When someone asks me how HR can become more strategic (y'know - the same conversation we have been having since the 1990s) these days more and more I find myself thinking that HR should be joining and indeed leading the Enterprise 2.0 conversations.
I believed the same in the early 2000s when the KM conversation was going on - and found HR folks unwilling to engage and own that conversation - with the result that IT departments used a tool-centric approach and vendors marketed hyped up products in the guise of KM and most of the time it failed, with everyone having egg on their faces.
And as I believe Enterprise 2.0 (or social business) is going down the same path for most organizations.
Here are the reasons why I think HR should be a critical member - and lead the Enterprise 2.0 agenda:
- HR (in the sphere of OD) - has the critical skill to make such changes less painful and with a higher rate of success. Let's face it, change management seen from a tool vendor's point of view is just a "training program" and about process changes. Other business functions really don't have the change management understanding that OD practitioners have. That understanding can be channelised to make "social business" a reality - by thinking about the structural, process, emotional and personal aspects of change.
- Enterprise 2.0 is both about engaging people with other people (employees, partners, customers) as well as embedding that in the business processes. Typically, HR professionals don't get a chance to influence what happens in the business - but with E2.0 they can - and build their strategic impact. Holy grail, anyone?
- Enterprise 2.0 will soon be the platform of learning and people to people engagement in the organization and as such will have impact on all aspects of HR work - Recruitment, Employee Engagement, Learning and Development and unless HR leads the conversation it will find itself more and more redundant like IT departments are finding themselves.