Wednesday, May 23, 2012

HR Has its Game Face On!

I have had the pleasure of teaching HR and Strategy bootcamp for the last 2 years.  We have probably had almost 100 attendees go through our 2 day intense workshop.  The topics we discuss are strategic alignment, metrics that matter, and data visualization.  This ain't your Mom's HR workshop.  It's intense.  It's hard.  And, most of has given me a new perspective on our HR profession.

I ask attendees to bring in their organizational strategy.  We then spend a lot of time mapping that organizational strategy to understand what HR needs to do to make the strategy happen as far as the people are concerned.  People still have to execute strategy, we don't have a software program that will do that for us yet.

HR has come a long way in their understanding of linkage and alignment.  I love that.

I have been so impressed over the last few months watching HR professionals from EVERY industry not only understanding their organizational strategy but having the ability to translate to HR strategy.  Individuals from private business, government, and non-profits were able to take the organizational strategy and translate that to tightly aligned HR strategy with corresponding HR metrics that matter to the organization.

I can remember not so long ago (pre-recession) when the above hardly EVER happened.

So, I then ask myself...why is this happening?  Are we finally getting on the strategic band wagon?  I know we still have a long way to go, but progress is important.  Here are my theories to explain the shift from a focus on picnics to a focus on alignment:

1) HR professionals were sick of being called overhead, policy police and party planners.
2) The profession started to offer development in strategic areas
3) HR professionals are getting advanced degrees like MBA's
4) HR professionals want to be taken seriously in the organization
5) The recession forced HR's hand...either get on board or get out.
6) CEO's became more demanding of HR
7) HR is being invaded by non-HR professionals that are doing a great job in HR
8) HR functions are being outsourced at a rapid pace

I believe HR professionals must continue down the path of influence and embrace HR Strategy, Metrics and keep adding value to organizations.  Strategy is no longer a theoretical concept that HR professionals don't understand.  It has now become a tool for organizational competitive advantage that HR is beginning to embrace and understand.

What are your thoughts on why HR professionals are making progress?

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