HR Delve: The Future of Work with Keynote Speaker Yves Van Durme

4 mins

For this session, we welcomed Yves Van Durme, a global Human Capital leader at Del...

For this session, we welcomed Yves Van Durme, a global Human Capital leader at Deloitte.  During his 13 years with Deloitte Yves has focussed on organisational culture and development and has a huge interest in driving change and innovation.  Prior to this, Yves worked for 7 years as a professional squash coach and has built on this experience in High Performance Coaching in sports through his Leadership and OD work. Moreover, he has also written a book “Change can be Child’s Play” – a quirky view on leadership! 

The focus for this session was based on how the dynamic landscape is shaped by the emerging technologies of AI and its potential to transform work processes and drive efficiency. We also raised questions about the role of HR and discussed the challenges posed by sustainability and climate change.


Culture and Leadership

When considering organisational priorities Yves encouraged a shift toward simplicity and clarity in addressing challenges, especially in the boardroom. He shared his thoughts on the critical role of leadership, emphasising the need for leaders to have safe spaces for experimentation and learning. The importance of supporting leaders in an environment that demands innovation.  We discussed how to future-proof your organisation, addressing the complexities of matrix structures, the tension between speed and compliance, and the challenge of maintaining focus across the whole organisation. Currently, we are seeing a significant focus on organisational culture and the significant role of HR in shaping and evolving it. The discussion touched upon the challenges associated with defining and implementing culture, especially in a landscape where the term itself has numerous interpretations. 


We discussed the importance of creating conditions conducive to nurturing and developing people effectively. Organisations often redefine values and leadership principles without a clear understanding of how to effectively apply them. We talked about the role of the people function in stimulating behaviour, particularly in the context of budgeting and allocation processes and how swiftly resources are allocated to support innovative ideas within an organisation.  Yves delved into the study of microcultures within global organisations, and to consider the tension between a universal corporate culture and a culture specific to individual countries or regions. 


The discussion then addressed the need for HR to adapt to changing organisational structures and priorities, prompting a shift from functional thinking to a more transversal and agile approach. There will be a need to focus on achieving organisational goals rather than being restricted by functional silos. Yves stressed the importance of distinguishing between "good" and "bad" complexity within organisations and the focus on aligning functions with strategic objectives and creating value for the organisation and its stakeholders. 


Furthermore, we have seen a shift this year in the role of HR business partners and their responsibility to articulate the added value of HR functions beyond day-to-day operations and the evolving nature of HR roles and the increasing involvement in business and commercial discussions.



A key focus of the discussion was on the implications of AI for HR leaders and, the potential applications of AI in HR processes. There is importance in experimenting with AI technologies to understand the impact it has and the need to consider both cost reduction and increased impact when implementing them. We then talked more broadly around the impact of AI on the entire workforce and the importance of determining whether AI is augmenting or replacing human roles. Yves emphasised the need for HR to actively engage in conversations about the future of the workforce and to be aware of the potential risks and benefits.  

In summary, staying informed about rapidly evolving AI technologies and the need for HR professionals to continuously practice and experiment with AI tools will be crucial when considering the future of work. It’s important to undertake periodic reviews of emerging technologies and continue to share best practices within the HR community.

If you would like to learn more about Yves and his HR thought leadership or to find out more about our HRDelve series, please get in touch with Kirstin Hunt via LinkedIn or at