Feb 5, 2003

My post on the HRavenues site on whether HR is an asset or liability

Couldn't resist jumping into this debate...

My POV is quite simple....if any department (be it HR, sales, marketing,
Ops, Finance) does not add value to the business then it is a liability and
the business has two options before it:

1. Outsource it
2. Increase capability so that it becomes value adding in the long run.

The question is often asked, what is value adding and what is not...and it
is easily assumed that 'operational' stuff is not value adding , while
'strategic' stuff is...

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Operational tasks when done with keeping aligned to the business needs are
potentially the best source of value that any department could add to the

It needs to be relooked as to what our 'assumptions' are about 'value'. Most
people in the corporate world assume value=monetary value and there the
calculation of intangible benefits that HR offers is usually overlooked :-)

If 'locked' value is looked at the difference between 'potential' and the
'reality' of teams, individuals, organizations to create results, influence
and growth then we'll have a more holistic definition of 'value'