David Herrera: The Driving Force Behind Transformative Talent Strategies

Pioneering People Analytics and Championing Diversity & Inclusion for Business Success!

In the fast-paced world of business, one thing is clear: successful organizations don’t merely react to change; they proactively seek it, harness it, and turn it into a catalyst for growth. A fundamental aspect of this evolution involves rethinking traditional approaches to human resources, particularly when it comes to understanding the vital role of people analytics in championing diversity and inclusion for business success.

David Herrera stands as a visionary leader, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. As the Associate Client Partner and Head of People and Organization Analytics North America for Korn Ferry, he’s not just a consultant; he’s a force of nature, a thought leader, and an unstoppable advocate for transforming businesses through data, while passionately championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I).

David’s journey is one of relentless innovation and groundbreaking talent strategies. His strength lies in his ability to engage data with human potential, weaving a narrative that connects talent to business outcomes. He has dedicated his career to not only designing cutting-edge analytical solutions but also implementing people transformation projects for his clients.

David’s influence knows no boundaries. He’s a consultant who operates on a global stage, with projects spanning the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. His expertise in talent management, organization design, organizational development, and culture transformation has brought him in close collaboration with C-level executives and HR leaders.

His obsession with performance and transformation is the driving force behind his illustrious career. With over 15 years of experience working with C-suite leaders, he has honed his skills in attracting, retaining, advancing, and engaging talent, realizing that these elements are essential for organizational success. His journey has cemented the belief that diversity and inclusion are catalysts that accelerate both performance and transformation.

His commitment to Diversity and Inclusion has transcended mere rhetoric; he’s made it a core pillar for success. He recognizes that true performance and transformation come when an organization embraces the richness of diverse perspectives, fosters an inclusive environment, and empowers individuals to thrive.

In a world where data, culture, and diversity converge, David Herrera is a beacon of transformation. His work transcends borders, reshaping organizations and molding high-performance teams. His journey is a testament to the fact that, in the landscape of analytics, data is not just numbers; it’s a powerful tool for ushering in a future where performance and transformation know no bounds. 

Below are the highlights of the interview:

Championing Equity and Inclusion 

David’s upbringing in Mexico City was deeply influenced by his parents, who instilled in him and his sister the values of equality and equity. Raised in a household where both his mother, an entrepreneur, and his father, in financial services, shared responsibilities equally, David learned the significance of treating individuals as equals.

As he embarked on his professional journey, David discovered a disparity between the rhetoric of equality and the actual actions of many leaders. It was during this period that he grasped the essence of equity and the critical role of tailored support in fulfilling an organization’s promise of equality. He emphasizes that genuine equity requires recognizing and addressing the unique needs of various groups to enable them to deliver on their commitments to equality.

In 2018, David relocated to Canada with his family, a move necessitated by his husband’s job transfer. This transition exposed him to the challenges faced by individuals from diverse backgrounds, such as having to prove the relevance of his Mexican experiences in a Canadian context. This experience compelled David to become a DE&I practitioner, dedicated to helping leaders comprehend the untapped potential within their organizations. He highlights how many talented individuals go unnoticed when organizational processes and values are not adapted to the demands of a global and multicultural workforce.

David, as a Latino man, brings a unique perspective to the DE&I landscape. He emphasizes that diversity, equity, and inclusion cannot exist in isolation but must be seamlessly integrated into every facet of an organization. This, he believes, is the key to fostering a culture of equity and inclusion within every talent process and organizational system.

Nurturing Talent and Fostering Success

David’s leadership journey is underpinned by his unwavering commitment to developing individuals and teams. He firmly believes that the development of talent requires qualities like courage, honesty, and the willingness to engage in difficult conversations. For him, it’s imperative for leaders to recognize their influence and their role in the success of their team members. This responsibility involves identifying their strengths, providing them with the right opportunities and exposure, and actively supporting their achievements.

David fondly recalls a poignant moment from his career when his team gathered outside his office on his last day at Soriana. They stood up, clapped, and cheered to express their deep appreciation for the impact he had on them and the organization. For David, the true reward of leadership is witnessing teams and individuals thrive independently, having been empowered, guided, and allowed to unleash their full potential. This sense of accomplishment, where others flourish under his guidance, is what truly defines his leadership journey.

Dedication to Developing Talent and Teams

David possesses a remarkable talent for nurturing people and teams. He emphasizes that cultivating talent requires not only courage and honesty but also the willingness to engage in difficult conversations. In his view, it’s essential for leaders to recognize the profound impact they have on their team members’ success. The responsibility falls upon leaders to identify individuals’ strengths, offer them appropriate opportunities, provide exposure, and actively support their journey to success. 

Reflecting on his career, David cherishes a special memory of his last day at Soriana. On that occasion, his team gathered outside his office, erupting in applause and cheers. Their gesture of appreciation stemmed from the significant impact he had on both the team and the organization. David firmly believes that the ultimate reward for a leader is witnessing teams and individuals flourish independently, having been empowered, guided, and encouraged to reach their full potential. The genuine fulfillment lies in seeing these individuals and teams prosper under one’s guidance.

Bridging the Talent Gap with Analytics and Fostering Equity

David has established himself as a leader in management consulting and the realms of People Analytics and Organization Analytics. He’s deeply engaged in working with organizations to craft strategies and initiatives that empower them to make well-informed decisions. His goal is to bridge the gap between the talent required today and what will be needed tomorrow.

His vision for the future involves continued collaboration with organizations, leveraging technology and analytics to cultivate high-performing teams and organizations. A personal mission close to his heart is ensuring the responsible use of analytics and artificial intelligence. David is committed to minimizing bias in these technologies and maximizing their potential to enhance the capabilities of individuals rather than replacing them. In his view, technology should primarily serve to boost the performance of existing talent. While automation can handle certain tasks, the core of innovation, growth, and sustainability remains high-performing teams, with equity at the center of this transformative journey.

Outside of his professional pursuits, David extends his service to the community as one of Golf Ontario’s Board of Directors. Through this role, he seeks to support the sport and, more importantly, harness its potential to uplift underserved communities in Ontario and across Canada. Golf, often underestimated as a community-building tool, imparts unique skills to young individuals, such as self-management and resilience. Furthermore, the sport has traditionally served as a hub for business networking. By providing access to underserved groups, David and his colleagues are arming them with a potent tool that can help them reach their professional aspirations.

Message for Upcoming Leaders

“THANK YOU. You are all helping make the world more equitable and inclusive,” David conveys his heartfelt gratitude to DE&I leaders. “It is with your added voices and skills that organizations can, and will, build the culture and talent processes that they need to support the needs of the talent of today and into the future.” Your dedication is instrumental in shaping a brighter, more inclusive future for all.