Kirstin Furber is Former HR Director at BBC Worldwide and also at Clearscore.
After 20 years working with global organisations to create cultures that thrive, Kirstin is passionate about allowing people to be themselves at work and has proven, with the changes that she made at BBC that it can have a positive effect on the bottom line.
Wanting to practice what she preaches, Kirstin recently qualified as a yoga instructor and set up her own studio, allowing her to carry on both HR director roles as well as working as a Yoga instructor which she has found, working with a millenial workforce at Clearscore not only works and is a modern day requirement of today’s workforce but is beneficial to one’s mental health.
Read her blog here: https://kirstinfurber.com/
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I live in London and have over 25 year experience across a number of senior People positions within the media and entertainment industry; including BBC, 20th Century Fox, Discovery and more and recently ClearScore, a leading Fintech company. Most of my roles have been in global transformation across the culture and talent space.
I am now on a mission to support organisations creating the right working environment that supports individuals being their best and driving company results in this world of technological advancement and transformation.
To support this mission, I recently set up a yoga school with my business partner. A series of monthly workshops to support individuals to quieten the mind, body and spirit to refresh in this busy changing world we live in.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I feel very lucky as I knew at University that I wanted to work in human resources so studied all the relevant ‘people’ modules including psychology to set myself up. In every role I took every opportunity to learn as much as I could from others, tried out new things, and was proactive to solve issues and put myself forward for projects.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
All the time! The joy of working with people is you can never predict what may happen even if you have laid out the best plans. Whilst this is a challenge to constantly ‘think on your feet’ and change direction it gives me great energy. This sometimes means I push myself too hard and put myself second. Over the years I have learnt to spot the signs and this is the one of the reasons I started doing yoga, especially after an intensive period of travelling for work.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I don’t believe it’s happened yet, it’s too come! What I do know Is the areas I have achieved in my career, leading culture change, mergers and acquisitions, hiring and developing great people to do great work is all down to the great team of people I have worked with.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Being able to change and adapt. In this constantly changing world we live in resilience and ability to adapt change is critical.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
Mentoring is a great way to get a different perspective, when looking to solve a problem or get some direction with how best to make that next career step. In my career I have mentored many individuals (and continue to do so) who have gone on to great things. It gives me great energy when I see people living their potential. I am also a fan of 2 way mentoring, as a Chief People officer it’s critical to get a different perspective when planning and making decision with how best to support people. Many times from a two way mentoring sessions I have completed changed my plans.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
Ensure leaders who run meetings ensure everyone’s voice is heard regardless of gender or their minority – the more inclusive the team the better the decisions that are made. Chairing a meeting is a real skill, especially when there are many different perspectives ensuring there is an outcome at the end. Approaching meetings in this way will surface new ideas and perspectives that can be acted on to support individuals and organisations to grow. In the competitive world, we live in this is critical. For those early in their career, seeing how their ideas can be heard and put into practice goes to demonstrate how we are all equal.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Don’t sweat the small stuff and trust your gut.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I am passionate about ‘human’ organisations, where people can be themselves and do their best work, contributing to an organisations success and the economy overall. I’m currently supporting a few organisations who believe in this philosophy and are looking for help to implement this and am always open to conversations with any leaders looking to support this movement.