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Apr 27, 2023


Maryjo Charbonnier isn’t afraid of a challenge. In fact, throughout her career, she has sought out difficult problems so that she can be part of the solution. Her passion for change-making has led her to her current position as the Chief HR Officer at Kyndryl, an IBM spin-off which is now the world’s largest startup with over 90,000 employees and $19 billion in revenue. In this episode, Maryjo and I do a deep dive into what it takes to cultivate and maintain a thriving company culture. Maryjo is a real expert on cultural processes, and leaders and HR professionals in any field will benefit from the wisdom she shares today! 


Key Points From This Episode:


  • Maryjo shares the origin story of Kyndryl.

  • The work that Maryjo and her team did to ensure that Kyndrl was a successful spin-off.

  • Three core elements of any company culture. 

  • Defining the culture at Kyndryl (“The Kyndryl Way”) and the process they have gone through to develop it. 

  • Why Maryjo advises HR professionals to seek out difficult problems. 

  • What Maryjo loves about being part of business and cultural transformations.

  • Maryjo’s thoughts on how culture is created.

  • The role of HR professionals in the development of company culture. 

  • Values that Kyndryl aspires to embody. 

  • The importance of getting continuous feedback when building a company culture. 

  • An overview of Maryjo’s career journey to date. 

  • Advice for getting the most value out of your career as an HR professional. 




“When spins happen, they are a chance to both do a big transformation on the business side and also in HR.” — Maryjo Charbonnier [0:02:45]


“Culture manifests in three different ways; behaviors, systems…and symbols.” — Maryjo Charbonnier [0:05:05]


“In an HR career, it’s important, if you really want to accelerate your career, to seek the heat. Go where the big problems are because those are where everyone has eyes, and if you can make the difference it can really help accelerate your career path.” — Maryjo Charbonnier [0:12:26]


“I think about [culture] as a garden. It’s a garden that needs to be tended and cultivated. Yes, if left to its own devices, it will just grow organically, but that may or may not be what you want.” — Maryjo Charbonnier [0:15:19]


“One of the most important things HR people do is listen to what isn’t said.” — Maryjo Charbonnier [0:16:36]


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Maryjo Charbonnier on LinkedIn


Kyndryl on LinkedIn

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