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The Analytical role of Human Resources!

CIPD_logoI was reading a welcome note from Peter Cheese the CEO of the Charted institute of Personnel and Development in the September issues of Personnel Management.

It has once again got me thinking about what is going on within my profession and institute!!

The fact that the CIPD is now kicking off collaboration with the Charted Institute of Management Accountants means what??

That it has taken to the year 2013 for all those professionals out there and our own Institute to realize that HR professionals need to understanding BIG DATA!! The new buzz word!!

We have always had to understand metrics and what the ROI of HR is and what added value means.

The fact that we still make such a big issue of data knowledge is an ongoing concern and little wonder why only the very few HR folks get recognized at the highest levels of the business.

In my blog “HR folks just don’t get it and its getting old!”’t-get-it-and-it’s-getting-old/

I made the point that it about time we really focused on the fact that HR needs to understands business first!!

After all why would we hire anyone that does not make our business more profitable, successful and grow?

If HR cannot do any of these then there is no role for HR. We do a disservice to the business and importantly the people who we hire and develop.

I was asked once why do I understand so much about finance.

My answer was and will always be. It is because I know finance that I can save jobs and develop and grow the people within the business and in turn the business.

Peter Lanc Fellow : CIPD

Big Hat no Cattle – is this still HR?

In doing some research I came across an article back in 1981 in the Harvard Business Review.

The story struck me in that I continue to think there is still too much conversation in the HR coffee houses about the need to be an “executive” without having done the grunt work.

How many HR folks have run anything.  Like the guy with the big hat, probably never had run a cattle farm, but that hat looks Oh so cool!

Is this why most HR folk continue to “hide behind” the safe practices of working on being “employee” compliant and handling day-to-day administration?

Its solid work of that there is no question. It always was and always will be.

It is a sucky role and will never be of significant value.

It will not develop a business strategy or make your business or people grow exponentially.

It will not make you a leader and it will never make you the best in anything.

Too many conversations are about HR wannabe conversations and expectations without earning the right through having done the “grunt” work.

Or of actually having done the job themselves, too many HR folk continue to want to tell other people what they need to do and yet have never done it themselves!

It’s not about expectations to be in the executive role it is about earning the right!! When you do that you never have to apply for the job or even ask!


Human Resources – Teacher and Educator of Human Souls

I was a guest at dinner last evening with “delightful and erudite folk”.

During our conversation I was asked why I “flinch” when I heard HR  “labeled” with the title of policy and procedure maker and the department of the pink slip! They (sadly) said that they have come to believe that their HR departments are like that.

The conversation was much about the fact that HR either stops them (as managers of people) doing what they want to with the people who work for them and slowing up progress with many forms and convoluted processes. The sad fact is that HR gets in the way of people doing their work.

The conversation went on about HR tending to support the status quo and hierarchies of seniority and payments for tenure. The list was lengthy.

They listened to my stories of conversations without policies and discussions about heart and soul and mission, about simple yet deep conversations.

On my door it says:

“When you enter here all drama stops and meaningful conversations start”.

When you enter my office discussions are about:

  1. Making your last year before retirement the best years of your working life.
  2. How I can help you identify the very best talent within you but yet to be discovered?
  3. Conversation about legacy at work.
  4. When this place is not for you I will support you beyond the time that you leave our organization.
  5. When you enter here we will talk about “how we can rather  than what cannot”.

You see relationships are not formed and end in this Human Resource Department just because people sometimes have to leave when things did not work out for the best.

In this HR department it is where the questions of heart and soul are forged and formed into meaningful relationships. In this department we mean it when we say that the most important conversations, and always will be, are about nurturing the souls who come and stay a while, and in some cases much of their life. Some leave to do other work sooner but all will remember us.

My role in Human Resources is to do all of those business strategic things that are part of who I am and what I do to build and create a successful organization, but I never forget that everyone who comes through my door is first and foremost a human being. To be a teacher and educator of hearts and souls.

Most everyone goes away with “homework of the mind” when they leave my office, and we always have another conversation. This is the stuff that turns people into the very best they can be so that in turn our organization becomes the very best we can be.

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Is HR still really full of Crap?

It seems there is an article every day about “HR won’t get a seat at the table. blah blah blah!!”

I wonder what those writers are on!

I have written my own blogs about “HR doesn’t get it” but I feel I can legitimately say that having been in the profession and seen the kind of people the profession continues to attract. However I also know many more who come into HR do a great job in spite of the naysayers!!

Don’t generalize makes you look stupid!

There is little doubt that the perception of what HR was (and is?) continues, “to dog” those of us who “get” what we need to do for a business.

I for one never wanted to be at any table. Mostly because there is too much damn talking and not enough decisions made and actions taken.

I always wanted to build a successful and thriving business. So happens I made the connection that unless we are a “one man band business ” there is no way I could achieve that without having lots of superb people who want to be there and give their hearts minds and soul.

Oh by the way…I have also consulted with the sole trader. They need people too!!

Perhaps the perception still lives on because many in the HR profession are not:

Creative; or have little if any business sense; don’t understand a P&L from a Balance sheet; not strategic blah blah.

Well I have found there are many folks in other profession who lack these fundamentals. Some run the corporation!!

What I do know is that whatever profession you are in, you’re in business to add value so you better know what the fundamentals are.

It is not about legal constraints or economic or technological constraints’. Every business has those to face.

It is those of us who have a clear idea about strategic positioning (not planning) that will create a business that will beat the crap out of our competitors.

We are in business to achieve our mission but remember there is no mission without margin!

Business is pretty simple as a wise production manger once said to me. “Peter you need to concentrate on only two things revenue and expenses!” Simple may be but work it out!

So lay off HR and let me ask you what did you ever do to create wealth and economic growth for your business and community.

I for one know what that is like and oh by the way I am in HR…never did it from sitting behind any table either! And I get offended by those who throw out blanket statements about my profession. Go figure out something useful to write about, build a company never lay anyone off, build a brand new state of the art automotive factory and more. I did all of those now what were you saying?


HR is not a job it’s a mindset.

A few pointers to what it is to be an HR Leader!

Here are some obvious signs of true leadership When:

  1. We get the fact that when we develop and invest in our people we are investing and developing our organization.
  2. The CEO and all leaders in the organization talk people and not process or financials.
  3. HR people are talking business outcomes not benefit programs.
  4. Values are the same for all and not just full time hires
  5. People are taken care in the bad times and not let go to cut costs
  6. Bad times don’t cause us to ”bend the values”.
  7. We stop facilitating and start “doing” what needs to de done for business success
  8. HR people are more concerned about what they do for the business and less about their status.
  9. We speak the language of the business not “HR techy stuff”.

10.  We have the courage to stand out when all around you are holding on to today.

11.  When we speak inclusiveness and not divisiveness.

12.  When we choose people for their character.

When we stop the whining about being at “the table” or being concerned about adding value?

When we get it!  The fact that’s its not about us. Rather it’s about those who we serve to create a better environment. When we complete the puzzle!



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