Nov 28, 2010

Why HR needs to leverage Enterprise 2.0



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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
So are you a HR leader and are you owning social ?

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