Monday, 5 December 2016

Paul Sparrow at HR Congress




I'm speaking at, and attending the HR Congress in Amsterdam this week.

One of the most interesting sessions for me has been Paul Sparrow speaking on changing practices within HR, linked to two of his previous books, Leading HR, and Do We Need HR?




Do We Need HR, in particular, is one of my favourite HR books, though has little in reality with dispensing with the HR function. Instead, it's my favourite book on best fit HR, describing how HR might look different in various organisations depending upon their business strategy. It compares opportunities for best fit with innovation, customer centricity, lean management and external collaboration focused strategies.

In his keynote, Paul discussed the impact of increasingly collaborative environment.



In an afternoon workshop, we then discussed a handful of examples, eg Shell.




The new environment means that HR needs to focus more on risk, capability and governance, and on building trust. This can be supported by reliability, predictability and competence.

HR's need to focus on external collaboration means it might also need to:

  • Create dedicated HR project resources that can be assigned to the more strategic activity triggered by working beyond your own organisation
  • Partition the HR function into inward and outward facing structures
  • Create strategic integrator roles that operate across internal and external businesses and bring together dedicated expertise under their leadership.




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  • jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com