Editor’s Note: Dr. John Sullivan has been a provocateur and strategist in the field of human resources and talent management for over 30 years. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms, and he’s never been shy about telling it like it is.
That’s why TLNT asked him to share his thinking in a video series titled “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” Look for these videos twice a week here at TLNT.
Today’s topic: How HR can be successful
In today’s video segment, Dr. John poses a very interesting (and some might say provocative) question: “What are the critical factors that cause certain people in HR to be successful?”
Of course, he has a list of those critical success factors as well:
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- Business knowledge (which Dr. John notes, really has nothing to do with HR at all);
- Parallel benchmarking — going outside of your business segment to benchmark against other companies (for example, Southwest Airlines studying Formula 1 racing pit crews to find new and different practices that could be applied to speeding up airliner turnarounds on the ground);
- Understanding metrics;
- Root Cause Analysis — studying the root cause of why something worked so you can replicate it later in other situations;
- Courage — according to Dr. John, you must be willing to be courageous and make decisions without fear of the consequences;
- A highly competitive spirit — you can’t rest on your laurels, Dr. John says, and you must always continue to evaluate yourself against the best.
“HR skills are certainly important,” to be successful in HR, Dr. John says, but “those financial skills, those skills of solving business problems, are equally if — not more — important.”
Did you miss the last segment of “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” on “What Can We Learn From Talent Management and the Recession?” You can see it here.