Brave new world for HR

by 18 Mar 2008

The lead story for this issue, “Perfect Leadership Storm Looming”, looks at the findings of a global study into emerging and significant issues for organisations from a human capital perspective. It highlights some serious points around the preparedness of companies to handle the challenges of working in an increasingly global market largely due to a lack of capable leadership and talent.

Companies and their leaders seem to be vaguely aware of the importance of talent, but in terms of real and meaningful initiatives that are linked to business strategy, it appears that many organisations unfortunately remain ignorant of the long-term consequences of ‘short-termism’. Many executives have a reasonably good idea of where they’re heading with their business, but when it comes to analytics and data around the capable talent to help them get there, many executives draw a blank.

As highlighted in a number of other stories in this and other issues, CEOs need to take the leadership on critical human capital issues, with a strong and business-savvy HR director providing them with the necessary insights and guidance to support long-term business strategy.

It’s people that ultimately drive and produce results in business, and providing credible and rigorous data around a workforce is really a last frontier for many companies.

The understanding of how to do this is generally not coming out of HR. Instead, IT and other areas of business are drawing on their expertise with data and applying this to HR metrics. This is a good thing for HR, as it will enable the profession to put more rigour around its work and be able to better communicate this to other functions (especially finance).

It may be somewhat daunting for most HR professionals, but this is a natural and necessary evolution for HR if it is going to play a serious role in the future of business.