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People + Strategy Podcast Perspectives

Summer 2024 edition

photo of julie lodge-jarrett


Insights from the leaders featured in recent episodes of the monthly People + Strategy podcast. Find new and previous episodes at the People + Strategy podcast page.


Civility in the Retail Sector: The Customer Is Not Always Right

"The reality is that there are many times when the customer isn’t right, where the customer isn’t treating employees with the civility and respect they deserve,” said Julie Lodge-Jarrett, chief people and purpose officer at Dick’s Sporting Goods (pictured above).

In the past, she said, Dick’s managers would respond to customer conflicts by apologizing to the customer “whether or not we did anything wrong.” The company revamped its customer intervention policy a couple of years ago to demand customers either be respectful to employees or leave the store.

“That one small step paid big dividends to create greater civility within our stores and to create that reciprocal agreement between employees and customers.” she said.


HR Needs to Embrace AI with Training, Transparency, and ‘Thoughtful Pacing’

I have learned that no good comes from moving too quickly,” said Andrea Gill, CHRO of global financial firm Capital Group. “When I talk about GenAI internally, the headline is ‘thoughtful pacing.’ We’re not going to move too fast here. It’s too nascent. There’s too much risk in moving too quickly. I’m confident we’ll pace it appropriately and weave it into our organization.


“With all technology, the most important thing is don’t be afraid of it. Think about AI as a way to make our lives more productive, more strategic, more effective. What I tell everyone is, ‘Play with GenAI every day.’ I forced myself, and now it’s fun. I go in and try something different every week so I’m comfortable. And that’s what I would tell everybody to do.”


‘Everything Is Going to Change’: Focus on Reskilling and Communication

Every time there’s been a giant technological transition, there’s actually been a net number of new jobs,” said Nichol Bradford, SHRM’s Executive In Residence for AI+HI enablement. “The danger, disruption, and fear [around AI] is really about the people who cannot transition and how do we support them. How do we actually change the way that we upskill and retain people?


“Everything is going to change. And the most important thing is your change management and your communication. Do you involve people in the process? Are they inspired? Do they trust you?”