Trust In HR – Interview with CAHR19 Keynote Speaker Amber Baldet
Like most HR practitioners, Amber Baldet, CEO, Clovyr, builds bridges between worlds – a feat that demands a deep, mutual trust. With a history of collaborating with her executive peers at JP Morgan Chase and underground cypherpunks, Baldet spearheaded the development and growth of the JPMorgan Chase Blockchain Center of Excellence. If you struggle to build meaningful trust within your company to create (or even improve existing) systems, you won’t want to miss Amber’s wisdom.
Gutsy, glitter-loving CEO and blockchain technology pioneer Amber Baldet will be taking the #CAHR19 Main Stage on Wednesday at the 2019 California HR Conference – and we can’t wait. In our latest interview, we dive into Baldet’s extensive experience with building trust, internal advocacy for emerging tech, and understanding blockchain – and what it means for HR.
Amber Baldet: Technically, a blockchain is just away for people who don’t necessarily know or trust each other to share tamper-proof data. But when enterprises talk about blockchain technology today, they’re usually talking about applications that help them coordinate in new ways across the trust boundaries within their organization or industry.
CAHR19: What’s the question you’re most often asked about blockchain?
Amber Baldet: People often ask if it’s ready for prime time – the scaling and energy usage challenges of public blockchain projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum have highlighted some tradeoffs in permissionless blockchain networks. Most of the platforms enterprises are looking at, though, have made some different trust assumptions that allow them to scale more easily. There is still a long way to go from “useful technology” to “ubiquitous applications,” though.
CAHR19: What catalyzed your interest in blockchain? How were you able to incorporate this interest with your work at JP Morgan?
Amber Baldet: I’d followed the progression of Bitcoin since its early days, because it’s a technically interesting project that also combines aspects of economics, security, and social governance in new ways. Once people started talking about tokenizing other financial assets (making them digitally scare and trackable), it became very interesting to the banking sector and I was lucky to be in the right place to be able to explain things in a way that was helpful to many different stakeholders.
CAHR19: Why is staying on the pulse of emerging technology a crucial strategy for HR practitioners?
Amber Baldet: Everything about the workforce is changing, from how people work, to when and where they work, and how you discover the best talent in a global marketplace. Embracing that evolution keeps your company competitive, but it’s not always easy to transform legacy processes and systems. It’s a journey that never ends and requires dedicated resources to stay competitive.
CAHR19: What advice do you have for HR professionals fighting for technological advances within their own companies?
Amber Baldet: Excitement about digital innovation means that there is a great opportunity to drive investment in things you probably should have had already if you really were following all those best practices recommendations… whether that’s a deep dive security test to ensure there’s no employee data lost due to an embarrassing data breach or revisiting policies to allow employees to contribute to open source projects in their free time (an important recruiting checkbox for the best developer talent). Use the hype to do something real.
CAHR19: What do you recommend for HR professionals who want to make the case at their company to implement blockchain in relevant applications?
Amber Baldet: There’s no point in implementing a technology just to have the shiny new thing. Stay on top of interesting projects, like attestations that can reduce diploma fraud and simplify credential vetting, and be prepared to move when the time is right. That might mean revising vendor onboarding processes so they work better for startups, or identifying innovation-thinkers already in the organization that can help catalyze internal education.
CAHR19: Why are you excited to speak at the California HR Conference?
Amber Baldet: People are the heart (and brain and muscles) of a company. Strong HR practices are crucial to a healthy, productive company – and to keeping employees safe – so it’s fun to get to engage with a group of practitioners that live that every day. It’s a good time to be thinking about what the organization of 2030 looks like.
Thanks so much for your time, Amber! We can’t wait to learn from you at the CAHR19 closing keynote session on Wednesday. It’s not too late to sign up – register today to join us at the largest HR event on the West Coast and earn 18.0 recertification credits!
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