My friend Charlie Judy wrote a terrific post about Harry Levinson, one of Human Resources' pioneers. I can only imagine what he would think of the world of HR today. We have more tools, more responsibility, and more opportunities than ever before.
Just consider the consulting side of HR, and how it has exploded onto the world of work. Layer on top the technology industry that has developed enterprise-wide information systems just for HR practitioners.
Harry is undoubtedly smiling down on us all...
...unless he's not.
Opportunities Do Not Equal Progress
I don't meet too many human resources folks these days who tell me how excited they are to remain stagnant and not be successful.
They rarely tell me that failure is a primary objective in the next quarter, and that by year end they hope to have gripped the status quo so tightly that their knuckles hurt. Yet I continue to witness behavior that reinforces these exact messages.
Why do HR leaders in particular fear progress?
HR Staff Rock
One of my great passions (yes, I used that word) is to do public speaking. Whether at a conference, event, or meeting, I enjoy the energy that is created between a speaker and the audience. One of the fascinating things I've learned is that many of the HR staff who attend these sessions are not only excited about using twitter and Linkedin, but they are often ahead of the supervisor (read here --> Dinosaur HR leader #DinosaurHR) in terms of adoption of these tools.
I've been whining about HR leaders being stuck in bygone eras, and now I've finally realized I don't need to worry about them anymore. Their frontline HR pros are embracing modern tools and will soon be in those leadership positions! I love it!
In fact, after the last few events I've had the privilege to speak at (large or small) I am consistently followed or connected to the HR professionals after the event, but not the HR leaders who were there.
What does that tell you about who is willing to move forward, and who is clearly waaaaay too comfortable in their very temporary leadership role?
How About You
I'm fired up about HR these days, and you should be too. Our team members are embracing these tools, even if many of you are still holding out for a return to the mimeograph machine. (Smell the copies, my friend.) I think the state of our HR business would even make Harry smile too.