Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Big Question ????

Should HR as a function continue to have Non-Traditional HR person to lead the guide the HR role in organizations?

Traditionally we have seen lot of folks from diverse background doing quite well as HR leads and often giving the HR role in the organization a new direction.

As Philip say “I think one of the biggest drawbacks for HR functions is the fact that they are often filled with people who have no concept of how business operates. They might contain people who have received their MBAs...but when's the last time an organization has allowed an MBA-only person take the helm? MBAs must be accompanied with experience, and this is precisely where traditional HR heads are found lacking. They've rarely had to lead other operations within the organization...and as a result, don't truly understand the P&L responsibilities, hierarchies, turf wars, etc. that might be going on within an organization.

Often it has been said that HR has not been able to pay a strategic role in business as it continues to stay away from the business objective. My point is if HR is able to focus on what its core function / business of operating in an organization exits why does it needs to drag itself to prove that it understands business per say just to act as a strategic partner.

If HR business in the organization is to attract, train, develop, and retain people as well creating a great employer brand, I don’t see any reason why it needs to prove it anything more than that to justify its impact of organizations business. The question here is “Are we (HR) able to prove the impact which it has on the business /profitability and strategy of the organization.

Non traditional HR leaders will also be accepted as traditional HR leaders if only they are able to establish the linkage and continue to give a vision and direction to the HR function as part of the organizational vision and people’s philosophy. To expect that since someone has performed exceptionally well as a business head will continue to do so in HR Head is slightly unfair and unreasonable as the games of the rules are not the same.

However HR professionals should continue to partner actively in business decisions like mergers- acquisition and make an impact on the bottom-line. Business understanding can act as one of the enablers and initiating competencies for HR functions and it could be a necessary but not a sufficient condition/competency for being a successful HR professional.

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