QA | 10 April 2013
During the last 25 years I have witnessed a remarkable shift in what Business Leaders expect and require from their HR colleagues.
Collaboration vs. Expertise
Whilst expertise still has its place it is no longer the cornerstone of how HR adds value within the ever changing global environment which all organisations find themselves operating in.
There is a level of complexity and sophistication within the business world today which simply did not exist only a couple of decades ago. Here are just a few of the real challenges organisations face:
• emerging global competitors threatening your market
• disruptive technology changing your business model
• availability of low cost workforces impacting on price
HR functions have responded to these changes at different speeds and scale. However I now see a general widespread momentum towards transforming the way in which HR operates and adds value to the bottom line of your organisation.
No longer can you expect to be an expert in all of the different opportunities and challenges your business leaders will face, but you do need to know how to leverage an extended network of expertise when required and build the capability within workforces today to respond to constant change effectively.
Collaboration requires you to have a strategic view of what is happening within your organisation and to be able to articulate your views and opinions as to what this means for the people strategy. You need to be able to translate how what you are proposing will add value to the direction your organisation is heading in.
You MUST be prepared to speak out and challenge the status quo when appropriate. All too often I have seen HR colleagues take a customer service approach to the relationships they develop with the business. This leads to a reactive rather than a proactive approach to HR Management, and to that old lament:
"Why did the business not tell us about this earlier, we could have taken a whole different approach?!"