An inconvenient truth

Aug 31 2007 by Charles Helliwell Print This Article

The Human Resource Planning Society (HRPS) in partnership with the Institute for Corporate Productivity in the US have concluded that HR departments, HR Directors and their management colleagues are failing to address the strategic or people challenges facing their organisations.

So what else is new? What about telling us something that we don't already know !

Until those people leading major organisations begin to understand and appreciate the asset potential and value of their workforce, this will forever remain the case. Name me one CEO of a leading FTSE or Dow company that comes from a people-related background.

I can't and I bet you can't either - although you might want to chew on this absolute fact, which no one has yet picked up on. Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors of all time bases his investment strategies, in part, on the strength of the workforce as he sees it, through the vision and long-term planning of the senior management.

If ever there was a ringing endorsement for organisations to learn from, this is it, but then, hey, I don't suppose anyone is taking too much notice. They are all to busy feting the guru for his uncanny investment skill. Funny that, isn't it ?

Older Comments

Don't be too hard on HR. The gurus of managing people have never reasonably provided a comprehensive, coherent set of 'whats', 'whys' and 'how tos' by which a manager could become an moderately successful manger of people much less exceptional.

In fact, one could say that the gurus have provided lots of confusing whats, no whys and no how tos. So why blame HR for being confused?

In over 30 years of managing people, I produced just such a comprehensive and coherent set. I proved them in successfully turning around four organizations including a nuclear-powered cruiser and a 1300 person unionized group. But I received scant help from the gurus of managing people.

I do wish that HR would learn and lead the way to treating employees with real respect, but I don't see it coming soon.

Best regards, Ben Simonton Author 'Leading People to be Highly Motivated and Committed'

Ben Simonton

Forgive me, Ben. I wasn't taking a pop at HR people. I was berating the fact that very few HR-related specialists make it to the top of organisations, which might be a missed opportunity for them, as well as those organisations.

Charles Helliwell London

But Charles, you said '..concluded that HR departments, HR Directors and their management colleagues are failing to address the strategic or people challenges facing their organisations.'

And I agree but hold HR responsible for a good part of the problem.

HR should know what it takes to create a highly motivated and committed workforce because their expertise should be about people. But HR has chosen not to have such expertise to offer to the corporation preferring instead to be record keepers, law enforcers and other things unrelated to making effective use of the company's human resources. Big mistake and damaging to the people and to the corporation.

Best regards, Ben

Ben Simonton