I Believe…

After 20-something years of Human Resources management, many of those at the senior-most level, I’ve developed some beliefs.

For example, I believe:

…that HR is, sometimes, too important for human resources professionals. It ain’t about party-planning, tranascations, and rote compliance. If that’s your emphasis, it isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not HR leadership. If you aren’t part — and integral part — of an organziation’s future success, you should be outsourced. Or something equally painful.

…that HR isn’t really changing much, but it should be. HR leadership should be about aligning HR strategies, efforts and resources directly with organizational goals. Can that be done by a “non-” HR person? Maybe so, but a better question is, “Should it be??” A competent senior-technology executive MAY be able to lead a progressive HR shop, but a competent senior-HR executive SHOULD be able to. Where’s the disconnect?

…that not all HR can be “strategic,” in the common definition. Face it — block-and-tackling is what day to day functional work is all about. Transactional HR can be a part of HR’s strategy, but it can’t be strategic HR. Finance can be strategic, but they still have to close monthly and quarterly. Nothing strategic about calling an Ops Manager and asking why an invoice was coded as is. Strategic is merely properly aligning with business objectives; it’s not a lofty, unreachable ideal.

…that competent senior Human Resources leaders can make great business leaders, as long as the business believes they can lead. That requires risk-taking (personal and professional), incredible accountability, and in-depth competence in business. And finally, it requires successful alignment with HR efforts and business strategy. In other words, the work must matter.

Oh, well, just felt the need to ramble. Too often, we get caught up in matters of little importance (and perhaps this fits there also), and wanted to just take some time to put words to what I think regarding the profession.

But, that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann

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