Lucy Hur talks about letting go of perfectionism, leading with the heart, and helping every employee reach for and realize their vision.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea. My family immigrated to the US when I was five, moving to the East Coast and then Texas. I went to the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a degree in business, and my first job after college was at Procter & Gamble. Following my stint at P&G, I went into management consulting, and then eventually made a career change into HR at Nokia.
I spent the last 13 years at Microsoft, leading Human Resources for a portfolio of Microsoft businesses, including advertising and online, marketing, consumer, and enterprise.
Outside of work, my two kids keep me really busy. My husband and I have two daughters: Audrey, who’s 19, and Alex, who’s 14. We’re busy with lots of activities, like all parents. I try my best to balance work and life.
How do you do that?
I’ve figured out that I have to let perfection go. Life is a constant juggling act that requires a lot of flexibility and prioritization, and there are always going to be tradeoffs. But I do my best to find harmony and balance. Work is a big part of my identity, but my family is what’s most important. My kids know that I’ll always make time for their soccer games, the big moments in their lives.
You mentioned that you were a consultant earlier in your career. What did that experience teach you?
My consulting experience was really life-changing—it helped build the foundation for the rest of my career. It honed my systems thinking and analytical skills and taught me how to lead through change. It’s where I learned to think about a company’s business model, adapt to new work cultures, and build strong relationships.
These skills have made me a better HR partner. It’s really important for HR to think about problem-solving in a holistic way, using data and analytics, designing the right solution, and then implementing that solution and driving adoption. The art and science of consulting really comes into play in HR—it’s our job to be good consultants to the business.
You’ve had an impressive career so far. What made you take the leap over to Slalom?
What attracted me to this opportunity was the culture. I’d heard a lot about Slalom’s values-driven culture, but it wasn’t until I met and connected with people here that I realized it’s really lived.
I was so impressed with the individuals I met while I was going through the interview process. Clearly people were smart and talented, but they also came across as genuine, humble, and down-to-earth.
Lastly, I was really inspired by Slalom’s history and growth aspirations, where the company’s been and where it’s headed. I get energy from helping businesses grow, and Slalom’s ambitious growth plans were really exciting.
As we think about expanding into new markets globally, what are some things we should do to keep our culture intact?
There’s so much I have to learn, but as we grow, I think it will be important to be intentional about what we want to preserve and carry forward. At the same time, we’ll need to consider what to evolve.
We’ll need to think about how global expansion impacts our people, programs, and initiatives. It’s a good opportunity for us to take a step back and assess what aspects of our business are unique to our local offices, and where we should think globally and approach our business in a common way.
What can we do to build a more diverse and inclusive work environment?
I grew up in Asia and moved and assimilated to the US when I was young. I know what it’s like to be the only Asian in the room. Those experiences have helped shape my perspective on the importance of inclusion and diversity in the workplace.
It’s great to see the progress we’ve made as a company to improve representation, but there are always opportunities to do more. As we continue to grow, we need to be intentional about closing the gaps.
I think there’s a big role that leaders play in terms of developing an inclusive culture—the leaders set the tone. It’s important to nurture an inclusive environment so that everyone who joins us feels a sense of belonging and connection. We want everyone to love being here and feel like they can realize their potential at work and in life.
Lastly, I’m a big believer in mentorship and sponsorship. Throughout my career, I’ve been able to grow professionally and personally through great mentors and advocates. I would love to see us continue to improve how we mentor talent and create leaders for the future.
What have you learned from your mentors?
The first business client I supported when I first moved into an HR role at Nokia taught me a lot. The first month into the job, I asked him for feedback. He said, “You know, you’re a little bit mechanical. You always have your lists and your action plans, and I have no doubt you’ll get things done. But you’ve never really taken time to get to know me as a person.” His advice to me was this: Before you ask a person for their head and their hands, you should get to know their heart.
That advice has stayed with me. I try to get to know people and show that I care. And over the years, I’ve developed a real passion for coaching—I just love it. When you take a bet on individuals, coach them, and see them excel in their careers, it’s so rewarding.
I hear you love Marvel movies and that your family has a group chat called the Aveng(hurs)—that’s an amazing pun. What’s your superpower?
First of all, don’t tell my daughters I told you that—they will say that's not cool! <laughs>
My superpower is probably listening and coaching. I think I’m a good active listener. I really enjoy coaching individuals, leaders, and teams, and I’ve been able to get skilled at coaching over the years.
What legacy would you like to leave behind?
I’d love for our business partners and customers to say that Slalom’s HR team is world-class. That they’re leading the way in terms of cultivating an inclusive culture, driving digital transformation, and delivering great experiences using the latest technologies.
And I’d love to hear my HR team say that the highlight of their careers was working together at Slalom. That’s what world-class means to me. That’s a legacy I’d be proud of.