My man in Amsterdam. Sorry for my slow response, I blame it on the snow.
Good stuff in your last post. I think that having a strong foundation is always a good place to start.
I am going to add some of my thoughts based on where we think things are going.
Maybe we can work through the actual implementation and tactics involved with each of these together, but I am going to identify what I see as some of the next competencies for an HR crew…not necessarily individual competencies, but things that an internal HR function will have to be good at doing, supporting, sharing, finding or showing:
- technology: Human resources needs to become the resident expert on all things “social technology.” I am not talking about systems or softwares that are specifically for HR, but the other stuff. HR should know social networking and social media inside and out, observe what other organizations are using and should be experimenting constantly. Not only for use in the work of HR, but also as opportunities to make other functions within the organization more successful.
- innovation / creativity: Human resources needs to fall madly in love with ideas and new solutions. We can no longer afford the expertise of what is “not realistic” here what “will never change.” HR needs to support, promote and lead by example in tapping into the ideas of everyone in effective ways. Mind mapping, decision acceleration, murder-boarding, open space technology and crowdsourcing all need to become standards in the HR toolbox.
- speed: In my experience HR tends to tackle issues in a very methodical way. We spend a few months talking about an issue, agreeing that it is important we spend a few months researching that issue and then a few more months developing a plan and planning our massive roll-out. I think that there will probably always be some of this, but that HR needs to learn how to take small steps quickly…HR needs to get in the habit of experimenting and prototyping. In the year that it takes us to make a decision and plan a roll-out of something new we could have implemented several different versions in several different departments and learned a great deal.
- community and culture: I don’t think many people get organizational culture and that applies to HR as well. Culture is huge. Culture is king. HR needs to be good at understanding organizational culture, knowing what its characteristics are and knowing how to help it evolve in the right direction. HR could probably learn some good stuff from people that have built and managed vibrant on-line communities.
- stories: I think that one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of HR is good stories. Real stories. Stories are more powerful than policy and more powerful than powerpoint. HR needs to become good at collecting and telling big stories.
- brand: This roll has been taken from them, but I believe that HR must become the keeper of the brand. This is going to require some hard work, as I do not think that there are a lot of HR folks that are up to speed on the art and science of the brand, but I think that this could be one of their most significant contributions to organizational success.
I would like to talk further about how these things translate into the shape and form of the HR function, roles, responsibilities and all of the other etc. stuff, but how do you feel about these?