Why Doesn’t HR Lead Change? – Brad Power, HBR

HR doesn’t lead change, according to Brad Power, because it traditionally thinks and acts like a transactionally-focused support function.

The other day, HRZone published an article of mine which challenged HR to take the lead in driving change with regards to greater use of contingent resourcing.  A couple of days later, Sue Brooks of Ochre House also posted an article on HRZone suggesting a “new role for HR”.  Perhaps change is in the air.

In his HBR post, Power draws on Dave Ulrich’s view of three processes critical for embedding a culture: talent flow; rewards and training & development but he also suggests three root causes of the difficulty HR faces in leading change:

  • Politics – suggesting that HR is traditionally somewhat risk-averse;
  • A Support Relationship – traditionally HR sees itself as a support function rather than a true business partner;
  • Being Inbred – related to the two issues above, HR tends to hire HR experience so doesn’t break out of its self-imposed mind-set.

I’m not sure if Power’s perspective is representative.  It certainly aligns with my broader experience but, especially when I was at Microsoft, I have also worked with some very strategic HR leaders and thinkers.

About Andrew Munro

An independent business consultant, interim manager and writer, Andrew operates through his company, Burning Pine Ltd (http://burningpine.com).
This entry was posted in Organisational Humanity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s