What I Wear to Work: Go­ing tie­less is part of HR man­ager Brian Lit­tle’s “peo­ple strat­egy”

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view by Ari­anne Co­hen

56, head of hu­man re­sources, Zurich North Amer­ica, Schaum­burg, Ill.

What do you do all day?

The eas­i­est way to ex­plain it is “peo­ple strat­egy”— em­pow­er­ing, de­vel­op­ing, and re­tain­ing peo­ple.

So you’re a peo­ple guy. How does your wardrobe help you con­nect?

I think what I wear con­veys that we’re in a pro­fes­sional en­vi­ron­ment, but also it’s fun, which helps peo­ple un­der­stand me quickly.

How would you de­scribe your style?

Cor­po­rate but cool.

Does your of­fice have a dress code?

I work in an in­dus­try that is con­ser­va­tive but also al­lows you to ex­press your­self. We have a Euro­pean style, be­cause our head­quar­ters are in Zurich.

Why no tie?

We do a lot of field of­fice vis­its, and if you’re overly con­ser­va­tive in your dress, it turns peo­ple off. I like ties— I prob­a­bly have 50 or 60. But it’s eas­ier to com­mu­ni­cate with a wider va­ri­ety of peo­ple with­out one.

Tell me about your suit.

My wife bought it for my birth­day. Nearly all my clothes have some sort of mean­ing. I have a watch we bought in Greece when trav­el­ing for our an­niver­sary.

What’s your pocket-square strat­egy?

Just that they’re not ugly.

Do you fold them?

I’m not re­ally good at fold­ing pocket squares. I’ve tried ev­ery way, and now I just fold them in an ex­act square and stick them in.

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