HR – where it stops and starts

A few weeks ago the kind folks at NZlead invited me to publish a post on collaborative HR. That post can be found here. As part of the post I invited people to contribute to a list of things that HR should start and stop doing in order to keep getting better.

This post is where we ended up… No claims of it being deep or being a fully thought through model – it’s a collection of thoughts and I’d just like to thank those that contributed to it. Please put your thoughts in the comments below.

The original thought to do something this broad came from a debate at Worktech about whether HR had a future. In the picture below you’ll see I’ve made everyone else on the panel either grumpy or despondent. That’s Charles Handy‘s head by the way.

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 I think it does have a future and that future looks like some of the things on the right hand side of the list below. I’m delighted that the folks at Worktech have asked me to do the keynote at their first event in Berlin where I’ll be talking about the growing inability of change management programmes to cope with…change. If you are an HR professional and you like the right hand side of this list then there are some things you can start doing today to help others change – just lead and be the change you want to see. 

Stop

Start

Complaining about the business and that they ‘just don’t get it’

Taking accountability for bringing the business together to drive results more effectively – and understanding poor decisions made by others are often rooted in you not understanding their problems

Worrying about where your Business Partners should hand over to your Shared Service Centre etc etc

Working with the business to understand what helps the business constantly improve and focusing as much resource as you can there – irrespective of job titles

Worrying about the risks of technology

Planning to ensure your business isn’t left behind – and then crippled by the investment required to catch up

Obsessing about what people will do without you there to guide them

Observing what people do when given space, time and trust and making the most of that

Writing policies in the hope that sheets of paper will magically influence people determined to do bad things

Agreeing the core principles of how you do business and recruiting people who believe in the spirit of what you are trying to do

Worrying about who gets the credit for performance

Creating successes for people to share

Creating stats to show how commercial you are

Doing things to improve the commercial capability of your business – this will involve figures but the intent is fundamentally different

Cleaning up the mess

Helping people understand how to clean up their own mess –and to make the most of the mess. There will always be mess, but great companies  turn mistakes into progress

Viewing your role as risk minimisation

Viewing your role as one of enabling performance – and thereby minimising risk of your business being competed out of the market

Worrying about what HR do

(with the exception of this blog)

Worrying about what the business needs to do and recognising that as soon as HR stands apart from ‘the business’ it can’t be at the heart of the business

Being the keeper of secrets

Being the most open department (within legal limits…). Asking for help instead of hiding problems.

Talking about collaboration

Involving more people in decisions and only laying down the law where you really need to. People being  100% committed and with an 80% correct decision  nearly always beats 100% right but with 20% of people working against you

Reading articles on how HR should work in some imaginary world where things work smoothly

Opening the question of how HR should work at your organisation up to people all across your organisation. If the above doesn’t work for your organisation that’s ok.

Blaming Operational Managers for not executing your initiatives.

Understanding their problems and selling the importance of the initiatives. If you cannot, they are probably not as important as you think.

Attempting to put HR at the centre of the relationship between the company and its employees.

Create the right tools.  Advise, guide, coach, support, train.  Then get out of the way.

With the whole slave to Ulrich thing unless your organisation is either a) pretty darn big, or b) global.

establishing what is the right approach for your particular organisation.

New: Collective decisions – the Book of Blogs

Things you need to know – new things are here… read on….don’t think you’ve seen it all before. There are some decisions to be made and you need to be aware of them – even if you don’t want to have a say. If you haven’t seen any of the blogs regarding this before I’d suggest you start here https://ddsouzadotcom.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/the-book-of-blogs-if-we-build-it/ PART A – General update The deadline is still 16th August for submissions. If you can get them in earlier that would be great – as you can see from the list below the book if filling up nicely and with a great range of topics being written about (with genuine insight and flair). Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far. If you are waiting on a reply from me for anything then please nudge me via Twitter and I’ll get back to you. I remain delighted that this is a genuinely international project and would like to thank Steve Browne and Broc Edwards for their support in the last week. We still lack a title. If you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments.  Simon Heath suggested ‘Practical Magic: Smoke, mirrors and human capital’ or ‘Human Realists: The future face of HR’. My suggestions have been nowhere near as good. Tim Scott has now suggested ‘Otherwise engaged’ – I think ‘Alternatively Engaged’ might also work. Select your favourite option to vote PART B – The money thing got a bit trickier, but not too tricky As anyone following this project knows we have been working on the assumption that Amazon will allow the book to be sold on Kindle for the grand price of free. Having investigated further (thanks to Simon Jones and Broc Edwards for the steer) Amazon will only publish under the following conditions

  • It is exclusively available to Amazon for 90 days (this shouldn’t be a problem)
  • We set a price of at least 99c (a price greater than 0c is a problem if you don’t want to make money)
  • We receive 70% of the sale price (I’m walking you through this slowly, 70% of 99c is still more than ‘no money’)
  • We can only set the price to free for 5 days in every 90 (meaning 85 days out of 90 it isn’t free, thanks for sticking with me)

Since, as per the initial scope,  I really don’t want to make any money on this my suggestion is we proceed as follows 1. We continue to publish on Amazon 2. We charge the lowest possible price (bizarrely Amazon can raise it if it wants and we don’t control it, but that will be the starting point) 3. We make the book free for five days at the earliest possible opportunity 4. Any author who contributes can have an electronic version sent to them to upload to their Kindle (if they don’t want to brave the store) can have one 5. All proceeds go to charity If you have suggestions for charities please leave them in the comments. I will then either run a survey to select a charity or if we don’t have many suggestions we’ll divide the money between them. It won’t be much money, but it will be something towards a good cause. If you don’t want to progress with the book on these grounds I completely understand, let me know and I’ll remove any content you have entered Suggested charities so far: OCD Action, Mind, Brook Part C – update on bloggers, content and a refreshed FAQ

  1. @simonheath1 – Simon Heath – submitted: A Sense of Proportion (as well as contributing an entry, the incomparable Simon Heath, will also be creating the cover illustration)
  2. @Projectlibero – Jon Bartlett
  3. @TimScottHR – Tim Scott submitted: There’s no such thing as ‘best practice’
  4. @HR_Gem – Gemma Reucroft submitted: A little more conversation
  5. @OD_optimist – Meg Peppin submitted:Trust me, I’m in HR
  6. @dougshaw1 – Doug Shaw – submitted: In Fear of Fear 
  7. @LadyLoki – Niki Rosenbaum
  8. @ruchikaabrol – Ruchika
  9. @Malcolmlouth – Malcolm Louth
  10. @StephenTovey13 – Stephen Tovey submitted: Watch the children play
  11. @paperclipgirl – Louisa de Lange
  12. @Jawaddell – Julie Waddell submitted: Succession planning: Corporate snakes and ladders
  13. @HRManNZ – Richard Westney – submitted: Collaboration is the new Competitive Advantage
  14. @sterling_amanda – Amanda Sterling submitted: What can HR learn from Lean manufacturing?
  15. @Jsarahwatshr – Jane Watson
  16. @KateGL – Kate Griffiths-Lambeth submitted: People are strange
  17. @KingfisherCoach – Ian Pettigrew submitted: Finding ‘friends’ you don’t like!
  18. @conmossy – Conor Moss
  19. @dds180 – me
  20. @bphilp – Bob Philpin submitted: Hiring our way out of the UK Leadership Crisis with Big Data
  21. @fourgroups – Four Groups – submitted: A Physics of People
  22. @sukhpabial – Sukh Pabial – submitted: What is hope?
  23. @verawoodhead – Vera Woodhead – submitted: No need to act like a Man. Women in leadership
  24. @myhr_nz    – Jason Ennor submitted: Building a slide at work: A true HR competency?
  25. @BenMorton2 – Ben Morton –submitted: Leadership in a VUCA world
  26. @IanandMJ -Ian Davidson –submitted: Why thinking in averages is below average thinking
  27. @ariadneassoc – Simon Jones
  28. @octopusHR – David Richter submitted: The Innovator’s Dilemma – Would you do any different? 
  29. @MrAirmiles – Jose Franca
  30. @MorrisElise – Elise Morris
  31. @sineadcarville – Sinead Carville
  32. @engagingemma – Emma Lloyd submitted: It is decision time ~ Round 1 ~ Heart vs Brain?
  33. @kat_hounsell – Kat Hounsell submitted: A Human Instinct
  34. @fuchsia_blue – Julie Drybrough
  35. @pontecarloblue – Amanda Arrowsmith submitted: Let’s be more Avengers than Minions
  36. @wendyaspland – Wendy Aspland submitted: if the workplace were a motorway
  37. @HRswitchon – Nicola Barber submitted: Bubble Busters
  38. @mervyndinnen – Mervyn Dinnen
  39. @damiana_HR – Damiana Casile
  40. @EmilydouglasHC – Emily Douglas
  41. @MeghanMBiro – Meghan Biro
  42. @DwaneLay – Dwane Lay
  43. @PamelaRoss – Pamela Ross
  44. @Nicky_T – Nicky Texeira
  45. @Lembitopik – Lembit Öpik  submitted: HR challenges on the USS Enterprise
  46. @LetSdeG – Leticia S. de Garzón submitted: Everyone needs a bad boss
  47. @zoemounsey – Zoe Mounsey
  48. @Susanpopoola – Susan Popoola
  49. @academyofrock -Peter Cook submitted: Punk Rock HR -A Manifesto for Simplicity, Brevity and Authenticity in HR
  50. @mindstrongltd – Tracey Davidson submitted: RIP Unproductive, Boring Meetings – How to Breath Life Back into Your Meetings 
  51. @brocedwards – Broc Edwards
  52. @sbrownehr – Steve Browne submitted: Release your inner Dali!
  53. @workessence – Neil Usher submitted: Barefoot in the heart: Part 3
  54. @injiduducu – Inji Duducu submitted: The Simple Key to High Performance Organisations
  55. @Honeydew_health – Honeydew Health submitted: The Absence Acid Test
  56. @AnneTynan – Anne Tynan submitted:Disabled HR Professionals = An Enabled Human Resources Profession

FAQ (it stands for Faked Anticipated Questions) Why did you decide to do this?  I had the idea on a whim when I was thinking about crowdsourcing and in particular this list of HR social influencers http://list.ly/l/5qg. It seemed like a nice community project and, as I enjoy the content shared on HR blogs so much, I thought it might be nice to collate it. I then shot out an impulsive tweet and things took off from there. So, what is your motivation? My motivation is very much about giving people an open space to create as individuals, whilst at the same point creating something as a group. I’m unlikely to get a job from this (if you’d like to hire me have a look at goo.gl/fySbh  ) but  I currently have some space in my days I thought it would be fun to build something. The book will be priced at free *update 30/07 -when it isn’t available as free it will be priced as cheaply as possible – and all proceeds will go to charity*, so this isn’t a stealth commercial project. It is a community project, plain and simple. I like ideas, I have the time to invest in helping and motivating people to share theirs. If you agree to take part then please understand that this is the ethos and don’t ask be complicated questions about who owns the rights etc. I simply don’t know and am probably disinclined to make things more complicated, if you are worried about this then just don’t take part. If you can think of it as a giant collection of guest blogs then you are in the right place. What are the entry criteria? Anyone can contribute – it can be their first blog or their hundredth. It can be new or their favourite old blog. It just needs to make sense standing alone. I’m sort of hoping that we do get to showcase some new bloggers and that the experience helps them go on to create more, that would make the project worthwhile in itself. There is no quality control – if someone has taken the trouble to write it then I will take the time to publish it. I haven’t approached anyone directly as I wanted people who were involved in the project and didn’t want to place any pressure on people to contribute. Please don’t attempt to sell a product – that is the only thing that won’t be acceptable. What are the timescales? A month from today for the content (!) should be enough for the length of writing required. So by 16/08 please have your content submitted or uploaded (see below). If you are able to do it earlier then please do, as there is only one of me so having 30 arrive on deadline day will doubtless cause issues. *cough, cough* but you don’t know anything about publishing do you?  No, I don’t, good spot. I do, however, love new technology and I’m also able to use Google. The combination of these things has led me to PressBook which is like a communal WordPress tool that will allow people to upload their own content and then for me to publish the content as an eBook to make available on Amazon etc. So we are all uploading our own material? It would be really helpful if once you have written it you could upload it yourself. If you write it in WordPress it brings everything over quite painlessly.Send me your email, I’ll send you a log in and then you can just paste your material in as a new chapter *update 22/07 – apparently this is quite painless*. Click on text and then new chapter… If this seems like the scariest process in the world then there is a two step process i) attempt it yourself, you only get to live this life once and being in fear of useful things isn’t very useful ii) send me your content directly – I don’t want anyone to suffer undue emotional distress in what should be a pleasant process How will the book be structured? I’m undecided. I might attempt to collate similar entries together or deliberately leave them apart. Who knows? It’s fun embracing an open approach. What if everyone writes on the same topics?  I don’t think they will, but if they do then we will still have a book – just on a narrow range of topics. My experience is that people have their own style which means at the very least people will offer different angles on topics. Is there anything I can’t do? Please don’t link to any material that we don’t have rights for.  I like putting video and pictures in my blogs, if you are doing so then please make sure you aren’t breaking the law when you are doing so. What will it be called? I haven’t a clue. I’m accepting suggestions. In fact if you send me suggestions I’ll run a poll and we can choose together. That is how collaborative this can be. Can I contact you with questions? Yes, I’m weak on Geography, but I’m pretty strong in most other areas. You can vote more than once below…