Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow
Crash landing back to reality after a week of glitz and glamour where I got to walk up a proper red carpet with fans and photographers all sporting a disappointed “who is that idiot?” look. But hell I milked it anyway. So much so that I woke up the following morning having overslept and with just under an hour to pack, check out, get to the airport, through security and onto a plane. Which I did. Although never again…….
Anyway, the week away meant little time to blog and therefore a glut of ill prepared and ill-conceived ideas ready to spew themselves onto my keyboard and into your eyes (unless you still have them closed from the thought of me poncing up a red carpet).
The week before last saw the first TRUManchester part of the TRU series of events run by the effervescent Bill Boorman (who incidentally wrote about me this weekend but in no way relating to that – we’ve had our ding-dong, it is over and done with!). One of the tracks at the event was entitled the future of HR. Given that this was an event for Recruiters, my initial reaction was it was akin to asking Sunday School kids to debate the future of Islam.
Over the week I’ve been thinking about this a little more. First of all I don’t think there needs to be a debate about the future of HR. It is the business equivalent to a debate on the future of Snickers bars when the real issue is childhood obesity. There is a debate to be had, but we’re having the wrong one. The real issues are about people and the workplace, about the globalization of employment, the increasing disparity between the knowledge economies and the service economies. The real issues are why we are witnessing the last generation with a livable pension and what we do after that. The issues are global, complex and downright scary.
The role HR needs to be fulfilling is leading this debate, of engaging all of the parties, the business men, the economists, the educators, the unionists and of course, the politicians. If we can do this, if we can lead this thinking and shape the future of the world for the better, or at least not for the worst. If we can take a few steps forward, there will be no need to even think about the future of the profession; we’ll have defined it through our actions.