Monday, February 23, 2015

Life comes at HR - FAST. Learning could be Insurance for it

I recently participated in a MOOC on Learning to Learn. I was told the instructor was not attractive, and her impressions would defeat my enthusiasm for the course. Wrong. I was not to be motivated by her looks as much as the habit of learning. My enthusiasm trumped my optimism for sure. Let me connect a few dots, as you will, so that concrete benefits are within our grasp. In the process, reconsolidation of chunks in my memory, help me reframe my learning.
Before I jot three dots as below, time to raise the principal questions of this post:
  1. Does HR focus on image more than it should stay on overcoming its impostor syndromes?
  2. Is adaptation a ruse in whose packaging, HR takes the easy way out of its purpose?
  3. What does HR now need to ask of business to uphold its people champion role?
What is the cue on which you fall back into the rut of comfort? Is there a untested belief somewhere that needs your conscious attention? Now to the dots that I connect with of late.
  1. Data driven HR , Big Data and Data Analytics in HR : Well, as you will recognize, these terms are not the same thing. Although they may hang together in a family of related constructs, these could stump many a professional who’ve no immersive experience in either Big Data modelling, data driven HR (read HRIS or Human Resource Information Systems) or Data Analytics. In terms of learning therefore, without deliberate practice in either, it would be major effort at mastering the context of the future. Remember – context is the place in which preparation and application of new learning meet! Rewarding oneself too early in advance of an outcome is a cop out. New learning chances on new habit formation and relates to consolidating between deliberate practice of new behavior and previous long-term memory. .
  2. Requisite Organisation, Organization design and the average of transactions in HR : While the debate between which comes first – strategy or culture – has not abated, the role of dynamic design capability is contingent on organisation effectiveness. One of the consequences of digitization of HR data, has been the reliance on transaction sufficiency in HR deliverables. A related fallout has been the detachment from human interactions and the poverty of emotional and social intelligence to situate deliberate action. Plainly put, what use data, if the experience of using it results in organisation designsthat are not fulfilling, meaningful or sustainable?
  3. Strategy , Feature and the language of Benefits : Recently a businessleader of IT services from India said “Once you build for speed, you have to lower head count and be quick in terms of response and the ability to integrate and understand the customer’s problems”. While that may aid his management’s decision to decrease the denominator and the per employee costs, it does not service a distinctly discriminant business strategy. It is easy for us to confuse a feature of business as business strategy per se. Speed is a feature, not the strategy. Speed may enable execution, but execution is not strategy per se. Speed is a benefit, if designed as such for value, but that’s only one reason why customers are willing to pay. There are enough stakeholders in business to see through information bytes which mediate your organisation’s image. And they may not need speed to know feature from strategy in a jiffy. It is probably subliminal!
Archana Arcot – thanks, for asking me useful questions yesterday. My intent here is to signify what HR leaders in large organisations and top teams of smaller organizations may collectively be numb to. To be in flow, is of course when challenge and acquired skill meet in one’s context. Is HR up to a challenge if it has not immersed itself in strategy, organization design and the method of science in data treatment? This is because in learning we cannot have focus in new learning and diffused interests at the same time.
Indeed, would organizations less attractive in visual talismans or artefacts hold immense promise in actualizing one’s professional aspirations? Let’s be on the lookout!

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