This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

May 15, 2019

Retooling Organizations

The fast-changing external environment led HR and leadership development experts Linda Sharkey and Morag Barrett to write the book, The Future-Proof Workplace: Six Strategies to Accelerate Talent Development, Reshape Your Culture, and Succeed with Purpose. This Herman Trend Alert uses excepts from an interview conducted by SHRM's manager of book publishing, Matt Davis.

Disruption in HR
Not only is the world questioning HR's relevance, but also, many of the common HR practices no longer make sense. In some cases, those practices may even be counter-productive to what leaders and businesses need to do in their careers and their businesses to be successful in today's disrupted environment. Barrett believes "The role of HR is being steadily incorporated into a leader's role." As leaders build more alliances with their employees, this trend is likely to continue. With this evolution, people may have 20 or more jobs in their lifetime.

HR needs to stay relevant
Just as Roger Herman and I suggested 20 years ago in our book Lean & Meaningful: A New Culture for Corporate America, this evolution means that HR needs to look at all of the organization's policies, procedures, and practices and eliminate or revise them to be more appropriate for today's workforce. One good example of the value of this examination is Facebook's having recently updated its bereavement policy to give its employees up to 20 days of paid time off. In their book, Barrett and Sharkey deliver strategic advice to HR managers and leaders to focus on the activities that build a nimble workforce with the right organizational designs and development strategies. HR needs to play the vital role of helping leaders create and maintain high-performing cultures without the fear and blame and free from excessive procedures and policies. Leaders also must possess the skills to influence and coach their direct reports.

The critical need for strategic HR
Finally, HR professionals must have an effective grasp of "the organization's mission and values, what drives revenue, and how the business is perceived by customers will be fundamental." According to Barrett, "The tide is turning, and forward-thinking HR practitioners will [need to] quickly turn with it."

The future is here today
The world of work is evolving before our very eyes. With trends like globalization, changing demographics, and advancing technology, the workplace is transforming faster than ever before. In recognition of this rapid change, organizations must evolve or perish.

Special thanks to Matt Davis, manager, book publishing, at the Society for Human Resource Management for his book blog highlighting this book.

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