Why HR Should Lead Change Initiatives

Butterfly5Change management is about people, performance and leadership, ergo, one would think HR should be leading the charge (or at least playing a major role). Unfortunately, in many cases, HR is not involved because it does not bring the skill sets that would be useful to organizational change or is simply not even invited to the party. More concerning is that CEO’s don’t hold their HR leadership accountable for building the necessary expertise that would facilitate effecting change. Without the internal expertise, organizations, more often than not, look to outside consultants to provide the needed assistance to effect the organizational changes they’re looking for.

What’s striking here, even with the expertise of outside consultants, change guru John Kotter, (Kotter International) still claims that 70% of change efforts fail; this is a pretty dismal record. Kotter’s approach for “change management” is for organizations to “take a consistent, holistic approach to changing themselves,” and “engaging their workforce effectively.”

Hmmm. Changing themselves. Engaging their workforce. Sounds like learning, development and human resources to me so why isn’t HR part of the solution? (more…)

Remembering the Father of Organizational Learning

51pf1Ybod6L._SY300_Chris Argyris passed away last month, at the age of 90.  This Harvard Business School professor earned 14 honorary doctorates, produced 30 books, and published over 150 articles.  Anyone in the field of Human Resources should know of this man’s contributions to the field of understanding, as the frame a foundation for improving human performance.

Think about this.  We make decisions every day.  We go through a process to do so.  Argyris defined this process as the “ladder of inference.”  He pointed out that we often skip steps in the thinking process, for example starting with assumptions rather than real data.  Starting with assumptions, not only eliminates gathering facts, but also looking at the context surrounding the facts, and then interpreting the facts within the context. (more…)