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How HR Drives New Beginnings

Fara Palumbo 2021.jpg

From the Great Resignation to keeping things running remotely, if the pandemic forced one thing on organizations, it was change. Change became a necessity for organizations in every sector and of every size. For astute HR leaders, it was a blessing in disguise. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina not only weathered that change, but thrived – even winning awards. Their Chief People Officer, Fara Palumbo, talks with host Maureen Metcalf about the positive opportunities the pandemic presented to her HR department in launching initiatives – and making Blue Cross/Blue Shield an even better place to work. They discuss change, transformation, and how HR acts as the primary driver for those shifts. It’s a case study, not mere theory, on how remote work has so many advantages for both the organization and the workforce – and should not be lightly abandoned so we can return to old, inefficient practices of “getting back to normal.” Fara will unfold the practical elements of operationalizing that change; how to secure buy-in from senior leaders; how to stay the course; and what kinds of opportunities a departure from the norm can bring.

This interview is part of the Connex Executive Insights Series.

Fara Palumbo is Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services, and information to 3.8 million members. Throughout her career, she has focused on transforming the talent and culture of teams via a focus on innovation, diversity, and change leadership. During her tenure at Blue Cross NC, Fara has led the transformation of the company’s talent strategy, leading cultural change to enable long-term business growth. Under her leadership, the company has achieved and maintained its certification as a Great Place to Work©, and has earned numerous recognitions as an employer of choice, including the Working Mother Top 100, Best Companies in Healthcare & BioPharma, Forbes Best Mid-sized Companies for Diversity, and NAFE Top Company for Women Executives.