Join getAbstract to access the summary!


Join getAbstract to access the summary!


A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval

Public Affairs,

15 min read
6 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Leverage today’s social crises to create more adaptive, diverse, inclusive and curious company cultures.

Editorial Rating



  • Bold
  • Overview
  • Insider's Take


HR leaders should never let a good crisis go to waste, argues Johnny Taylor, head of his profession’s largest association, the Society for Human Resource Management. In this no-nonsense guide, he deconstructs HR’s current deficiencies and details the data-driven and business-oriented leadership it needs to move forward. He urges CEOs and HR leaders to leverage the twin crises of COVID-19 and stark social injustices to create more equitable and inclusive corporate cultures.


Leverage today’s social crises to reinvent your business.

For decades, HR suffered neglect because most leaders didn’t value it. The COVID-19 pandemic may finally convince CEOs to recognize HR’s true value. By taking the lead on workplace safety and managing the sudden move to remote work, HR demonstrated its centrality to organizational success.

Despite United States’ government measures to support businesses through the pandemic – often with grants and loans – almost one-third of small businesses went under. The pandemic has given firms the golden opportunity to reinvent – or reset – themselves.

To seize this opportunity, leaders should focus on:

  1. The culture  In crises especially, know and articulate your core values, communicate them unambiguously and live them uncompromisingly. Watch for disconnects between executive actions and the foundational elements of your culture.
  2. Data – Gather data, study and use it to inform your decisions. Don’t let data make your decisions for you or suffer paralysis from too much analysis...

About the Author

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is CEO & President of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in Alexandria, Virginia.

Comment on this summary