HR 20.18 – What Does the Future Hold?
The human resources profession is undergoing the “Hero’s journey.”
In literature, the Hero’s Journey typically involves someone who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed. The narrative might sound familiar to anyone who works because the degree of change required of virtually anyone who wants to move forward is seismic.
The successful journey for today’s human resource professional involves unlearning, adopting new and often frightening new behavior, and taking more apparent risks than ever before. As software, new technology, and inexpensive outsourcing eliminate task-oriented positions, the talent profession must become more strategic, sales-based, and bold.
I have the unique vantage point of observing thousands of people transform their relationship towards work. Human resource professionals cannot think their way out of the needed transformation. We need equal doses of emotion and spirit, which introduces fear and change. These are the intersections that determine whether a person is going to actually move forward or cling to the past.
Here are some of the themes of the hero’s journey in human resources:
- Much of the last ten years were spent in the distraction of dealing with a long and painful economic slump. Juggling human capital distracted many from connecting with the wave of change coming towards the profession. Some of the changes include lights shining on our cultures, outsourcing task oriented work, growing pressure to deal with disengagement, and the growing power of talent as the key business strategy.
- Being treated as an expense has developed a variety of unhealthy behaviors in many human resource professionals. Co-dependency, that old word from the 90’s, becomes very real when working in a profession usually treated as an expense. Organizations often treat overhead and profit making in very different ways. Over time, many HR professionals begin losing their life through competency because growth entails solving more and more problems. Unfortunately, the support system rarely grows as quickly. The HR profession needs to start speaking and behaving like the core of all profit-making in an organization.
- CEOs need chief talent officers that are so well-versed and confident, they become critical in all strategic, development, and revenue processes. Conversely, the best chief human resource officers ought to run from CEOs who don’t understand this.
- Building the ability to engage and change is critical to every single profession. For human resource professionals, those skills include sales, presentation, connective, and community building. They need broad skill sets of self-inquiry and truth telling. Many readers are already experiencing cynicism with these words but before they are dismissed, look at the most successful leaders in the profession of people.
When I talk about transforming one’s relationship towards work, the endgame is really quite simple. When someone walks out of our program, we have done our job if he or she has realized how to be happy and fulfilled. The part that isn’t simple at all is how personal the definition of happiness and fulfillment turns out for every one of us. There is a select group of professionals that are bringing such unique DNA to their roles, they stand out as brands that are so clear, the ideal roles, jobs, and clients, simply appear.
Perhaps the hero’s journey demands that as the future comes our way, we show up fully defined, fully realized, and fully visible.
If you are interested in taking that journey, keep reading.
(C) Copyright, 2017, David Harder – (All Rights Reserved)
Buy a copy of David’s new book The Workplace Engagement Solution here.