TD Bank: Girish Ganesan’s Favorite Things Include Helping Colleagues Grow…and Elephants

Girish Ganesan was named as TD Bank’s Head of U.S. Talent in November. He oversees end-to-end talent strategy for the Bank including Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Executive Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Employee Experience, Learning & Development and Diversity & Inclusion. Previously, he was based out of Toronto in an Enterprise Human Resources role.

Originally Published by TD Bank.

What is your vision and priorities in your new role for 2019?

Our talent is the most valuable source of sustainable competitive advantage. My vision is the ultimate vision of the HR function, which is to inspire an inclusive and engaged workforce at TD Bank that is ready for the future, where our colleagues have the tools and skills to excel and grow.

Here are few tangible examples aligned to our strategic focus:

  • Champion and Empower all TD Colleagues to Adapt, Grow & Win: Earlier this year, we rolled out TD Thrive across the AMCB foot print, a dynamic and modern personalized learning platform available to all colleagues. This is a critical first step toward a more dynamic and personalized learning culture.
  • Propel TD’s strategy through advanced HR tools and expert advice: Our investment in talent and leadership development continues through a variety of in-flight and new programs.
  • Be the Driving Force behind TD becoming the Undisputed Leader in Colleague Experience: We launched I AM TD, TD Bank’s new in-person on-boarding program that focuses on colleague engagement while demonstrating and explaining TD’s unique culture and brand. In addition, our investment in leadership development continues through a variety of programs.

Do you have specific vision for Diversity and Inclusion?

Diversity and Inclusion are fundamental to TD’s culture and core values. Realizing the full human potential of a diverse workforce requires inclusive thinking at a micro level, and TD has been pretty successful at it.

I could sense the passion about D&I at TD during my first interview. It gave me full confidence that I could bring my whole self to work.

My goal is to embed diversity and inclusion throughout our colleague life cycle as a strategic imperative to succeed in the long run. We are better when we have diversity of experience, diversity of thought, diversity of opinion, and diversity of approaches and styles.

We have already started to look at every single interaction a potential candidate has before they join, all the way through to their lifecycle as a colleague at TD. Each of those interactions matter and need to reflect our organizations D&I values.

What is your perspective on leadership? 

While there are plenty of different ways to lead, the following traits have worked for me:

  • Authentic leadership: Knowing your strengths, your limitations, and your emotions. Authentic leaders promote trust, openness, honest relationships, and listen.
  • Recognizing Talent:  a leader is as good as his or her team.  A true leader recognizes individual potential and surrounds him or her with colleagues with diverse background and experiences. Innovation requires different mindsets and unique individuals to help create the future.
  •  Adversity Management:  What makes a good leader great are the trials and tribulations of failure. Leaders who have endured adversity are most likely to be the ones with the resilience to resolve and to succeed, and show empathy.

How do you see technology impacting the workforce in the next few years? How do you balance technology while also considering the aspects that still require a human touch?

We’re in the midst of the next industrial revolution powered by artificial intelligence, robotics and other breakthroughs that are shaking the very foundation of our economies. As it has already, technology will continue to promote new ways of working and collaboration, while also embedding an experimental mindset.

Working alongside technology, there will be a growing emphasis on mastering capabilities required for interacting with people including empathy, conflict resolution, and being Unexpectedly Human.

Let’s shift gears….What is your favorite animal?

Elephants are my favorite. They believe in family bonding and stick together through everything. They are versatile and can communicate through sight, smell, sound, and touch. They are firm yet compassionate, fearless, strong, as well as great leaders and protectors.

What is your favorite leisure activity?

Traveling – short or long trips. I have lived in five countries and traveled to over 70 countries. In 2019, I’ll be exploring the US and would welcome all recommendations.


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