THE ECONOMIST has a great piece this week about HR TRANSFORMATION efforts in major corporations. The main point is that all of the efforts to help the HR function to become more of a strategic player within organizations have failed. Quoting from the article:
"The great expectations that HR transformation aroused, however, were largely frustrated. After a decade, fewer than 5% of executives said they thought that their organisation’s management of people was not in need of improvement. Part of the problem lay in making traditional HR people think strategically. “Don’t kid yourself”, said one senior executive, “that people who have never been strategic are suddenly going to become so.”
Although the comment is off-the-cuff regarding the strategic nature of HR employees, it really cuts to the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, the valued strategic HR partner is a rare commodity. Some companies have worked very hard over the years to build pipelines of HR Talent and these programs deserve appropriate recognition (GE, Procter & Gamble, IBM), but most companies conduct the HR Transformation program and retool the HR Engine with the same employees as before. This really is destructive.