The Right Culture brings the Organization Together: Shreeram Varahan, Head of HR-India & Global Operations Centers, Thomson Reuters


According to Shreeram Varahan, Head of HR-India & Global Operations Centers, Thomson Reuters, building a culture of open and transparent communications, builds trust, and creates an environment that motivates people to deliver to their full potential.

What are the steps you take as a leader to embrace innovative disruption?

Innovation is key to any organization growth especially in this age of creative thinking. However, the challenge for leaders is how we choose to embrace and apply transformative change across our organizations. This means encouraging our people and teams to:

  • Shift from a static to a dynamic, “Agile” mentality and to make empower each member of the team to take accountability for the results.
  • Bring creativity to their work but also divergent thinking -. the ability to come up with lots of different answers to the same question – and for managers to see divergent thinking as an opportunity not a challenge to existing plans
  • Not only finding but exploring and testing many possible answers

Overall, we need a clear mindset change for us to embrace and adapt to innovation. The world is changing around this and it is important for organizations to embrace the opportunities of change. If we don’t, we lose our impact!

What are the strategies you employ to upskill your workforce?

Talent is the most important asset an organization has and investing in the workforce – nurturing your talent especially during periods of change – is fundamental to business growth.

Some key strategies to maintain business perspective and performance are:

  • Encourage a culture of coaching: Coaching helps an individual realize their potential which in turn increases their appetite for risk and build their confidence to experiment with new approaches. Build an agile culture in coaching – it’s a combination of consistency and agility that potential leaders can become strategic, performing an organization’s purpose with excellence but changing course when the situation demands
  • Tailored learning solutions – Align career development to learner needs and build role development plans. This takes an organization to the next level of maturity, becoming a high impact learning organization and catering to the needs to an individual’s learning solutions, but strongly aligned to the business proposition
  • Grow the leaders of the future – equip talent with the skills and capabilities and experiences to be the leaders of future, solving business challenges and driving growth

 How do you win at talent management? 

  • Prioritize diversity and gender equality – This inspires broadening of the thought process and deepens problem-solving skills. Diversity of all kinds enhances business and talent opportunities in turn adds different dimension to solution hence positively impacting the talent landscape.
  • Bridge the gap – proactively Identify future talent needs and work on building skills now for any forecasted gaps.
  • Promote talent mobility – continuous rotation of employees, providing opportunities for on the job learning and in different business environments, builds a stronger, more effective skilled workforce to deliver on the needs of the organization.
  • Make technology literacy a priority -technology is now in the hands of everyone in the company. To bring about a skills revolution, everyone needs to understand it. It is no longer limited to the Technology-oriented resources alone!

What role do you think culture plays in increasing efficiency at work?

Keeping culture at the forefront helps in strengthening our change agility and ability. It helps the workforce stay curious, connected, focused and organized. It helps them anticipate and adapt to change. Building a culture of open and transparent communications, builds trust, and creates an environment that motivates people to deliver to their full potential.

The right culture brings the organization together; it encourages collaboration and partnership amongst employees and clearly helps them understand the larger objectives and more importantly drives change and the adoption of change more effectively.

What role do you think technology plays in talent management? How can technology bring about a change in the talent management lifecycle?

This is an age of ‘digital transformation’ and we often talk about ‘all things digital’. Understanding emerging technologies helps transform current practices in HR and talent management and ultimately drives long-term business strategy.

Technology empowers our teams to self-organize, collaborate, and make decisions. It builds a culture that puts emphasis on new ways of working. The ‘tech culture’ connects our global workforce, allowing them to work together in new and creative ways, and ensures efficacy in performance.

Talent linked to business strategy is imperative and a clear driver of growth. As our organizations and business are evolving so too does our approach to talent. Talent management is at the intersection of people, technology and digitization.


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