Monumental business failures are occurring all around us, yet we are stillusing models of organisations that were created by the Napoleonic army. Whilewe’ve tinkered with structure, the world has changed dramatically and too manyHR people have not. Firms continue to fight every downturn with the same bureaucratic weapons,while they should be planning radical new ways to overcome the next one.Three-quarters of the jobs created in the US over the past 10 years have beenin sectors and industries that weren’t even thought of at the start of thedecade. What’s next – what will the business world look like in 2010 and how dowe take a lead in shaping it? The implications for HR are profound. We are accountable for transformingbusiness. This means setting up and leveraging a myriad of virtual networkswhere alliances need to be built on trust and sharing learning. How do we learn how to do this stuff? We need first class, structureddevelopment programmes for our talented people. It almost certainly means timespent outside the function and plans that include hard-edged business projects,secondments and risky creative assignments in new areas. If you have only ever managed a huge cost budget, it’s your reference pointand it is virtually impossible to throw it off. If you want to understand whatit means to manage customers and products you have to go and do it foryourself. We also need access – via real consulting projects, not role plays – toinnovative organisational models as it is a key requirement to know when tosuggest that the current organisation has outlived its usefulness. A further development imperative is for us to understand behaviouralinfluences. Increasingly CEOs are only worried about talent. HR people need tothrow out bureaucratic processes that attempt to classify everyone as the same– truly ground-breaking people are different and we need creative HR solutionsto manage them. Another fundamental need is coaching and mentoring. Working in this new waywould be frightening and lonely, and coaching would build confidence –essential if we are to really question business strategy and truly transformthe HR function. Great coaches will also help us manage complex changeprogrammes and push the boundaries of the function out further and further. At the end of the day, if we don’t become great quickly we will die as afunction. We will be outsourced if we cannot command a premium price in theinternal marketplace. To secure this, we need entrepreneurial HR people whofeel they are running their own transformation business. They need to beprepared to be fired almost every day in the single-minded pursuit of changingtheir world and preparing their business to sprint towards the future ratherthan trying to protect the past. By Chris Matchan, Vice-President, consumer practice at Korn/FerryInternational Outmoded ideas can’t solve today’s problemsOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.