Storytelling About Oracle Grow With Chris Havrilla

Welcome to the Use Case Podcast! Today we have Chris Havrilla, the Vice President of Product Strategy and Talent at Oracle. We’ll be talking about the use case or business case for why their customers use Oracle.

The episode talks about Oracle Grow, a product that focuses on enhancing the worker experience by providing personalized guidance and growth opportunities. The software integrates various Oracle products, such as learning, careers, and talent, to create a comprehensive view of an employee’s role and skills.

Oracle Grow has a diverse use case, as it can be used by organizations of any size and industry to improve workforce productivity and engagement. The software offers insights into an employee’s current and future career paths, enabling them to develop new skills and master their existing role.

Oracle Grow helps workers take control of their growth opportunities and provide clear guidance that was previously unavailable. With Oracle Grow, organizations can create a more motivated and engaged workforce, which ultimately leads to better business outcomes.

Give the show a listen and please let me know what you think!

Thanks, William

Listening Time: 28 minutes

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Chris Havrilla
Vice President, Product Strategy, Talent Oracle

As global leader of Talent Product Strategy for Oracle Cloud Human Capital Management, Chris is a seasoned, highly respected, and proven HCM leader who has received global recognition in the space. Before joining Oracle, she led human capital technology research, strategy, and advisory as a VP and Lead Tech Industry Analyst at Deloitte -- studying deeply and comprehensively not only the companies innovating and selling technology, but also the companies buying and applying that technology. Prior roles also include at ADP, where she was VP in Global HR Strategy & Planning. She has a degree in MIS, with a concentration in AI, from the UGA Terry College of Business. Her experience helping business, HR, and IT Leaders spans both internal IT and HR roles and consulting -- and in general connecting product, technology, business, strategy, and innovation -- to radically improving talent strategy, technology, and leadership.

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Storytelling About Oracle Grow With Chris Havrilla

William Tincup: [00:00:00] This is William Tincup and you are listening to the Use Case podcast presented by Recruiting Daily, and we’re talking with Chris today about Oracle Grow. So let’s just jump into Chris. Would you do us a favor and introduce yourself, and we’re gonna talk about Oracle and specifically about Oracle Grow.

But why don’t you introduce Oracle? Let’s see if you can do that in under 20.

Chris Havrilla: Oh my gosh, you’re always with a challenge. So yeah. I’m Chris Hela. Uh, I run our product strategy, uh, in cloud H c m, specifically around [00:01:00] talent, uh, which means probably about half my job is internal facing order, our investment strategies, and the other, the other half of that is, is.

Customer advocacy and advisory. So being kind of that voice of the customer, um, you know, hearing kind of what the challenges are. And, and I only give that context cuz it’s a lot of the inspiration that, uh, that you’ll hear and see around Oracle grow. So

William Tincup: Oracle grow is dot, dot, dot.

Chris Havrilla: So Oracle Grow is, is really, if, if I could encapsulate it in that 30 seconds is really how, uh, a worker is experiencing, uh, the, the suite of our products really.

Oh, cool. In a, in a kind of a, a simplified kind of think of it as simple and clear. Right. And, and what that means really is how do we take the best of the Oracle suite, uh, learning, uh, careers, talent, uh, you know, our dynamic skills and, and kind of bring [00:02:00] it all together for, for the user in, in what I think has escaped them for a long time.

And that’s just real simple. Clear guidance around their growth opportunities. And, and that could be really specific to how to master their own role. Um, mastering their own role in everything we know in the system about that role, the skills, the, um, you know, what the work is and, and really what other people are doing in that same role, and kind of bringing that guidance to that worker in the form of, um, You know, could, it could be their learning and development, maybe like a development playlist.

Um, their ability to kind of be inspired to keep their, uh, their profile hydrated with skills and, and, and with help and guidance there, um, around their career paths and, and, and their ability to bring in their own preferences from a development perspective. And we do that kind of for their [00:03:00] role and mastery of their role today, but also kind of that.

For the future. Um, how might their skills be played out? Right. In other ways in the organization? Maybe ways we hadn’t even thought about. Right. Um, you know, I think about my, my own career and, and you know, it’s kind of taken a lot of different forms as I know, you know, uh, but it’s the same skills and capabilities, right?

And they’re being applied in different ways. So imagine. Having that insight instead of just falling into it or you know, from time to time. Well, that really is, it kind of in a nutshell is kind of how that’s coming together and the worker experiencing it. Well, what I

William Tincup: love is in the last, the last few years y’all been building towards this, like you, you know, you built a kind of skills, inventory matrix, et cetera, and uh, and then with the, on the adoption side of getting users to adopt software companies, to adopt software, you built the accelerators to kind help people with that.

So I kind of see this as. [00:04:00] Similar, but different in the sense of you’re, you’re, you’re helping employees kind of get the best knowledge about themselves. Like, uh, and understanding again, it’s, it’s to, there’s a little bit of, uh, ex that’s thrown in there. Yeah. With like, okay, well you’re gonna have a good experience if you understand the skills you have now to other skills and skills that you need to develop and possibly where you want to go next.

Chris Havrilla: Exactly. Um, you know, you think about, you think about athletes, right? And, and, and they’re always getting coaching. Right? Right. Very, very specific guidance, you know, with very, very specific outcomes. And there’s no reason in the world we can’t do that for, for workers. Right. And how does this all come together, but with clarity and purpose?

And, you know, I, I think about how organizations and, and workers have kind of struggled, right? To get their arms. You know, empowering their own careers and amusing my air quotes, you can’t see. Right, right. But in, in most cases, uh, to [00:05:00] do this, you know, employees, You know, given access to, you know, massive expansive content libraries.

Right. And, and really with no personalized Yeah. Good luck guidance. Yeah. But how about it? Right? And, and so, you know, I just think how often. You know, organizations are trying to solve for this as well. They’ve got disparate systems and, and, and really like, where’s that, where’s that kind of coaching? And everybody’s kind of looking at each other trying to figure that out.

Right. So, you know, I think we have this ability, right, with all of the. All of the data, right, right. All of the different areas of the h a M suite, you know, how do we bring this together and, and really kind of give that guidance, um, you know, not without having to go to all the different areas and figure it out for yourself, or hoping that your manager.

Or the organization can give you that guidance. Um, it’s just additional help, you know, and I always talk about how do we bring [00:06:00] technology onto the team, right? And, and use their unique skills and capabilities and, and that’s what it is to cult through all the data, um, and the different areas that impact somebody’s growth.

Uh, so, so I love that. So think about it kind of being in that unified kind of growth experience and, and how all these things come.

William Tincup: Yeah. What, what I love about it is it’s employee centric. Like so many of the applications that are out, out there and available to us are, they’re employer centric, which is fine.

I mean, uh, you need both. Uh, so, but like this, this seems like this is actually, we made this for you, the employee, so that you can get better. Not, not so that you can get better. For this particular company, yes, that’d be great, but ultimately, What a lot of people come in the recruiting side when they come in, they want to know how you’re gonna make me better.

Right? This seems like a legitimate way. Would companies have this then say, well, we got a product, you know? Absolutely. Let us tell you a little bit about it. [00:07:00]

Chris Havrilla: And from an organizational standpoint, you know, it’s, it’s that same guidance as there we’re all solving for it this way, whether it’s a worker, whether it’s hr, whether it’s a manager, right?

We’re bringing this all together in a way, um, in this particular product, right? It is that, it is that worker experience and how the worker experiences it. But the data is all there. Right, right. The insights are all there, but you know, for us, you know, we announced Oracle me last year, right? Yeah. And, and, and it was all about how to help our customers kind of deliver that, that unique, hyper personalized kind of immersive experience.

And this is, this is a natural next step to do that. How is that worker getting the insights and value as. Again, to master their own role, but also think about different ways that their skills and capabilities can be utilized within the organization. Um, but it’s building, it’s building them. Right. And I think if we’re really going to build and, and help people build their own careers, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re giving them [00:08:00] the ability to develop their skills and, and, and see the different ways that, you know, the people or that they could be using it.

Even learning from what. Are doing within the organization as well.

William Tincup: Right. It’s, uh, what I would, again, what I love about it is, is this could become a competitive advantage for companies that use Oracle HCM, is that they have this. That again with me and with Oracle Grow, they’ve got products that actually help employees.

Yeah. Uh, which again, we, we all know you, sometimes you join a company and it’s like, well, you’re good. Have fun, you know, we paid you to be excellent. Go do it. And, uh, it’s, it’s been a long, longstanding question of like, who, who manages your career? Yes. Do you manage your career? Does the company manage your career, et cetera.

This is kind of a nice way for the company to fund something. That actually helps the individual kind of under, especially with the analytics, helps ’em understand. Okay, well I was really [00:09:00] thinking, I was talking to somebody about this last week. It’s like, you know, especially like in all these operational roles, you know, recruiting ops, HR ops, marketing ops, sales ops, all that type stuff, it’s like, it’s all data, right?

And it’s like, like, like before your career was very, very hierarchical. You started a manager, you know, you kinda moved up. But now it’s like if you’re a. Sales, uh, operations person. There’s, there’s, there’s really very little barrier to entry for you to be a very, a good HR operations person.

Chris Havrilla: I love it. I love it.

You know, and I also love that, you know, that you see that kind of competitive advantage because, you know, for, for us, right? Yeah. You know, Natively built for the cloud. It, you know, it really, Oracle Cloud h m is fully complete, right? It has everything, all that data, right? In one single data model, right? Yep.

So, you know, [00:10:00] and everything that connects like that human resource process, all the way from, you know, from hire to retire rate, it’s all single platform, you know, single source of truth, that kind of help. Everyone inform their strategy and you know, we’ve got AI that we can lay on that acting as that advisor kind of again, on the team.

Yep. To help bring all of this workforce data together, surface recommendations. But it’s making it personalized and, and that’s really it. So you think about all these interactions between Oracle learning, dynamic skills, talent management, all of that one, I. You know, bringing that kind of insights right to that worker.

Um, you know, it helps seeds those conversations that you know, they’re having with their managers. You know, just while the managers are all trying to, you know, through their team skill center, right, manage the skills, maybe the skills gaps, and, and really bring some, some interesting [00:11:00] insights and, and value to those conversations as well, which

William Tincup: I.

Y’all have been also, while you’re doing that, you’ve been really aggressive in building kind of partnerships and kind of ecosystems around everything. If people, you know, there are great point solutions out there that do one. You know, it’s like, I was thinking, I was talking to Corello the other day and he is like, we tried the hardest thing that, that we do at Acadian Ventures.

If Jason, if people don’t know Jason Corello is wonderful person anyhow, delineating between what is a product? Well, no, what is a feature? What is a product and what is a company? In these like early stage startups is like, okay, is that a feature? Okay, that’s fine. That’s, I mean, we gotta start somewhere.

But y’all have done a, y’all have done a wonderful job and I know you’re, you’re on your journey to build ecosystems around this, where when people want to have some little tiny thing that is a, let’s say a feature, they don’t necessarily need to build it. It just needs to be integrated into that, that single point of truth, which I love.

And I’ll [00:12:00] tell you, Chris, I was at an hr, uh, tech. Uh, I don’t know, last week or the week before, I can’t remember. I interviewed probably 50 practitioners and I asked some kind of a number of questions, but one of ’em, I was like, what are you looking for? And all 50 said the same thing, less tools, right? I’m like, I’m like, we’re at an HR tech conference.

That is not the answer that I would expect, but right to a tune. All of ’em are like, I need less. I don’t need more. I need.

Chris Havrilla: I I love that. I love that you brought that up. You know, I, I think that’s, that’s something, you know, we’ve got, uh, a new study coming out that I know you’ll have access to as well. But, you know, it was one of the same things, right?

This notion of how do we make decisions and kind of the dilemma around that. And, and it really kind of underscores the value of of, of grow as well, right? Because with so much data available and so many tools, you know, it’s over. Right. Oh yeah. [00:13:00] And so that, that simplicity, that clarity, that purposefulness, um, is, you know, I mean, It’s really there to help this decision making go better, right?

To, to have that kind of, that clarity and that coaching and, and all with that whole notion of how do we make this simpler and easier for people, um, so that they can make decisions and take action and, and I love that right? Clear vision of the skills I need. To advance in their, in their current roles to think about, you know, kind of that possibility of the future and how their skills and capabilities can be applied.

Um, you know, it’s just, again, it’s all about how do we take the best of these systems and data and, and give it to people and arm them with that ability to, to really learn and grow. Yeah.

William Tincup: Insight then leads to some type of action, whatever that may be. I can see recruit. Using this to [00:14:00] find out, especially people that are late stage or maybe at offer letter, right?

Uh, you know, like, what do you wanna learn? You know, what do you, you know, obviously you wanna learn this great and onboarding, kind of validating that or et cetera. And then putting ’em on a path,

Chris Havrilla: right? Right. It’s exactly and, and all about intention, right? Mm-hmm. I mean, that intentionality is huge because, you know, it’s one thing, you know, like I, you know, most people are, are supremely busy, right?

Yeah. A little bit. And so, you know, you’re, it’s not often that you’re just sitting around like, okay, really? What can I go, what can I go learn now? Right? But when they have a goal and they have, they see something that they want, right? Or, and they’re going to it and they know how to get. That’s the kind of clarity I think that is, that is next level, right?

Because it’s really truly in that flow of, of their work and their purpose and what they’re trying to, to get to. And I think that’s, that’s huge. Right?

William Tincup: So getting, getting [00:15:00] employees, I mean, obviously the launch of the product and getting out in the hands of the customers, I’m sure y’all have baited, uh, it with several customers, et cetera.

But how do we, how do we get a, how do y’all see adoption kind of playing out in terms of helping the customers get their employees? Because it’s like the customer of the customer. How do we get ’em to make sure that they’re actually using it, getting the inside, and cuz it’s a wonderful application, but if they don’t, It’s not right.

Tree falls over the forest. So what’s your vision of kind of how that plays out in terms of.

Chris Havrilla: You know, every time we, you know, as we think about that, that notion of, of adoption and, and, and, and amusing Myer quotes again, you can’t see that in, in the flow of, of work. Um, I mean, I think for us, that’s, that’s the key is how do we make this organic, right?

How do we make it so that, you know, again, you know, it’s in that flow of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. So when you think of [00:16:00] the, the whole. Right of, of, of solutions that we have as part of this, you know, employee experience platform. Right? Um, what are the multitude of ways that we can really kind of bring people to this place, right?

Because it is, it is a little bit of a one-stop shop. They can do everything from there, but how do they get there? And, and I think that’s the great thing. You know, when you think about touchpoints and the manager check-ins that they’re having maybe on a weekly, biweekly basis, whatever that is, right?

There’s that moment that they are in the system that they could be doing this. Maybe that topic of conversation, it could be in, you know, In the learning or the development journeys that they already have going on, whether prescribed or Or on their own. Right. Because that’s one thing with Grow, they can create their own playlist, you know, in addition.

Right. Right. To things that they’ve had signed. And if it works, great, they can share that playlist. Right with others. So I think, you [00:17:00] know, if they’ve got a journey going on, then they’re in there and then, you know, they’ve got all these different insights where, whether it’s their career path preferences or their skills or their connections, you know, all of that is all right there.

And it’s kind of that inspiring moment where you’re, you know, you’ve got this choice to make, you know, uh, see recommendations, make preferences, you know. It could be, it could be a tab on their, on their Oracle Digital assistant. It could be through communicate, you know, which is our kind of c r m for HR to, you know, to talk to their customers, which are the, the workers, right?

They could be inspired through a communicate that might be geared towards, you know, their development or new gigs or jobs that are out there. Whatever it is, there’s a multitude of. That are bringing people in to, into here where they get the insights and value, you tend to go back to where you’re getting insights and value, right?

So there’s multitude of ways through the flow of their work that they can be [00:18:00] doing this. And, and I think that’s, uh, that’s huge because. Can you imagine like getting that personalized advisory or seeing a visual representation or something that’s inspiring you in ways that you can grow, um, you know, even when you weren’t expecting it.

So I think that’s for us, how do we make this organic in a way that people are receiving insights and value, um, in the kind of flow of their work to, to gain adoption. And, and really kind of change behaviors without some big top down rate. Right. You know, here’s, here’s the big rollout. Right, right, right, right, right.

People to give people recommendations even before they make preferences just based on their role. Right.

William Tincup: I think the customers, the Oracle customers are gonna get the most out of this are where leaders and managers are transparent about their journey. So they’re transparent about what they’re using, grow for, like, this is what I saw, you know, again, internal communications, [00:19:00] et cetera.

Like, this is what I saw, this is what it’s helping me with, et cetera. Because if they do that, employees will do it. Yeah. Because it, it creates that space like, okay, I, you know, if you’re using it, then it’s okay for me to use it. Um, uh, let’s do two things. One, I know people are fascinated by how products come to market.

So without giving away any type of secret sauce or any of that type of stuff, so how did Oracle grow? Like what’s its origin story? Where’d it come

Chris Havrilla: from? Really it’s that inspiration, like, you know, Yeah, I mentioned like the role of, of product strategy, right? Right. And you sit there and you, and you, and you listen to customers.

Right? Um, or it could be our product development teams and things like that, but it really was from listening to our customers and, and, and really kind of understanding what the challenge was. Um, and think about, I mean, it’s nothing new to you, right? You hear all the same, same things. Um, we, we don’t know if we have the skills we need.

We need better access to talent. You [00:20:00] know, we don’t know what we have, you know, there’s always those challenges, right? And, and same thing with those frustrations from, from the workers as you think about experience and how they’re experiencing, um, technology and data. Um, good or bad, right? And how. You know, how they feeling, those disconnects, and you just start to think about, you know, gosh, we have all of these things, right?

We’ve got all the, all the different, you know, quote systems that you, you say in people’s complex tech stack, but it’s all on one suite. We have that data. How do we revolutionize how people are receiving it? Right. Um, and, and that was really the challenge. How do we, how do we start to think about, you know, all new strategies for, for growth.

We have all the data, we’ve got all of these things. How do we bring it together in a way that, you know, that people can really start to tackle the, these issues that we’ve been talking about [00:21:00] for a long time. Right. That we have the solutions to do it. We have the data to do it. But you know, to your point earlier, people get overwhelmed.

They, you know, they want less. They d you know, they don’t want more. So how do we give them more, but seemingly with less, right? Right. And it’s less on them. How do we make this easier for people? And, and that really is the inspiration. How do we find ways to let the worker kind of experience this If, if workers are okay, again, the air quotes, right?

The empowered, um, how do we empower them in a way that makes this easier for them? And purposeful, simple, clear, and, and in a way that’s like advisory. So,

William Tincup: so I, I, obviously, I understand the origin story from that moment, which is probably coalesced in the several moments in report, et cetera, to all the way through development and coming up on launch.

What type of time period are we talking about in, in general terms, of

Chris Havrilla: course. [00:22:00] That’s a great question. You know, I’d probably say, you know, we started visualizing this and kind of working with customers on this probably in that October, November timeframe. Wow. Um, no quoting me on that because No, no, no, no.

But that’s, but I, as I try to just think of the timing cuz it was all around, you know, oh yeah. Busy times of year. But yeah, I mean, you know, the, the thing is, is that’s fast. We have that technology. Yeah. And look, that’s our advantage, right? Is we, this is all natively built, right? You know, this is, this is all the same developers were, you know, using the same tools all the time, right?

This isn’t, you know, put together, uh, through acquisition and, you know, we’ve got one single data model. So our ability to, I think, react, um, is, you know, is. Yeah, that’s

William Tincup: extremely

Chris Havrilla: fast. You know, it [00:23:00] is our ability, you know, given that kind of structure, you know, we all hear about unified solutions and I mean, this truly is unified.

This is all natively built. And so the ability for our teams to address these needs, um, and take the best of what we already have and give people a new experience with it. Um, That’s purposeful. Yeah, that’s, it’s good

William Tincup: stuff. So what’s your kind of personal vision of success for Oracle Grow like at the end of the year, whenever you want to kind of look backwards at, at kind of the, the product and the launch and kind of how people received it and all that other stuff.

So like what’s, what’s success

Chris Havrilla: for. Success for, you know, for me, and I think it’s, you know, it’s really for all of us, is that it’s making that impact, right? Hmm. That people are getting connected. That we see, you know, look, things are, are crazy right now. Right. We’ve spent all this time focusing on employee experience and [00:24:00] now, you know, as, as things start to change again.

Right. You know, and it’s always this notion of unprecedented change. Skills are still rapidly evolving, but we got this volatile economy and you know, you hear more and more about headcount reduction in parallel with skills and talent shortages. You know, I mean, you’re just like, how crazy can this get?

Right. But we, I think it means more than ever that organizations have to remain pretty steadfast in their commitment to their workforce. Mm-hmm. So whether it’s retention, engagement, experience, right? That people are growing and, and they’re, you know, they’re able to kind of keep up with this pace of change.

That to me is success and the easier, we make this for everybody, HR managers, leaders, Um, the better. Right. Um, so for me it really does come all down to that level of experience and, and that people are getting connected with work and workers, you know, [00:25:00] are able to do that, but also that organizations are able to access the talent that they have already within their organization.

Yeah. Right. In ways they hadn’t and grow and. And grow them. Right. So, because if we can unlock, I think right, that worker agility and growth, then that does the same for the organization.

William Tincup: They don’t have to go anywhere. I mean, they, they, they can literally grow with the organization. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s fascinating and well, and well, uh, titled, um, it’s an interesting take on belonging too, by the way, because as we talk about, we think about belonging, uh, as a part of D e I.

It’s, it’s like if you create technology that helps people feel like they belong Yeah. That you’re, it isn’t solving it clearly, but you got other things to do, but you’re actually helping with whatever. Saying that whatever programmatically, whatever you’re trying to do at belonging.

Chris Havrilla: Yeah. I, I think you’ve nailed it, right?

Belonging and wellbeing [00:26:00] and, you know, yeah. We actually wrote extensively about this when I was at Deloitte. This notion of belonging is, is great, right? When you are, bring your whole self to work, right? That, that notion of comfort, right? But as you start to kind of, you know, shut up from a, from a true belonging perspective, if people are collaborating and they’re contribut.

Right. Um, that’s a level of belonging that takes away, you know, like just at all new levels. This notion of, of just check boxes from a diversity standpoint, right? Right. But how the people are contributing and working together to do that takes belonging to another level that can impact. Not only, you know, a worker’s performance, but, but an organizational performance.

But same for wellbeing, right? Right. This notion of if we take the work stressors out, we, we spend all this money on programs and initiatives that, you know, from a wellbeing perspective do impact employee [00:27:00] experience, but how do we take it to the next level when we’re actually unlocking the potential performance of a worker and thus the organization too, right?

So it’s really just taking that to the next level. And when we’re making. Kind of work better and easier for people and them kind of better at that, the, the amount of work stress, you know, that that work redesign and, and really that ability to make an impact as well and to see your contribution, um, goes to wellbeing as well, like actual wellbeing, right?


William Tincup: um, I could talk to you forever. I unfortunately you have a job, so, uh, thank you so much for coming on. First of all, I love what you’ve built and it goes without saying, but I love it and it, um, I hope it’s hugely successful. But thanks for coming on the

Chris Havrilla: podcast. I do too, and thank you so much.

Always a pleasure, my friend. No

William Tincup: worries. And thanks for everyone listening to the Use Case podcast. Until next. [00:28:00]

The Use Case Podcast

William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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