In our view, organizations are demanding a new level of accountability from staff groups. The value of traditional activities carried out by staff groups is seriously in question.
Human Resources Groups in particular are under close scrutiny. Operating Human Resources in the traditional way -- providing mandated programs, focusing on the top, and managing transactions -- is becoming less relevant.
We believe that HR is in danger of being defined only as a transaction business or oversight function. This is true in part because the larger organization is unaware that HR is the "keeper" of an expertise that could have a major impact on their success.
In order to build client awareness of the contribution HR can make to building capacity in the business, HR must define and deliver its expertise in a new form. To do this requires a role change from caretaker to contributor; a structural change away from specialized functions; and a shift to serving core work groups, not just senior management.
What's required is for HR to answer this question, "What is the core competence we lay claim to that we believe will build and sustain the business we serve?"
Engaging this question creates difficult conversations for Human Resources. Purposes and methods on which HR has historically relied, no longer carry the value to the organization they once did.
In our experience, these discussions lead HR units to conclude that reconstructing themselves requires:
This one or two-day program is for participants to develop literacy about the choices they face personally, and in their unit, about creating a future for their Human Resource function.
The program names the issues and raises the questions that must be answered before the choice to Reinvent Human Resources is made. The intent of the program is to deeply engage all the members of an HR unit in learning what it would be like to choose a radically different way of working in the organization. The program does not assume that the choice to change has already been made. Participants are asked to suspend judgment about whether the approach is "right or wrong." Instead, they are asked to apply the ideas to their "real life" at work to gain the understanding needed to make an informed decision.