This time of year always brings out the crystal ball for psychics, bloggers, writers, and thought leaders in every profession. Well, maybe not in that order.
I remember when I was growing up, I would always read the predictions of the psychics. I would literally keep track of who was right and who was wrong by the end of the year. The vast majority of time they were wrong, but that did not stop them from coming out the next year with a new and bold list.
Lately I have read about the changes coming in 2011 concerning social media, technology, human capital, talent management, strategic HR and the list goes on. Everyone has their take. In 2009, I wrote a piece for a career magazine on my thoughts on 2010 titled “Try to Put 2009 Behind Us, Making the Most of 2010.”
I recently reread that article and it could still stand the test of time.
Reports worth reading
In our HR space today, there has been excellent research this year that would have a psychic salivating. We don’t really need the predictions unless we have been blinded by the turmoil and stress.
Here are my favorites reports for the year:
- IBM’s 2010 Chief Executive Officer Study.
- What’s Next For HR by David Ulrich.
- The Future of HR from a Shareholders Perspective by Dr. John Sullivan.
- PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Who gets the top job in HR?
- What does a Strategic HR-Business Look and Feel Like? by Paul Kearns.
- Enterprise Learning and Talent Management 2011: Predictions for the Coming Year by Josh Bersin.
- Deloitte’s Heading Off a Resume Tsunami.
All these reports serve as a guide for human resources. There are great nuggets in all of them, and no one size fits all. We will have to craft our own policy based on culture, industry, major issues within the organization, engagement, etc.
The decade from Hell
This is the birth of a new era. This past decade will go down as THE most volatile for human resources. It started with the longest economic expansion in U.S. history. It ended with the worst financial downturn since the Big D. The worker has been on a roller coaster riding the ups and downs of each wave, benefiting from the good and suffering for the bad.
HR has been riding shotgun throughout this process. We’ve been trying, in a lot of cases, to just hold on. We have been ridiculed, not taken seriously, and not seen as partners in the business (regardless of what the title implies). Some of this we brought on ourselves, but some of the criticisms caught us by surprise. And, some of us saw the dawning of a new era.
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I wrote a blog post a few weeks back referencing HR 3.0. That is my vision of the HR profession. This year has brought everything front and center. We have arrived at the true intersection of people, business, and talent. My mother’s favorite saying was that “the darkest hour is right before sunrise.”
The year 2011 will begin the process of a rebirth of our profession. We are now in the trimester of the new HR. Some of us are excited and are preparing for this birth. Some are reluctantly waiting. Regardless of your state of mind, it is on its way.
The reports I mentioned earlier serve as guidelines or a wish list. Thought leaders are called thought leaders for a reason. There are some organizations that are now preparing for the new arrival of the hiring talent management specialist, OD specialist, HR strategist, or whatever they decide to call it. In other words, HR is beefing up the roster — something professional sports team do this every year.
HR in the next decade
My vision would be to have HR looked upon as in-house consultants. Imagine, having a Deloitte or IBM in the house, seen and respected. When issues pop up, the first thought should be, “Let’s call HR in to take a look, because they are the experts.”
HR in the next decade will look nothing like it looks now. We can sit where we want. The meal will not start without us. The klieg lights will shine on us for the strategic effort that we will play in contributing to the bottom line. When problems arise in an organization, the first person on the scene will be the HR consultant.
The theme song from Ghostbusters says it all: “Who you gonna call?” but the chorus for the next decade will be “HR.”