Feb 14, 2007

Janus and HR




Ever heard of the Roman god called Janus? He's the one after whom January is named.

In mythology Janus is the two faced god of gates, doorways, beginnings and endings.

In fact he is also the God from whom the word janitor originates.

So why am I blogging about a two-faced Roman god? That's because Prasad's post, Astha's reply, Anuradha's thoughts, Penelope's comments and on an unrelated note, Nimmy's frustrations with HR in her organization prompted me two liken the role to HR to this god.

As Penelope says:

I get a lot of comments from HR professionals on my blog. I find there are two types: Those who are innovative, forward thinking and take initiative to create change in the workplace. The other type of HR professional is a rule enforcer who is reactive to individuals in the company instead of helping to lead the company.


Often, when HR professionals start their career journeys, the rule enforcing part of their job is the majority part of the role. For some professionals, that is what they make sense of their role in organizations. While others make the transition to a more change and developmental oriented role within HR.

The learning for everyone as Ajit commented is to ensure that one is not wedded to the way we used to do things, but to constantly look ahead and keep learning and developing as professionals and as people. Co-hold both the past and the future as one lives in the here and now.

Yes. We have all got to learn a lot from that ol' chap, Janus.

Update: What synchronicity ! David Maister posts that we are all dentists. As he says:
As providers, we see what we do in a positive light (solving problems and bringing about improvements.) However, from the users’ perspective our presence signals pain, disruption, inconvenience, expense. Ultimately, we may benefit from the provider’s activities, but I’d rather not HAVE to deal with them at all.

We need to remember our place. We’re not glorious “saviors” of clients with problems: we are an unfortunate necessity.