HR in the spotlight yet again - but how to get it right?

The very recent July /August edition of the highly influential Harvard Business Review has a cover title that reads “It’s time to Blow up HR and Build Something New - Here’s how.” The magazine then contains three detailed articles all based around the current role and challenges facing HR. While it may be interesting to debate the strategic value of HR and how best it should add value to the business the articles do not provide conclusive evidence that will be of practical value to HR professionals. We present our opinion on the debate and what HR should do.

The Top Three Challenges in Moving A Finance Function to a Business Partner Model

Of course the fundamental concept of partnering is not that new to many finance professionals. It can be strongly argued that successful finance professionals have always operated as close business partners with the evidence being how many ultimately move into general management and corporate leadership roles. But equally it is true that many aspects of the traditional finance function have grown apart from the core business activities. They have become diverted from their central goal of adding business value. The distractions include:

Does your HR function deliver what the business expects?

What role is HR expected to play in your organization? Do you have a clear understanding of what your key internal customers expect HR to deliver?

To answer these questions you need to know what your senior leadership and key internal clients expect from HR. You also need to have an eye to current HR leading edge practice so that you are helping your senior leadership and management gain full value from what HR con contribute.

A daring question for HR Leaders - are you brave enough to tackle it?

As business is dominated by cash flows, costs and profitability the finance function has traditionally been immune to any form of corporate criticism. Money is the driver for many organisations and as finance retains full control of this role and very few have dared to criticize its brand as the most central and critical of all support functions. But times are a changing and today we are seeing the once revered finance function being subjected to review. Relentless cost pressures and global competition are forcing organisations to now look at how their finance functions operate. We have probably all heard the classic jibes of “the bean-counters or digit heads” but nowadays leading edge functions are instigating real change.

Important Trends in HR

One of our clients asked me to join their Global HR meeting and facilitate a discussion of the broad trends in Human Resources so that they could benchmark their plans. This article provides you with information on what are the current trends impacting HR. Firstly we will look at some broad trends and then we will look at five main trends impacting HR directly.

Action Centred Learning

Experiential learning as elucidated by David Kolb, the well-known American educational theorist and Psychology professor, is the process or having a real lifelike experience and then through reflection forming personal conclusions on what will work for you. His well-known and widely used model has four steps:

What ever happened to Microsoft and Nokia? Leadership Lessons

The recent announcement that Microsoft is purchasing Nokia for some £4.6bn/ $7.2bn was for many not a surprise. With a former Microsoft leader, Stephen Elop heading Nokia these last couple of years it was perhaps inevitable that the two would come together. After all one of his first strategic moves was to sacrifice Nokia’s beloved Symbian software and move to Microsoft’s Windows Phone.