Q&A with David

David Lawson is Head of Talent & Organisation Development at Bayer.

David has held very senior HR positions for market leading organisations in the sectors of Financial Services, FMCG, Retail and Healthcare.

His expertise is in organisation development, talent attraction, performance management, learning and development – leading the people change process, optimise people and performance, career transformation at all levels of the organisation.

David is Head of Talent & Organisation Development, Bayer ANZ, which is a German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company employing close to 100,000 people globally.

David has a masters of Masters of Commerce, Organisation Behavior & Marketing from UNSW and has completed attended business schools such as The Australian Graduate School or Management and Hult International Business School which has campuses in San Francisco, London, New York City, Dubai, Boston, and Shanghai.

Q&A with David

What was your first HR role and in which industry?

First role was as a graduate with Westpac, really great environment where I came into contact with some awesome HR people, including my wife.

How or why did you become a HR professional?

Whilst studying psychology I focused on organisation development and realised that this would be what I wanted to do. When I joined Westpac I joined an amazing team of like-minded HR people, many of whom I am friends with today, over 25 years later. My passion to create work environments where everyone can thrive personally and professionally has never dimmed.

What is your view of human resources as a business function?

HR can make an amazing contribution to the organisational health of any enterprise. Incredible things can happen when people get together and are excited and engaged, and committed to a real purpose that reaches beyond themselves and their business. It is our role to help our colleagues to see this potential.

What are some of the challenges in moving into HR Management and above?

Being the point of difference, and not becoming another arm of business management. Be commercially literate, however remember that we work with human systems not numbers.

Any advice for the next generation of Aspiring HR Leaders?

Be clear about your purpose and reason for being a HR leader. It won’t be for fame or money. You will be challenged from time to time, and have to stand for the long-term well-being of people and the enterprise. Courage and commitment will see you through. Make decisions that you would be proud to tell your Mum about.

What do you enjoy doing during your free time?

Gym to keep myself well, Tiki bars to unravel the good work. Hanging out with my gorgeous wife and kids, and taking Alfie for a walk (woof).

Aspire HR Sydney 2019

David joins the line-up at Aspire HRD Summit 2019 and will be speaking in the series of sessions on leadership development.

Aspire HR 2019 will be hosted in Sydney on March 28 + April 2-3 and brings together the most brilliant minds with a focus on five key areas:

  • Employee Experience
  • Disruption & Innovation
  • Leadership Development
  • HR Transformation
  • Talent Management

For more information visit https://www.aspirehrd.com.au/summit/or to request a conference program, call (02) 8875 7794 or register@aspirelearning.net.au