting blocks and start to hit the hurdles. Because it is a quite complex company with at least two business models, and the pace is not making it easier, so, this is very important. So, there's a couple of different measurements.

David Green: So, moving from measuring culture, let's move onto people analytics, which, as you know, is one of my favorite pet projects. The HR function really is having to change and it's being asked to change, and be a bit more data-driven.

Katarina Berg:  Right.

David Green:  And a bit more business focused.

Katarina Berg:  Yes.

David Green: In what do you see the role of people analytics, in helping HR achieve that?

Katarina Berg: I think it has a very central role, going forward. So, in one way I find it always to be quite interesting that HR always been very trend sensitive. So, when there is a buzz of a word or a sensation, or a trend, everybody follows with the sense of the train is leaving the platform, and oh, my God, we are still on the platform.

So, for instance, KPIs and analytics, or statistics has always been a strong point for HR. I think we collected and collected, and collected. What I think is new but not for all, that would be insensitive to say, is that, actually, to put those data sets together and take informed decisions or guide the organisation when it comes to wider things than just people specific.

So, a bit more HR or workplace, or people analytics like insights, and conclusions and analytics rather than HR statistics. So, I think it's not starting from scratch, and it's not trying to figure out what metrics is, or what data we need to collect. I think it's more how do we use it in a smart way.

Then, I think the second thing to think about is, do we even look for more people with analytic skills to join HR or do we find more HR people with that analytic skill? I think you can mix that, obviously, and it's not necessarily one way is better, but I think that is a good thing to start to think about in a role like mine. How do you want to build that team?

I think the third step for us was more about, hey, let's not go for Nirvana, let's start to work with it. So, instead of dreaming up the coolest or the most front leaning digital data warehouse, to go like, "Okay, so, if we have the data, how do we put the data sets together? Who will actually work with this? What is our voice and what will we use it for?"

As soon as we did that, the output and the outcome came quite fast in a way where we're like, okay, we all got to sit on this, which felt a bit stupid for us but I've been around for a long time now, and I'm not really in the business anymore, to build my CV. So, it was like, just put the guard down and start to discuss it, both internally but also with the lead team for the company of like, hey, I sit on all this information and my team does. Let's see if we can have more suggestions, more conclusion, and a bit more of variety of where we should go and what we should we maybe not do more.

That is also one of the reasons why we have our HR blog when it comes to all the areas that we do. Sometimes to just be open and transparent about the things that we have been thinking or been doing that was not so smart, with a couple of things that we are trying. So, it's more about both open bets where we don't know where it's actually going to end up. Some winning bets but some losing bets too because people don't, and our colleagues don't really have to do the same mistake.

I think it's not that it's new mark or territory, and it's not really greenfield. I think you also have to connect to what type of business you are, and what you're aiming for with this data. But for sure, the short answer on your question, David, would be, yes, I think it is important. I think it will play a bigger role in the future than it has done.

David Green:  And I think you're right. I think you don't have to just hire loads of people with analytics skills into HR, and you can't just transform HR people into analytics. It is, I think, a happy marriage between the two.

Katarina Berg:  Right.

David Green: Which I think is probably why, at least initially, 95 or maybe even more percent of organisations that I know, they have HR analytics people analytics, whatever they want to call it, is in HR or housed in HR. And I know from speaking to some of your team over the years, that I think you focused a lot of your energies around things like recruitment, things like workforce planning, things like location and site location analysis as well.

Katarina Berg: Yes.

David Green: Because you're such a fast-growing company, and I think, from what you were saying, I think the key thing is to connect the work with the business challenges that the organisation's facing, which sounds like-

Katarina Berg:  Right.

David Green:  ... what you're doing.

Katarina Berg: Yeah, right, and I think that is true too. I think one of the things that was important too, was to both pump the brake, and accelerate at the same time, and what do I mean with that? If you come from a company that is very data informed, everything that we do, everything from ads, campaigns or the brand creative work, or obviously all the R&D work is very based on data.

And then, when you then jump into something that you think might be a new thing within HR, it's easy to follow that trait or that path. For me, it was important to do two things when we did pumping the brake for a minute. It was, one, for the reasons that you mentioned. Being where we are. For us, it was a lot about, even only TA analytics, and people analytics are much wider and much bigger than that. I think we are drawn into that space because that is where we put a lot of focus but if we don't look to the bigger ...

 So, it was a bit about zooming out rather than zooming in, so, taking that time, even though it wasn't a lot of time. The second thing was not to do exactly what the rest of the company does because we do something else. A lot of parts of Spotify are talking, even about being data-driven. Back to the semantics, for me, it's more about being data informed, and I keep doing the story about the bikini and everybody goes like, "Oh, don't do it again." But I think they-

David Green:  No, no. Please do.

Katarina Berg: I think the data or analytics is actually like a bikini. It shows a lot but it reveals the most important part, right? And if you then let yourself be data led or driven, I think it will take you, sometimes, to the wrong places. Maybe for the right reasons, right? Going back to, hey, a lot of us have been doing this job for a long time, and there is a lot of experience, and experience sometimes have different words or different kind of labels, and intuition is one that I use.

So, experience and intuition combined with data is most likely the things that excites the most, instead of only listening to, hey, the data says and the data tells us. Especially if everybody has the same data, then most people come to the same insights. No matter if it's external or internal, right? And then, obviously, their beliefs will be the same things. But if you want to have some contrarian beliefs, and then some contrarian bets, what are we actually betting on?

I think if you don't want to do the follow John, like, hey, everybody is going here or everybody else has an office over here, or we need to grow, or this is the things that are our conclusions and what we're betting for. I think if you combine these two, this is where it gets really exciting. And this is why we talk a lot about, and why hammer into my team. We're going to be data informed and we need to be much better, no matter what role. Not just the people analytics team, the whole team needs to work with these data settings much smarter but also in a nimble way, right?

And not forget that if you put everybody's experience intuition into it, sometimes the data points at one direction but we will dare to go in a different direction, and this is where I think you can strike gold.

David Green: You mentioned your HR blog, which is great that you publish that externally as well, so people can understand some of the things that are going on in Spotify, and you also mentioned a contrarian approach. Your recent article, I think was how we do people analytics but you had three steps. Can you just walk through the three steps? For those who haven't read it yet, you really should.

Katarina Berg: Yeah, so, I should maybe mention the blog came about because ... which is a very great place to be. People are quite curious what we do in all the different fields within HR, and there's no way that we can welcome everybody to come and visit us, or do panels or key notes or fire chats.

So, we wanted to be open, we wanted to share, and also the things that might not go so well for us. Lately, Arvid that is heading up the total compensation but also the HR insights team, he's been writing couple of blog posts, and to be very honest, we've been writing them together but some are more him, and some are more me.

And then, we wanted to explain the three steps. Everybody that reads it, including yourself, David, it's nothing smart and it's nothing exceptional, it's nothing new. It's just the way to calm people down because when I meet other people in HR, they keep, like, "I need to go external and we need to have a lot consultants to help us out, and I don't know where to start. What are the tools? Do I now have to buy a lot of new support in form of tools or tool boxes?"

So, it's more describing how we get from point A to C, and also how that guides us. So, it's quite fairly simple and I would say not unique in any way, but I think anybody that reads that and follow those steps will come to the very eye-opening aha, I suppose, that we did. Like, okay, we sit with all this, we're going to use it in a different way, we're going to connect the dots because it's more about that. But I saw, when we started, which is also what's described there in the three steps, is actually key of locks, right?

The key of locks is one word in Swedish, it's a different word in English, and my whole team was struggling. What do you mean with key of locks? Is it actually locks and keys? But I grew up in the 70s, so, to actually move your vessel through water in a smart way where you open the flood and you close the gates, and use that in a smart way. I think that is what we're trying to describe in the blog.

David Green: Well, it's very good. You're being very modest about it. In terms of an example, have you got an example of a project where you've used people data or insights from analytics, to help either solve a business challenge at Spotify or maybe help to improve employee experience, or maybe both?

Katarina Berg: Yeah. For instance, there're a couple of things that we see with the data, when it comes to leadership and also combined with when people feel less stress or more stress. And also where they find direction, and also if they live in a bit of uncertainty, which is a stressful place to be by itself.

So, for instance, what we saw, not quite early on but when we started to work with this in a different way was all the managers that have or contact one on ones, weekly or bi-weekly, all their employees that have managers or do that together with their manager, have less stress, have more clarity, feel much more satisfied with their work, and feel that they can impact more.

So, things like that, that when I say it, I feel a bit embarrassed because it sounds so easy, and it was in front of us all the time. But as soon as we say this to managers and employees, because we truly believe in self-leadership, people go like, "Maybe I should start to have those one on ones instead of having very time-consuming, giving formula-driven big meetings where everything is structured. We'll have them then do check-ins."

I think most of the managers, also at Spotify, use walks and talks. There're so few meetings where you do the check-in and you do iterations, or you do like mentoring or support, or just coaching, or pushing back, or challenging a couple of decisions, or ways of working. You don't have to sit down and you don't have to take notes. So, by having those, very few things come as surprises, and changes or iterations are not big things where you go, "I feel a bit insecure, what does this actually mean?"

It most likely comes from the employee themselves, right? So, that is one very simple example. A bigger one that actually has a lot to do with the business decisions and money is where to grow, right? So, the data gives us relationship with universities and high schools, and what attrition looks like in those pockets of the world, tenure, labour law, total comp cost, if there is something that is called total comp, which is fairly debated for good reasons too.

But also where we lose and where talent goes, and where we coach, and where they come from. So, when you put all that together, it gives us very good advice on where to grow and where to put our next office, no matter if it's more of content office or it's more of an R&D office, or if it's a mixed office.

Even competition has the same data, and I think this has been very good, both for board material but also for the lead team, but also for the managers that are heading up big chunks of departments where we sometimes find it to be tough to find talent in that pace, but also to those big numbers that we are facing all the time.

David Green: Sometimes it's actually some obvious insights can actually help cement some HR programs that are there for a reason, and actually help affect behavioural changes. It sounds like it's doing the walks and talks and stuff.

Katarina Berg: It is, and the cool part is as soon as we got the dashboard and the way that we work now, it wasn't the analytics team that connected the dots. It was actually Jana Tingwell, that is heading up the greenhouse, which is our L&D team. Digging into the data, pressure testing it and from a couple different directions, and then came back to the HR lead team and said, "This is our findings." And we all got really excited about it and saw what we could do. And then, of course, then HRBPs that sits in all the different lead teams could go back and work with it.

At the same time, obviously, the greenhouse could work with what does this mean when it comes to deciding new leadership trainings or just check-in, or refresh. So, I think what we have seen all the areas where the head of TA or the greenhouse, or comp and ben, but also the HRS team together with the HRBP team, they find things. What's even more exciting, the PX team, which is the people experience team that does everything from the sports club to the office sessions, and the things that we do for ... All of a sudden, we have people that might not think that they are so interested in analytics, going like, "I'm crazy about this," right?

So, you get that engagement and you're even close to passionate about it, which we didn't find when it was all about TA analytics, right? So, you have to widen the scope.

David Green: So, Katarina, we both spoke at a LinkedIn event in Paris. Think it was nearly a year ago now, in June I think.

Katarina Berg:  Yeah, yeah.

David Green: And you spoke about digital transformation that you've been ongoing at Spotify, very impressive story, and I know it went down very well. For those that weren't there, and maybe a year on, what are some of the key milestones along that journey that you've taken?

Katarina Berg: So, there's two parts of that story. One, what the company has done and what the HR team has mirrored, more or less. I think, first of all, being a bit of disruptors going into this field, putting music and changing the way of the behaviour of a listener with stream, when most people actually still were either spending their time with piracy, right? Or buying CDs, ripping those CDs off.

And then, back then, obviously Daniel and Martin had an idea of how that could change, and that also most people actually would like to pay for the music that they would listen to, if it only was easy enough. I think the threshold or the easy is making easy simple again has been one of those red flags.

Other thing is, a lot of people come or ask, or even on stage, I think I said people are struggling with digitalisation, hard time to say that in English, and also digitisation, which two different things actually. But for us, we've never been analogue, so, when they ask me to talk about that journey and that transformation, it's very hard for me to do it because we're cheating here, right? We started digital from the beginning.

That doesn't mean that you don't have to keep up with the pace and you don't have to learn. We do all the time, and you have to be on your toes, and really flex your calves to be in that position that you would like to be. But I think that journey that the company has done, has helped the HR transformation to be a bit digital too. Do I think that we are where we should be? No, I don't think so, and I think it's important to be open internally as well as externally.

 Do I think that we have been forward leaning and done things very smart when it comes to be AI, when it comes also augmented reality, when it comes to learning, and going into the tech space and automise a lot of things as quick that we could or should? No, I don't think so. Do I think that we have started on that journey now? Yeah, for sure. Is there a bit of resistance? Yes. I think within myself and within the team, there is some change averseness in us too but I think we keep ourselves accountable.

But I think one of the things that has been important for us where it might be a lot of technique discussions and even people being a bit afraid, and there's a resistance, I think overall, not just necessarily in our company or within my team. I think that ethical aspect is very, very interesting, right? So, no matter if you teach a robot or you look into what this could mean, actually, within recruitment or if you want to ... I think the last blog post was also about having robots actually do our contracts because it will take away the time-consuming, very repetitive work. It will not take away the human touch, the emotions, and connecting some of the dots from what it actually means to be a human being together with technology.

Because they are getting much more smarter, and much more sensitive, and they are actually reflecting and mirroring the way that we act, the way we talk, the way that we behave in the room. So, I think I would like to see more happening there, so, I think spending time discussing it with your team, what it could actually mean. And then, where there is a tool that really works, put it in there because then, you could have ...

For instance, I have a super skilled HR specialist team but they sit with a lot of things that is admin heavy, repetitive, and they, for sure, didn't go to university to do that, and all their experience, and they're so skilled, their traits are not to do that.

 It gives them time to do the things that they only can do, right? So, the team and I, we welcome this development. We look forward to see a lot of things but it's very early days.

David Green:  Yeah, I agree.

Katarina Berg: And a lot of things that are out on the market is actually slowing us down, and are not as good as sometimes this discussion, or paper and pencil, or even computer.

David Green: Big thing about digital transformation is around mindset, and at least in many respects because Spotify is a digital company, it's got that already. That's interesting about ethics, because every CHRO or head of people analytics, particularly head of people analytics I speak to, mentions ethics because it is a challenge, because things are changing so fast and what we can do isn't necessarily what we should do or we're able to do now.

So, yeah, it is a really interesting debate, which I suspect we'll continue having over the coming years. Now, you mentioned technology, I know we've spoken before about the HR technology field, and obviously, it's an area which is attracting a lot of investment at the moment, a lot of disruption, a lot of new clients coming in. I'm interested to understand what excites you about the HR technology market.

Katarina Berg:  Right.

David Green: And what frustrates you about it.

Katarina Berg: Yeah. First of all, it might be provocative and-

David Green: We don't mind provocative.

Katarina Berg: Okay. So, what I see being labeled as HR tech right now is actually HR systems, and it's not fair but 92% is. HR systems are necessary and they're good, but they used to be called PA systems or something like that. Now, if you go to any of these big shows or events, there will be an expo, right? And there will be expo for a good reason. What's never been said and never been told, and never been acknowledged by CHROs or HR departments, but for all these developers is we have a big budget, right? There's a lot of money within HR.

For the first time, with all these start ups and with all these digital possibilities, the market has understood this earlier than I think the people with the wallet. People like myself, right? And there's a reason why it usually is 2,000 different, hey, look at this, and you can do this, and people experience, and employee experience, and you can measure engagement, and you want to track this and you want to do that, and all that.

Most of it doesn't look good but what excites me is this, I have now had the opportunity and also to try out a couple of things that I actually think is HR tech. And then, you see, even if it's not there and even if it's not working exactly the way, you either co-develop with some of them or you give them and your team our time to try out a couple things. And then, they go back and iterate.

A couple of things that I saw when I was at Singapore, and the team and I tried out when it comes to training and team development, and team building, really excited me. Here you go, and it's so real that it doesn't feel like it's a game anymore. It doesn't feel like you're playing, nothing wrong with that. It's fun but it's also close to scary how good it looks like now. I think that will save time because we don't have to have classroom training, it doesn't have to be when everybody else can do it. You can actually just check-in and do that.

So, I am excited and I see a couple of things but I would love us to put, hey, a spade is a spade, right? So, if it's HR system, it's HR systems, and they need it, and some are good, some are bad but let's label it. And then, when it's HR tech, I think it is HR tech.

David Green: I mean, my kids use Spotify. It's really easy to use, it's intuitive, it's personalised, and that's what our HR technology needs to be like as well, really.

Katarina Berg: True, yes.

David Green: And I think you mentioned some of the engagement employee experience platforms. Obviously, a real shift in the last year now, they're really actually trying to inform those behavioural nudges. I think the technology's getting there to do that now, so, it'd be interesting, over the next couple of years as these things develop.

Now, that leads onto the question that we always ask all of our guests on the show. Where do you think HR will be in 2025?

Katarina Berg: Most likely irritate a lot of people, maybe not in the HR field but I think a lot of CFOs and maybe CTOs, but I think HR or CHROs will actually be CEOs in the future. I think it's so close to the business right now, and I think it's all about building up the business. You can talk about culture, culture, culture, it's always going to be that. You're going to talk about people, people, people. Yes, that is within our field but most other things are a commodity, the processes, the products.

You might have a time span, right? You might have a monopoly or you would have a momentum where you come up with something, then you would have the rest of the bunch catching up with you, more or less, right? And you can have that first mover advantage, for sure. But it will come down to, and even more so, I think the pendulum is right now like, hey, we're going to work in all these remote spaces and there's going to be co-working space, it's going to be co-lab. I think the pendulum goes back like, hey, it's going to even be more like an office because everything is moving so fast, everything is changing.

 We need that as human beings. This is where my flock is, this is what we do together, this is how we build. So, by having those traits of how do you make people not work harder but smarter. How do you actually create a team? What is leadership skills today and tomorrow? What does success looks like, and how do you build out a really successful team by not going, hey, let's go Ivy league and put these two ... We have seen that, no matter if you go into sports or you go into companies, it's something else. And I think that will be a trait that we'll see more and more CEOs or the people leading the companies.

So, I think it's going to be even more strategic. I think it's going to move into that space. I'm not sure if there is a lot of CHROs that want to have that space but I think they will be, if they're not today, the right hand for the CEO. I think they will. So, I think it's going to be more of what we have seen the last two years, to 2025, and it's going to be even more important for the business development and the growth of individuals but also the business itself.

David Green: That's it. Well, Katarina, thank you very much for being a guest on The Digital HR Leaders show. It's been great to have.

Katarina Berg:  Thank you for having me.

David Green:  How can listeners stay in touch with you and connect with you on social media, or follow your blog on-

Katarina Berg: So, you can follow the HR blog. It's not my blog, it's the HR team's, so, do that if you're interested in what we're doing. You could also follow the hashtag, lifeatSpotify, then you will see what's happening both on Twitter but also Instagram. If anybody, for any reason would like to follow me, I have a very strange name, both on Twitter. I have my own name on LinkedIn but when it comes to Twitter, it's daigosweden.

Daigo is the area in Japan because my mom is from Japan, my father is Swedish, so, that put in English to you. So, daigosweden is my Twitter handle. I think that is the easiest way to follow.

David Green:  Perfect. Thank you very much.

Katarina Berg:  Thank you very much.

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