Heather Whiteman, GE Digital, Presents HR Challenges Faced By Companies Going Digital

R&D Leaders Explore Findings from IRI’s Study into Strategic Challenges in R&D Talent Management


FORT WORTH, TX (October 3, 2017) – As recruitment and retention of technical talent rises among the top concerns of R&D managers, the way companies organize becomes an important factor for how talent management functions. Heather Whiteman, Head of People Strategy, Analytics & Operations at GE Digital, delivered a keynote this morning at the Industrial Research Institute’s (IRI) 2017 Member Summit, a gathering of R&D leaders from major organizations spanning every industry, where she addressed the myriad challenges her organization faces when trying to recruit and manage technical employees at a digital firm.

“We see the nature of R&D talent management changing faster than ever,” said Lou Gritzo, Vice President and Manager of Research, FM Global, and IRI Board Chairman. “As a dynamic challenge we all face, the experiences and lessons we can leverage from other companies and apply to our own unique opportunities to enhance the management of R&D personnel is invaluable.”

Whiteman’s keynote heads a three-day long meeting exploring “Strategic Challenges in R&D Talent Management,” the name of the year-long IRI study concluded at this meeting with each of the working groups involved reporting their findings to the IRI membership. One of these groups worked to identify where innovation actually happens within a company and how a technical professional might navigate his or her way to the top of that function. Another group discussed the rising “liquid workforce” model where professionals do not stay with a company beyond a single project, and the uncertainties such a model brings. Another group dove into the current best practices of recruiting and retaining early career technical talent. The main take-away by many of this meeting’s attendees is that R&D talent management is changing quickly and companies are changing how they learn to best organize to meet this challenge.

For more about IRI’s research working groups and how to take part, contact Lee Green at green@iriweb.org.

About IRI

The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is an organization of nearly 150 industrial and service companies having a common interest in the effective management of technological innovation. IRI is the only cross-industry organization creating innovation leadership solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation. For more information, call 703-647-2580 or visit www.iriweb.org.