Edie L. Goldberg is an internationally recognized expert in the field of HR strategy and organizational effectiveness. She is the Founder and President of E. L. Goldberg & Associates, a highly successful consulting firm that provides strategic consulting, and HR process innovation and design to a range of clients. With over 30 years of coaching experience, Edie is a leader in the Future of Work and has a deep understanding of how work and workplaces are transforming due to technological innovation and employee expectations.
Let us dive in to read more about how Edie is leading change and transforming the future of the HR industry.
Aspioneer (A): Thank you for doing this with us, Edie. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your organization?
Edie Goldberg (E): “Established in December 2001, E. L. Goldberg & Associates is an HR Strategy and Organization Effectiveness consulting firm that creates talent strategies and processes that address today’s business challenges and the future of work. Our mission is to help individuals and companies improve their performance and achieve their goals. As an industrial/organizational psychologist, my approach to work is always grounded on evidence-based practice. As an expert in the future of work, my expertise is in marrying what I know based on science adapted for the changing needs of employees and organizations. As a thought leader in my field, I also serve on the boards of several HR Technology companies, am the Chairperson of the SHRM Foundation, and am a Limited Partner in How Women Invest, a gender-lensed venture capital fund.”
(A): What is your take on CSR, and how have you contributed to the domain?
(E): “Not only is CSR the right thing to do, but it is also essential for attracting and retaining talent in this tight labor market. Employees today want purpose and meaning in their work. Companies that prioritize CSR are more likely to give their employees a sense of purpose.
Today, as the Chair of the SHRM Foundation, I am responsible for ensuring that our organization delivers on its mission to mobilize the power of HR to lead positive social change so all talent and workplaces can prosper and thrive. This work deeply connects to the CSR goals of many organizations.”
"Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. They not only help you learn and grow in new ways, but as a team, you will be able to do more."
(A): How does your day look like?
(E): “I spend about 70% of my time consulting organizations to help them improve individual and organizational performance. This also includes being a keynote speaker at various events to share my expertise and raise awareness of new strategies that can improve performance. I spend 20% of my time on board and advisory board work, helping the companies I lead expand their reach and improve their offerings to better meet the needs of the workplace. My remaining 10% of time is spent on administrative tasks and serving as a subject matter expert for the venture capital fund I work for, assisting them in evaluating HR technology start-ups seeking funding.”
(A): Can you share one event that affected you and transformed you as a person?
(E): “Very early in my career, my boss set me up for failure. Hewas having issues with a client, so he told me to go in and demand something he knew would be an unpopular request. In other words, he “threw me under the bus.” The client got mad, and asked for me to be removed from the project. That was an awful feeling. I didn’t want to do it in the first place, I knew the reaction I would provoke with his demand. I pushed back on his request, but was told he wanted me to provoke her so that he would be set up to come to her rescue. I learned that I would never do that to another human being. It was not diplomatic, and there were better approaches. Unfortunately, I was very junior at the time and felt I had to do what he requested.
I would say that as a woman, I have learned to have a softer and more inclusive approach. While I would still confront an issue, I would do so in a respectful way so that everyone gets to save face.”
(A): Was there any other incident that transformed the way you lead?
(E): “Many years ago, I was working on a large project for a Fortune 500 client. A new leader came into the company and immediately stopped the project I was on and canceled my engagement because she had her own approach that was different from what I was doing. I never even got the opportunity to speak to her.
My lesson learned is the importance of relationships. I did not proactively reach out to her when she got the job. She did not know me and did not have the benefit of hearing from me why I thought my approach was superior to what she wanted to do. Without having relationships, everything is a simple financial transaction. By proactively building relationships, you will at least have the opportunity to be heard.”
(A): Do you see any difference between men’s and women’s leadership styles? And is there any advice you would like to give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
(E): “The main difference we are seeing today is that women lead with more human-centered practices (e.g., leading with empathy and inclusion) and they focus more on coaching and inspiring others. Men are less consultative, more task-oriented and directive.
The best leadership advice I would follow is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. They not only help you learn and grow in new ways, but as a team, you will be able to do more. The idea that the leader must have all the answers is just plain wrong.”
(A): What are your current goals? How do you want your legacy to look, and what are your future plans?
(E): “Given my portfolio career, my goals are multifaceted. I want to grow my consulting practice by 10% over last year. This is my first year as Chairperson of the SHRM Foundation Board, so I want to make sure I dedicate the time to steer the organization into our next chapter of growth. To ensure my fellow board members are having a positive experience and we are continuously moving the strategy of the business forward. For the companies I advise, I want to make sure I contribute to the advancement of those organizations.
I hope that my legacy will have a positive impact on both HR practice and moving the profession forward to help it adapt to the changing nature of work. The research, writing, and consulting work that I do all have this goal in mind.
My plan for the future is to continue to grow my business and to take on more of the work I love − very strategic, reinventing processes to meet the needs of the future of work, and leveraging enabling technologies that help us do things that were never possible before. I also want to pursue more board work as this aligns with my skills and my desire to give back and make an impact.”