As medications have warnings on the bottle. Be vigilant.
1. Companies get the human resource departments they deserve by virtue of their actual rather than stated values and actual relationships with people who have less power than they do.
2. Human resource departments have no intrinsic line power of their own. Power to initiate and act and is derived from the nature of the senior human resource person’s relationship with the most senior line leader. If this is a powerful and mutual coaching relationship, including mutual vulnerability and genuine commitment to each other’s success, it’s possible to create and sustain a high performing, collaborative, and caring culture. In the absence of this relationship, leaders, managers, and staff will pay primary attention to what the line management pays them for.
3. Most human resource departments, spend most of their time and energy on personnel assessment, compensation, benefits, corporate communication, hiring and firing people, and countless logistical and administrative matters. Over time this becomes boring for people who don’t like that kind of work.
4. There are few, if any, human being departments. Human resource departments prevail. A resource is a thing to be used or administered, and is generally experienced as an object. This way of operating precludes new possibilities or sustainable transformation. Senior leaders know they have problems that manifest in interdepartmental conflict, low morale, lack of creativity and innovation, and lack of entrepreneurship and responsibility for continuing improvement in the culture and services offered by the firm.
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