Jun 15, 2007

Why HR should matter

From Consulting Times:

consultants have been responding to comments made recently by Merck CEO, Dick Clark. In an interview Clark suggested that “culture eats strategy for lunch” if a firm does not possess the “enabling systems and structures” that support and co-ordinate with a desired strategic direction. For some observers, the comment might seem surprising, or even provocative. For those who appreciate that culture is often a significant driver of behaviour and performance in firms, Clark’s comments are common sense.

First, however, an organisation must identify, define and understand the core ingredients of its culture better than anything or anyone else.
Strategic imperatives must be built from there. To proceed in any other way is one of the riskiest moves an organisation can make.

And guess which is the only function which impacts organisational culture everyday? Yes, our humble friendly HR function. Every person hired, every compensation cycle changed, every performance management change impacts the overall organizational culture.

Doing the daily activities without reflecting on how they are impacting the overall culture of a firm will ensure that HR always gets seen as a transactional and reactive function.

To act as advisors to the business, HR has to build expertise in cultural issues and advise business leaders on how any business initiative impacts the culture. If you're not doing it, you're not really acting as business partners.