Hey HR, you’re missing something important

connectorWhat are we missing? How about organizational learning?

Today’s complex and changing world requires continuous learning within organizations in order to be competitive, and there is no better leader for learning than HR. Often though, HR places the majority of their attention on administration rather than on learning. This is understandable given the huge risk associated with benefits, employee relations and HR technology, but it is a mistake.

This hit home to me recently when a fellow HR professional whom I regard very highly, called to ask me about the concept of learning. She was preparing to present to an internal client group that wanted to become a learning organization. With several decades and an MBA behind her, she was unfamiliar with those very concepts of learning that can place HR in a business leadership role.

She is not alone. HR professionals today are overwhelmed with hiring, benefits, compensation, employee relations, technology and data, and tend to function within the comfort of those silos.  They struggle to find the time to reach beyond the requirements of administration and focus on learning, but a shift in investment of HR time can pay dividends in business results. (more…)

Do Peoples’ Faces Fall When You Say You Are in HR?

Ruby Canyon

So I’m on vacation, on a train passing through northern Utah on the way to Aspen. If you’re not familiar with traveling by train, they have lovely dining cars, white linen table cloths, and the friendliest servers I’ve ever encountered. Each table holds four people, and they fill them completely so unless there are four of you traveling, you’ll eat with people you don’t know. And that’s part of the fun of train riding.

This morning at breakfast, the gentleman across the table introduced himself and the conversation predictably led to “what do you do?” Turns out he was a 40-year veteran of a major oil company, recently retired. And….he was a finance guy. My turn….I’m an HR “guy.”  His face fell, so that told me a lot about what he thought about HR. I couldn’t resist, so I asked the question, “As a finance guy, how do you view the role of HR?” (more…)