Wisdoms from the HR Guru – 3 things that I learn from Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich is world’s no. 1 guru in Human Resource. He always talks about HR Transformation and how HR can play even a more important role in order to help organization to thrive. I have the opportunity to spend a day listening to Dave Ulrich a year ago, but today I want to share some of his wisdom from this short video clip that just been uploaded by The Leaderonomics Show.

1. HR is not about HR. HR is about helping the business win

The problem with most HR is we look at HR as another process in the organization. HR hires candidate, arrange interviews, trains them, pay their salary and take care of their welfare. But HR should play a better role than that. We should look at HR as a major component to help the business succeed. I believe this is a very good mindset, because if we think this way, it will totally change the way we do things. If we hire, we want to hire someone to meet the overall goals of the organization, not just putting another headcount in the department.

In order to do that, HR directors need to involve in the business side of the organization. To really understand where the business is heading and to provide resources to support that bigger purpose of the organization, to provide the right training to increase the competency of the people to achieve the objectives, as well as to put on compensation plans that align with overall organizational direction.
Example given, like in Google, the direction in order for Google to be successful is they have to innovate by creating something new. The HR director, Laszlo Bock tells their people that they are allowed to use 20% of their time to try new creative things, something that they have never done before. This is to create an environment to support the bigger purpose of the organization which is to innovate. On the other hand, Amazon has a different strategy, they want their people to be more discipline.

2. We don’t want to build on your strength, we want to build on your strength to solve customers problems.
Often HR said that they want to be the employer of choice. But as an organization, we don’t only want to be the an organization that only fulfill the needs of our employee. Most importantly is to make our customers happy. If we don’t decide on our customers fulfillment criteria, we might choose the wrong people in our organization. They key is if we can bring in the right people to serve our customers right, chances are we are going to win both employee and customers.
How we are going to do this? First we must involve HR in the business process. If we understand our business proposition, we understand what matters to our customers, we will build a system in HR that really supports the need of our customers. In other words, HR person must be part of the business equation, not only a person dealing with the internal staff. HR must be from outside-in, means understanding the area outside the organization before we can build a fantastic inside structure or system. In other words, HR stop planning on the 40 hours of training for employee but really nails down to the business results that we want to achieve.
3. The future of HR — To deliver talents, leadership and culture.
The future of HR according to Dave is there are 2 parts. A task that getting smaller and another is getting bigger. The smaller part is the administration of HR. Traditionally, HR is more of administrator which doing all those routine jobs of filling forms and paying salaries. These tasks will be taken care by automation which later will be self-reliant. A more important role that is getting bigger for HR is talents, leadership and culture. HR should supply the talents to support to company objectives, develop more leaders and creating the culture that desired by the organization. Again, setting the culture is not the job of HR. CEO should set the culture of the organization. But HR should be the architect of the culture. Putting process and structure into place to support the desired culture which originates from the leader’s vision.
Here is the full interview of Dave Ulrich by The Leaderonomics Show
Are you working in HR? What is your thought on this? Leave a comment below.

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