For whom should HR advocate?

Fake Dictionary, Dictionary definition of the word Advocacy.

For most of my long HR career in service industries, my colleagues and I believed our role to be an advocate for the employee. Those who spent their HR career in a collective bargaining environment may feel they advocate for the employer.

In Repurposing HR: From a cost center to a business accelerator, I highlight the role of Advocate as one of eight StopOvers on the RoadMap – the process for becoming a business leader rather than a service provider. Here’s how I explained it…

“The HR profession struggles to emerge from the “people person” image. Many of us went into the field because we liked working with people. The reality is that human resources plays two advocate roles, which often conflict:

  • HR is an advocate of the organization. Are the people decisions the best decisions to be made for the organization?
  • HR is also an advocate of the employees. Are we treating our employees consistently and fairly? If we are not, it will have a detrimental impact on the organization.”

Fast forward a couple years. Let’s make it really powerful – we are fast forwarding beyond a time in US business’ history for which we should have been exceedingly embarrassed and learned the hard way about organizational ethics – the scandals of Enron and Worldcom, which set the stage for the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act which, among other things, protected whistleblowers. (more…)

Why Let Your Managers Blubber?

figure_no_talking_symbol_400_clr_11004 2Why do otherwise confident and caring people turn into blubbering idiots when delivering bad news?

John Grisham’s new book – Gray Mountain – set in 2008. Three Ivy League attorneys working for a large and prestigious law firm in Manhattan are called to a partner’s office and told they no longer have a job.  Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapsed and the economy has begun its rapid descent into the Great Recession. Everyone is scared, and everything is chaotic. (more…)

It’s my taxpayer money you are spending!

money_in_toilet_400_clr_4526I have just experienced a micro-example of the macro-disaster that is our government bureaucracy.  I must say, if this experience is replicated only thirty percent of the time, we are wasting enormous amounts of taxpayer money.

Our story

We were excited to embark on a new venture – a consulting practice that would allow us to share some of the hard lessons we have learned about organizations and business strategy with others. We were particularly excited to receive designation as a veteran-owned, woman-owned business, thinking that would provide an opportunity to work with the government.

Two years later, I can say that consulting to the government is more politically charged than our government leaders, and the perfect example of building such a rigid infrastructure for one purpose, that causes unintended, myriad, costly ripple effects. (more…)