Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This Team Is Designing the Future of HR

This is the second in a series of posts about SHRM's Global Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Summit that was held in conjunction with the national conference. It was an amazing collection of senior human resources executives from around the world who gathered for an in-depth and inspiring meeting in Las Vegas.


Imagine the future of human resources. The words are different…the roles are different…the value HR adds to the organization is viewed in a radical new way. 


At the recent Global Forum for Chief Human Resources Officers this was the exact issue discussed. CHROs from around the world wrestled…sort of…with what that future state will be for HR.

Top Thinkers
The session was led by John Boudreau who has been deeply engaged with a world-class team of human resources executives from some of the top companies in the world. His research, and the focused output the team is generating is a fantastic start.

The group he assembled shares a level of frustration with the state of HR today, in that it is difficult to describe what our role is in a rapidly changing world.

Here’s my spin...
- couldn’t we outsource benefits support to a call center and manage the spend through the Finance department?

- couldn’t we fold employee relations into the legal department now that our society (at least in the United States) is ridiculously focused on litigation or extreme views from various government agencies.

- couldn’t an education department that reports through Operations build a team of trainers/change management professionals to ensure we had complete alignment with what the front-line needs of the leaders are?

The short-sighted answer to these questions is yes. It’s also the wrong one. What’s missing here is the role that human resources plays when addressing talent, culture, and living the values of an organization.

I’m sorry, but Finance, Legal, and Operations do not have stellar track records for driving change, responding to the workforce, or meeting the challenges of growth in a radically different world than just a few years ago.

Only HR can deliver on that…and this is where John’s team might miss the mark, but not for the reason you might think.

Future of the Workforce
The powerhouse team I mentioned that is planning the future of HR is missing one very important member...

…the people who are going to be the future of HR. Hear me out...

"If millennials are going to dominate the workforce in just a few years, it seems odd to exclude them from the planning process.”

Teams of executives have the power and influence to make change. But at what cost? If the entire group that is planning the future of HR is retired in fifteen years, have they done a disservice by excluding those they are trying to help?

I submit yes! 

The courageous leaders on this team should not only invite non-executive leaders into the group, but must insist on it. 

While I stand and applaud the desire to make things different, it is clear the group is not current. (I could barely find twitter accounts for half the group, yet they are designing the new world of HR?)

How About You
What are you doing in your world to make a difference for your profession? Are you adapting to new ways to work? Or, are you simply moving the same old concepts around into a new format and claiming that you’ve made a breakthrough? 

John’s team is taking a bold step forward and I will support them in every way I can. Let’s hope they don’t miss the most important piece of the puzzle.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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