Less Talk…More Action?
How many Human Resources and General business leaders does it take to change a light bulb? Too many it seems these days…
I acknowledge the fact that we are all working extremely hard for our companies/teams and in many cases with scarce resources to say the least! Whether you are a Human Resources or General Business leader, the fact remains that there is a ton of discussion between these two parties but not enough real action to make a profound and long lasting impact to our organizations.
These“discussions” traditionally include topics like cost reduction; creating efficiencies (the two don’t necessarily relate in some cases); managing overhead; improving employee engagement; managing those dreaded performance reviews; finding the right talent to fill vacancies; retaining talent…the list goes on. No matter the subject, not achieving sustainable and positive outcomes seems to be never-ending with the same discussions occurring over and over again. Great would be the day that I find something “different” that we as business professional can sink our teeth into because we’ve succeeded on other business fronts.
In my experience, whether we achieve a “win”, “fail” or remain the “same”, is contingent on how effective the relationship and the subsequent “discussion quality” is between Human Resources and General business leadership. For the purposes of this discussion…let’s refer to it as “discussion productivity”.
“Discussion productivity” will ultimately result in either one of the three scenarios listed below:
Scenario 1: “Win” – In order to define a true “win”, the result should be:
- A positive value-add to the business
- Sustainable i.e. will continue to make positive contributions to the business over an extended period of time whether the same Management/HR individuals “stick around” or new individuals comes on board
- Allowing the two parties to move on to the next gap that needs to be closed.
Important to note here that even if you do “win”, going back and reflecting on what made you win, is only going to strengthen your next opportunity to “win”.
Scenario 2: “Fail” – Well…the same as “win”
I suppose, but the complete contrast to the “win” scenario. What strikes me as odd is how much aversion there is to failure. Don’t misunderstand me, business failures should be minimized to the greatest extent possible, but taking this to the extreme is probably the irony within. In this case, business folks fail at achieving their goal/s they originally set out to do, because they fear the failure in itself.
The net results are very typical discussions where Human Resources is reluctant to “step outside the box” or risk challenging the business leaving the potential solution or parts of the final solution out which consequently results in failure. The same holds true for the business leader who either has a preconceived idea that HR will “create an obstacle for me in achieving my goal” or “I don’t have time to go through all the HR steps”…etc. No matter which case holds true, they both bring us closer we come to failing. Allowing room for failure on both sides but supporting each other in recovering from this failure is critical for success! There is never success without failure. How we support and nurture our partnership relationships is what will make or break us.
Scenario 3: “Same”
In my experience, scenario 3 – “same” – tends to be the most common I find these days in industry. Being more comfortable with the status quo because we fear our job security or we fear being criticized for our opinions and advice is not going to get us anywhere. For example, we have so many bright and passionate professionals in their respective fields pushing out fantastic material…one can’t help finding all these ideas, concepts, methodologies everywhere we look. Whether it’s books, magazines, conferences…the information seems endless. The problem at hand is that after we read our books, magazines or after attending a top-notch conference, much is learned, but very little is taken back to our businesses and implemented. This ultimately brings us to the “same” we originally had before we read the book/magazine or attended the conference. This results in either no discussion or frivolous conversation that amounts to nothing…or as I like to refer to it as “same”.
Whether you are the Operations manager or the Human Resources manager having these discussions, don’t take a back seat! That’s not to say I am suggesting that you be overly aggressive in making your point, but open your discussion and take the lead relative to where you think you need to make the impact. Don’t rely on preconceived notions about each other personally or professionally and the roles you play in bringing about positive impact to your organization. All of this ultimately leads you to the “same”.
Let’s not be the same and start to realize what we are actually capable of in bringing to our organizations. Let’s solve the issues we continuously discuss day in and day out and finally move upward and onward. Finally, don’t fear failure. It is only through trying and potentially failing that we will see wins.
I would love to hear your thoughts and gain greater insight to your world, so please don’t hesitate responding to my blog at HR ALL-IN…whether you agree, disagree or are indifferent, I appreciate your thoughts and general feedback.
Until our next blog…may the business force be with you all!