Five minutes with… Amanda Sterling

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Amanda Sterling is an organisational development practitioner with nearly 10 years’ experience in HR. She is the Director of #nzlead, which connects a community of HR professionals from New Zealand and around the world.

How would you sum up HR professionals in three words?
I think there are two distinct groups.
Head In Sand, and Hungry To Grow

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Respect the past, analyse the present, plan for the future.

What are some of the biggest challenges HR deals with?
I think the biggest challenge that HR deals with is walking the talk. The pressure for HR to lead by example is much more intense when they’re the ones facilitating leadership development – or coaching on proper disciplinary processes. HR are not perfect either but their credibility is at stake if they don’t get it right.

How do you see the role of HR changing in the future?
I see HR evolving from being less about delivering information and resources to more about empowering people to find this information themselves. This is through supporting people to connect with each other and, therefore, facilitating relationships, learning and innovation. I believe HR will become more vital to the business as effective people management becomes a critical part of competitive advantage.

What’s your favoured style of coffee?
It depends. If it’s a café coffee it’s a trim cappuccino with chocolate on top, if it’s at home or out of a pot, a long black.

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
I probably wouldn’t. How awkward would that be to have people you barely knew to your house for dinner? I’d rather become friends first, but then that negates the question.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in HR, I would be…
A goat farmer. 

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