Q&A with Julie Lodge-Jarrett, VP, Human Resources, Greater China, Ford Motor Company

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Julie Lodge-Jarrett was appointed VP, Human Resources, Greater China, Ford Motor Company, effective February 1, 2013. In this role Julie has overall HR interface responsibilities with our joint ventures across China and direct responsibility for Ford Motor China, Research & Engineering Centre and regional functions such as APA International Service Administration and APA Travel.
Previously, Julie was Director, HR Business Operations (HRBO) and Personnel & Organization Planning (POP), APA, from September 2010 to January 2013. In this position, she was responsible for leading the regional HRBO and POP organization across the 11 markets within the region. Julie joined Ford Motor Company in June 1998, as a Ford College Graduate.
She is an HR Generalist, with significant experience in Labor Relations at multiple Manufacturing facilities in the US, National Negotiations with the United Auto Workers union, HRBO in Ford Motor Credit Company and Product Development, as well as assignments in HR Strategy, and Global Learning & Development.

QYou’ve been working on a global change programme to transform the HR function into a strategic business partner. How has The Ford Institute helped in developing the necessary skills to achieve this? Is it all about making a shift in the way the HR function thinks, and connects, with the rest of the business?

Yes, AND so much more! We call it the Changing Role of HR… shifting how we show up to be much more focused on partnering with the business to help deliver priority business objectives and results. It certainly starts with an OD mind-set, but must also be based on a solid foundation of processes and tools to help ensure our HR team has the skills and capabilities to transform themselves and the role we play in the organization. Our one-year development program is multi-dimensional – and focuses on “the system” at the Individual, Team and Organization level. It involves three weeks of classroom sessions over a 12 month period, virtual touch points between sessions, Change Management and Team Effectiveness projects, mentoring / coaching, and strong support from senior leadership – both in Operations and HR.

QWhat makes Ford one of the best in the world for leadership development? What key qualities, behaviours and competencies do your leaders possess, that differentiate you from the competition?

Our leaders at Ford role model the expected behaviors that we drive throughout our organization. They have a passion for our business and our customers, and have a continuous improvement philosophy. They build strong, global relationships, and fully recognize the value of ONE Team and ONE Ford. They show initiative, courage, integrity and good corporate citizenship. They make sound decisions using facts and data – and they set high expectations for themselves and for the organization. They possess a strong and balanced focus on both the WHAT (business deliverables, contributions towards objectives) and the HOW (leadership behaviors). And last but not least, they recognize the value of being Leaders as Teachers as well as Learners… understanding that they are also responsible for learning from and teaching others, in addition to delivering the business!

QHenry Ford was a great believer in giving back to the community and Ford currently runs a vast number of charity programmes throughout the world – what impact do you think this has on the engagement levels of your current employees, both locally and throughout the organisation as a whole?

We have three global brand pillars that guide every decision we make as a company… Great Products, Strong Business, and Better World. This certainly shows the priority that the Ford family and our leadership team place on the need to give back! Our global goal is consistent – regardless of whether you’re working in China, US, UK, India, or Russia – we aim to make the world a better place in which we live and work. We actively support the local communities where we have a Ford footprint, and also champion global causes like Environmental Protection, Breast Cancer, Education, Disaster Relief, and several others. We have now started to expand our efforts to include our key strategic partners such as suppliers, dealers, Joint Ventures, etc. This philanthropic spirit is definitely a strong engagement tool, and serves as part of our EVP and as an employment differentiator.

QThere have been reports that the number of female graduates looking to enter male-dominated industries has shown no significant increase over the past 10 years, and that there are significant skills shortages in the engineering and technical sectors. How are Ford overcoming these issues? How can organisations promote engineering as an attractive and rewarding place to work?

At Ford, we place significant value and increased investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs. We partner with high schools and universities on promoting and developing strong engineering and technical talent. We have also developed Technical / Functional competency models within Ford and have Functional Colleges that lead these assessment and learning efforts. We are proud of our gender diversity at Ford and we actively promote organizations like ‘Professional Women’s Network’ and ‘Women in Manufacturing’ to support networking and engagement initiatives within our female employee base.

QAs a multi-national organisation do Ford leadership development programmes take into account local/regional cultural nuances? Can you tell us what the key differences are to developing leaders in the East, in comparison with Western development programmes?

We strive to develop global learning & development platforms that help build global leaders from all corners of the world. It’s important for all of our current and future leaders to have an appreciate of cultural differences and how this may impact our ability to work together as ONE Team. No matter where we’re from, we need to realize that our view of the world is incomplete! We use several different assessment tools as part of our leadership development curriculum and we do occasionally modify our global programs to target the particular audience (East vs. West). We have also developed regional and local market programs that are specifically focused on a target audience (e.g. Emerging Markets such as China, India and Thailand). In these specialized program, our most recent focus has been on Cross-Cultural Leadership, Positive Influencing Power, and Visionary Thinking.

What’s next?

You can hear about these topics and many more at our next HR Vision conference.

HR Vision is the elite, boutique style event, where HR leaders gather to discuss core business strategy.

Visit www.hrvisionevent.com to discover the next upcoming conference date and venue most suitable to you.

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