YET OUR REACH IS GLOBAL.
Our point of difference is that we harness the power of social media to build engaged and sustained business relationships – in the flesh. In this day and age, who would have thought it was possible 😉 We also have a bit of fun at the same time.
Our Linked In community groups boast a combined total of over 900 high caliber HR professionals and people leaders. Yet Twitter is our fastest growing segment, which plays host to an international audience of almost 500 @hrtalentgroup and continues to grow, daily. Further, we’ve hosted over 400 guests at our monthly Melbourne events since April 2013.
We figure we’ve attracted and engaged over 1,500 energized leaders from Melbourne and across the world in just 12 months. And that is just the beginning.
The HRTC holds monthly face to face events in Melbourne, Australia and soon, Perth and Sydney. There’s even a special “surprise” community coming in 2014. And yes, our website is almost ready.
December 18 2013
The era of HR 4.0
Last night The HR Talent Community had its first Christmas party. Nothing exceptional about that, except the community has experienced over 1500% growth in its first year and is leading the conversation, globally, around the changes that are happening in business and how that affects the HR model. All of this was done by harnessing the power of social media to build face to face relationships. In 2013 who would have thought this would have succeeded? [insert sarcasm].
To set the record straight, I’m against the label “HR” but it’s attracting our target demographic quite nicely – mid career HR professionals, mostly Gen X – who are aspiring to become tomorrow’s C-Leaders. It’s also attracting CEO’s and general people leaders which I feel very excited about. All of these people are are passionate, ambitious and care deeply about the Human Factor in business. They also have an underlying, often unconscious, belief that the current HRBP framework is not working and is preventing us from claiming the seat at the table we so rightfully deserve.
Getting back to last night. After a glass of wine, I felt relaxed enough to get up to share my thoughts on the era of HR 4.0. Now as far as I know, and I did Google it, this is a new concept (?) as most people believe, we’re still in the age of HR 2.0. Was I drunk or did I skip something?
No because this is how I see it.
The early days of HR, meaning from the early days of embryonic commerce to the 1980’s, HR wasn’t even about personnel – it was payroll. Then in the 80′s, the personnel model was born, and this is where HR really got its name. They started offering core services such as contracts, policies, recruitment, training, and the big one – assisting managers to manage their people problems. This was the era of HR 2.0, and lasted well in to the 00′s. After this, the HR business partnering model made its debut. This was HR’s first attempt at strategically partnering with the business. And there were mixed results. I cannot tell you how many conversations I’ve had with HR practitioners over the past 12 months, both in Australia and across the world that sound something like this:
“the business just doesn’t get HR“
“we can do so much for the business but they don’t want to listen“
“We deserve a seat at the table!” [frustration, head beating, brick walls]
“ We have to mop up the problems THEY create”
“I’m always fighting fires”
Notice the external blame and martyrdom factor? Well, it’s time to STOP IT. NOW.
If the business doesn’t see HR’s value then HR is not providing value. Bottom line. It doesn’t matter if we think we are or know that our strategic “value add” could improve productivity and performance, if only managers just let us!
The problem is the business doesn’t agree and they’re not buying in. And, as sales and marketing 101 would teach you – if you’re not delivering what the market is asking for, you don’t have a customer. Therefore HR is either not listening or not speaking the language of business. Or both. I understand all of this sounds pretty harsh as we have all built very successful careers within the current paradigm. Further, it’s what our identity and self esteem is tied up in, so I understand this feels challenging, even offensive. But the sooner we step back and accept the business partnering model is flawed, the sooner we can move forward and become even BETTER!
Welcome to the HR 4.0 era – complete integration in to the business, with a total focus on capability. Nothing else. Things like compliance and employee relations should never have become our responsibility in the first place because it muddies the water and ultimately damages relationships. Nothing sours a great business relationship faster than helping a manager increase the productivity and engagement of his or her workforce, only to make that person redundant the next day. Or help his or her manager performance manage him or her out of the business. Yeah, ouch. Ever wonder where my Twitter handle @TwofacedHRlady came from?
So let’s look at some facts:
1. Today businesses are operating in a digitally enabled, disruptive and uncertain economy that is influenced heavily by mobile and social.
2. Companies are struggling to manage their people within these unfamiliar parameters. And they need help! As people specialists, it’s our job to step up to the plate and provide solutions. We need to help our businesses build the right kind capability in their people, so they can retain their competitive advantage. This era is so highly disruptive, that we may not even see the disruption until it’s too late.
HR 4.0 means integrating within (not partnering with) organisations to help them become more socially enabled inside and out, more entrepreneurial, nimble and agile, to respond to changing market forces before the start-up operating from a rented garage kills your market share. It also means guiding leaders to manage the challenges of harnessing multi-generational, multi skilled and virtual work forces that are no longer defined by 9-5.
No matter how good we feel the HR value proposition is right now, by and large, HR is not recognized as a strategic partner. This is because we are not truly listening, and too busy focusing on compliance.In short, we’re too busy pushing our own agenda, whatever that may be. We need to understand what is happening “out there” so we can help our leaders build capability “in here”.
So instead of blaming managers for not recognizing our “true value”, it’s time to redefine the concept of HR, dismantle ourselves and fully integrate ourselves in to the business as capability leaders. Sounds scary, right? As I’m talking about remodeling an entire profession. It’s time to leave managers get on with the task of managing their people, supported by a “managers mentoring team” – i.e. employee relations, so we can get on with ours. And claim our seat at the table.
One of the best things I ever did was to quit my six figure ”HR 3.0″ career and take some time out to consider what it was I really wanted from life. In that time I worked with all manner of companies as a start-up and social media specialist. I might add none of these companies had a HR department. It was through this experience I came to understand what the business is truly seeking from its people specialists. 1. To help them create cohesive, trust rich teams so people feel good about coming to work. 2. To help them build better relationships. 3. To help them coach their people to build on their strengths (and manage weaknesses). 4. And to help them deal with change. Successfully. 5. To help them compete in the digital and social economy. It’s a frightening world, even if you’re rock solid with a great brand. Because you never know when the next nineteen year old will tear up your industry.
Just about every HR practitioner I know says they’re commercially minded. But I’m not sure they can be until they fully experience what it’s like not to work in HR. It’s only 12 months post my HR 3.0 career that I understand why everyone hates performance reviews, why remuneration reviews are mostly useless or why so many L&D programs don’t have sustained benefit. Or indeed, why everyone hates HR. Inspiring people to perform (note, you cannot motivate, lead or manage them) is the foundation of sustainable business. Oh, and a good finance department. Nothing feels better than being an instrument to facilitate great things to happen.
Close your eyes and imagine it. Don’t you want to become that trusted strategic advisor that I know you are?
To discover more about the HR 4.0 era and how you can be a part of it, I invite you to The HR Talent Community’s monthly events in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. If you’re located elsewhere, or to simply satiate your appetite between times, we invite you to join our Google+ Community (coming) where the debate and inspiration continues. It’s here you’ll truly feel part of something larger and it’s where the positive transformation occurs.