Monday, January 5, 2015
Never has the need for HR Leadership been stronger. The HR profession has definitely seen its fair share of negative press over the last few decades. What is needed today is STRONG HR BUSINESS LEADERS. We need business leaders that know and understand business and by the way, get HR. In other words, we need business people first and HR specialization second. Not the other way around.
The call for business acumen by organizational leaders has almost reached the broken record level. The problem is that HR as a profession has not stepped up and answered the need. The need for problem solving, financial acumen, ROI modeling for people investments and workforce planning that uses the business needs first not HR's.
The next question is HOW do get more business leadership in our profession? I wish I had all the answers but here are a few ideas that I have captured over the last year from attendees and clients when this subject came up in conversation:
1) When considering an advanced degree, think about an MBA. An MBA exposes students to all facets of the business, so a strong business foundation is laid.
2) Become best friends with your CFO and ask him questions about the financials. Participate in financial overviews and meetings
3) Get familiar with HR Metrics and the story they are telling
4) Spend time with you sales teams to understand the products and services your company delivers, understand the customers and the competition
5) Understand how a dollar flows though your organization. What is the profit margin? Is it good or bad?
6) Solve business problem proactively
7) Participate in all strategic discussions
8) Take the lead on the execution of business strategy as the execution piece is where strategy fails
9) Fix performance management. Period.
10) HR needs to learn the language of the C-Suite and Finance. It's universal language spoken by all business leaders.
11) Ask compelling questions to everyone
12) Link all data, insights and investments to IMPACT using ROI/Costs/Profits as the basis
13) Participate in external business activities that continue to hone your business acumen
14) Surround yourself with other effective HR Business Leaders
15) Be courageous...getting out of your comfort zone takes courage
This list is not exhaustive by any means. Please comment and let me know how you think HR can up its game as far as leadership is concerned. Maybe you think we are already there....do tell!