Thursday 30 April 2009

HR’s accountability for social capital (Update from Bucharest HR 2.0 conference)


    As well as talking about outcomes, and social capital, one of the other important points I made at the HR 2.0 conference was about HR’s accountability for developing social capital.

One of the reasons I think HR fails to be strategic is that it lacks accountability.   It’s responsible for designing and supporting a set of activities, but not for actually producing anything.  Many HR professionals try to get round this by aiming to take responsibility for a proportion of business results (“this training will result in additional revenue of $x…”).  I don’t think they can.  There’s just too much of an indirect line between HR activities and the final business results.

As I’ve posted recently, trying to get closer to the business makes HR more proactive, but not actually more strategic.

To be more strategic, HR needs to take accountability.  Otherwise, it’s always just going to be a more proactive support function.  Not a true driver of competitive advantage.

So one good reason that HR should be excited about the opportunities of HR 2.0 and social capital (as well as HCM and human capital) is that these provide the function with an opportunity to be accountable for something really important to business success.

That’s the way to the strategic HR and the boardroom table.


See also: Can / should HR take on more accountability?



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