Building Better Leaders: Q&A with Lizanne Gottung CHRO, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Leadership is a key element of any successful HR strategy and yet, only 33% of HR executives believe they have strong leadership programs in place according to ADP’s 2015 HR Leaders Survey. What is particularly even more staggering however is that just 7% of employees say they have faith in their current leaders when asked.

This year, the HR Management Institute is fortunate to have Liz Gottung, SVP and CHRO at Kimberly-Clark Corporation join us July 17th -19th at the Four Seasons Westlake Village to conduct the opening keynote on her own leadership journey and the commitment Kimberly-Clark has to deepen and diversify its leadership bench. 

Take a look at our Q&A with Liz Gottung below for a sneak peek of what’s to come at the conference!


1.    At the HR Management Institute you are speaking on leadership and how to build better leaders in an HR team. What would you say is a top trait/quality that an HR executive needs to transform their role and become a successful and inspiring leader?

  • Ability to influence up, down and sideways
  • Understand business drivers and ensure that communication of expectations are clear and consistent
  • Insistence on best talent in critical roles

2.    According to ADP’s 2015 HR Leaders Survey only 33% of HR executives believe they have a strong leadership program in place. What does Kimberly-Clark do to ensure their leadership program is strong and diverse?

We ask our employees how our leaders are doing and what they could do better… both formally and informally. Our Diversity & Inclusion team works directly with the Talent group to ensure our programs meet the unique needs of a diverse global workforce.


3.    What are some common red flags/issues HR executives should be addressing in their current leadership program to improve it for the future?

•    Focus on imparting content knowledge versus sustainable behavior change. Too many leadership development programs seem to focus on human behavior theory, etc. without enough emphasis on:
    Accurately assessing the manager against required leadership skills
    Identifying and addressing the underlying causes of each participant’s developmental challenges
    Providing the best techniques, motivation, support, time and experiences needed to dramatically improve managers’ behaviors on the job

•    Lack of follow up coaching/reinforcement
    Organizational Development and Learning professionals are too often not integrated/aligned with the business strategy and can become overly attached to their own content and theories about adult learning. They are sometimes too focused on emotional intelligence rather than exploring the latest research in neuroscience and intelligence ensuring that their programs provide better business results and better leaders.


4.    What are you most looking forward to at the HR Management Institute?

I am especially looking forward to the interactive Think Tanks, particularly the ones about building coaching capability in leaders – an area of key focus for my team this year.

Are you interested in learning more? Don’t miss out on this opportunity to network with CHROs and VPs of HR like yourself through insightful business meetings, innovative think tank discussions, and intimate business meetings. Join the inner circle today.