Month: April 2015

Our Fundamental Choice

We’ve completed a hectic first quarter in 2015. I was reflecting on how fast the new year has gone by. The demands and hectic pace of business environment are back.

To stay on course, I try to constantly reflect on my deep personal experiences in recent times, exploring new directions, on mortality, meaning of life, connects with diverse groups of wise individuals, moving back home after almost a decade of being away, and all the changes at various levels. I also try to remind myself constantly to not get caught into the typical thought process and trappings of a rat race.

When the going was tough, the one thing that I felt thankful for was my conscious choice and accountability for own actions. The key was that they were aligned to what I felt was truly important to me. That ensured commitment, engaged action and a feeling of fulfillment. Over time, it was really valuable to learn to not take failures personally and work through them as great development experiences.

My humble suggestion for those who feel caught in between decisions, or are fighting with challenges. Be aligned with what is really important for yourself, listen to your soul, forget about peer or societal pressure and expectations, and focus actions in your chosen direction – it will help you sail through both great and tough times with increasing inner strength, even if the external world judges differently. Life is and generally will continue to be a mix of ups and downs but we all hold the capability to positively influence and impact other lives.

Possibilities for change are always on the horizon. We learn a lot about ourselves in the process, especially while going through a rough patch. We have the choice in how we let our experiences define us.

Best wishes…

Posted on LinkedIn on April 4, 2015

The Rise of HR – Wisdom From 10 Thought Leaders In 20 Sentences

Rise of HR_Image

“The Rise of HR: Wisdom from 73 Thought Leaders,” is a recent anthology published by the HR Certification Institute in collaboration with Dave Ulrich, Professor, University of Michigan and Co-founder of The RBL Group, Bill Schiemann, CEO, Metrus Group, Inc. and Libby Sartain, Business Advisor and Board Member.

As I was reading through few chapters, I thought it would be worthwhile to attempt consolidating the following ten themes from leading HR voices (relevant chapters indicated under ‘References’ below).

  1. The HR professional of today is more likely to be a talent expert, a technology expert and a consultant.  They must focus on 3 categories of skills: how to recruit, develop, and manage people; how to organize, enable and improve the organization; and how to manage, leverage, and exploit data and technology.
  2. Getting the transformational change process right in an organization means attending to the Structural, Cultural and Human elements. All change requires an expenditure of physical, emotional and cognitive resources that should be prioritized like any other organizational asset.
  3. HR leaders need to be conductors of the organizational orchestra, by coordinating the orchestra and being comfortable balancing the various tensions (individual versus firm, star versus supporting players, timing, and flow).  Three key elements underlying the new HR are talent, data and strategy, and require an ability to coordinate alignment across different levels of organizational hierarchy.
  4. HR professionals will need to spend more time thinking about and developing strategies for operating in what has become a transparent world.  More than ever before, HR professionals have to approach their role by constantly reminding their organization to consider the question: What would happen if an employee or customer saw this, or if this appeared on the front page of the newspaper?
  5. Creation of an employer brand is as important as our corporate brand – and thus HR and marketing should be attached at the hip.  In this age of transparency, employees are the media and HR is essential to marketing, as they deliver on the brand promise day in and day out.
  6. In any business dialogue, an HR professional can proffer three unique contributions – Talent, Leadership and Organization.  Three dimensions of competitive organization are organizational capabilities (what the organization is known for, good at doing, how it allocates resources), culture (pattern of how people think and act) and management actions (intellectual, behavioral and process agendas).
  7. Culture is the catalyst that connects executive leadership goals to HR goals and creates a perpetual winning environment.  Great cultures are created through everyday relationships that employees have with leaders, their work and with one another.
  8. Success in any field is based on two characteristics: long term resilience and the ability to be centered, or “in the zone” more frequently.  This resilience center spans five aspects of our lives: our emotions, our physical selves, our spirits, our finances and our relationships.
  9. Workforce metrics is strategically important for firms because the workforce is most firms’ single largest expenditure – and the least scrutinized in assessing its impact on value creation.  HR must focus on delivering outcomes that enable top-line growth through the firm’s strategic mindset and by leveraging the performance of individual roles that impact value creation and top-line growth.
  10. Forward-thinking HR organizations choose their leadership arenas carefully, letting others take the lead when trends are new to HR, and taking a leadership role as HR becomes more involved.  It means gaining credibility with functional partners from other disciplines so that they welcome the involvement of HR in their domain and are willing to help translate and apply their expertise to HR issues.

Hope these are helpful notes for valuable reflection, action and further reading for HR professionals around the world.  A strong community of highly capable and committed HR professionals, leaders and organizations is fundamental for the rise of HR and its future evolution.

* Book Website –
1. HR’s Role In The Digital Workplace: A Time For Reinvention, Josh Bersin
2. The Case For Change Capability: How HR Can Step Up…, Holly Burkett
3. The Reluctant HR Champion?, Robert Ployhart
4. HR And Transparency, Susan Meisinger
5. Think Like A Marketer!, Libby Sartain
6. From War For Talent To Victory Through Organization, Dave Ulrich
7. CEOs Want Better Performance.  Great Culture Can Make It Happen, China Gorman
8. Finding Our Resilient Center, William G. Ingham
9. HR Analytic And Metrics: Scoring On The Business Scorecard, Richard W. Beatty
10. Avoiding The “Profession” Trap By Reaching Out And Retooling HR, John W. Boudreau

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