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Artificial Intelligence in Business



Leadership in the Era of ChatGPT and Sustainability

Dr. Dieter Veldsman

Dr. Dieter Veldsman

44 minutes

Mar 31, 2024

Leadership in the Era of ChatGPT and Sustainability
Interview Highlights

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, where technology and sustainability are becoming central to success, the role of human resources (HR) is undergoing a profound transformation.

As organizations adapt to new paradigms, HR emerges as a key architect in shaping a future-ready workforce. Recently, Forbes reported ChatGPT's monumental success, signaling a significant shift in how businesses perceive productivity through AI. Meanwhile, sustainability considerations are driving companies to align values with talent attraction strategies, with remote work offering substantial environmental benefits.

In light of these changes, leadership decisions take center stage amidst political unrest. Executives are tasked with ensuring HR's strategic value through foresight and continuous evolution. Enter Dieter Veldsman, Chief HR Scientist at the Academy to Innovate HR, based in the Netherlands.

In a recent interview with us, Dieter shared invaluable insights into the evolving role of HR in navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by technology and sustainability.

Leadership in HR Innovation and Research

As the Chief HR Scientist, Dieter's responsibilities revolve around driving applied thought leadership, conducting original research, and preparing HR professionals for the evolving landscape of work. His expertise sheds light on how trends like the rise of generative AI, exemplified by ChatGPT, are reshaping the future of work. Dieter emphasizes that AI's accessibility to non-technical users marks a significant shift, redefining the concept of work and prompting organizations to rethink productivity and workforce dynamics.

Navigating Ethical and Legal Considerations in AI Integration

However, amidst the promise of AI, challenges loom large, including concerns about privacy, intellectual property rights, and ethical implications. Dieter underscores the importance of responsible AI adoption to mitigate potential risks and foster inclusivity in the workforce.

Promoting Sustainability:

On the sustainability front, Dieter's passion shines through as he highlights the imperative for organizations to integrate sustainability into their DNA. Climate adaptive practices and employee activism are driving businesses to rethink their environmental impact and social responsibility.

Navigating Leadership Challenges and Opportunities:

Moreover, Dieter discusses the challenges and opportunities facing leaders in adapting to these trends. He outlines six key capabilities for future leaders, including the ability to navigate complexity, execute strategy, and leverage technology effectively. Resilience, grit, and self-awareness are identified as essential traits for leaders to inspire and guide their teams through uncertainty.

Adapting HR to Changing Organizational Needs:

Furthermore, Dieter delves into the evolving role of HR in addressing these challenges. He emphasizes the need for HR professionals to overcome misconceptions and evolve their practices to meet the changing needs of organizations. From redefining HR's role in strategy execution to leveraging technology for employee development, HR is positioned as a strategic partner in driving organizational success.

Investing in Personal and Professional Growth:

Dr. Veldsman emphasizes the importance of HR professionals investing in their own development. He highlights the need for both organizational investment and personal commitment to upskilling to meet the evolving demands of the profession.

Redefining HR Skill Sets:

Discussing the evolving skill set of HR professionals, Dr. Veldsman underscores the importance of embracing data-driven and evidence-based practices. He calls for a holistic approach to skill development to bridge the gap between current capabilities and future needs.


Embracing Multidisciplinarity:

Dr. Veldsman advocates for HR professionals to gain exposure outside traditional HR functions. Rotations into areas such as technology, finance, and operations provide valuable context and enhance HR's ability to contribute strategically to the organization.

Leveraging Technology for Impact:

Highlighting the role of technology in HR, Dr. Veldsman encourages HR professionals to embrace technological advancements. He emphasizes the need for HR to own the conversation around HR technology architecture and appoint tech-savvy leaders to drive innovation.


Nurturing Sustainable Practices:

Dr. Veldsman stresses the importance of integrating sustainability into HR practices. He discusses how HR can support businesses in addressing sustainability challenges and embedding environmental consciousness into organizational culture.


Shaping the Future of HR Careers:

Looking ahead, Dr. Veldsman discusses the future of HR careers. He calls for a shift in perceptions around HR roles and advocates for professionalization and structure in HR career development. In addressing business leaders, Dr. Veldsman urges executives to expect more from HR and recognize its role as core business. He emphasizes the need for HR to be empowered to solve organizational challenges and drive strategic decision-making.



Dr. Dieter Veldsman's insights provide a roadmap for HR professionals seeking to navigate the dynamic business landscape. By investing in personal and professional growth, embracing multidisciplinary, leveraging technology, and nurturing sustainable practices, HR professionals can position themselves as strategic partners in driving organizational success.

Official Transcript

Where technology and sustainability are gaining momentum in reshaping organizations, the human resources function emerges as the architects of a future-ready workforce.

Forbes reports that ChatGPT garnered 1 million users in its first five days, with 64% of businesses anticipating increased productivity through AI, redefining the concept of work. Sustainability and climate considerations influence how companies align values to attract top talent, as remote work is shown to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 600,000 cars  (

Amidst political unrest, looming leadership decisions are top of mind.

For executive teams, ensuring HR's value requires foresight, strategic alignment, and a commitment to continual evolution. This is pivotal in navigating talent and business strategy.

Joining us from the Netherlands is Dieter, Chief HR Scientist at AIHR, the Academy to Innovate HR, envisioning a new era in HR careers that prioritizes adaptability and innovation.

Dieter Veldsman: Lovely to be with you, Felicia. I'm looking forward to our conversation.

Dieter, can you start by sharing a little bit about you and your role? What does a Chief HR Scientist do?

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