Book Review HR Transformation

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  • 8/9/2019 Book Review HR Transformation

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    BookreviewUlrich,Dave;Allen,Justin;Brockbank,Wayne;Younger,Jon;Nyman,Mark:HRTransformationBuildingHR fromthe OutsideIn.TataMcGrawHill,NewDelhi,2009.Price:Rs550/

    Dr.AneetaMadhokDecember2009

    Often,managersdismissthecognitivebysayingthisisalltheoryrealityisvery

    different!Bookknowledgeisdiscardedasbeingimpracticalandlessonsthataretaught

    atbusinessschoolareoftenrequiredtobeunlearnedbeforetheyoungmanagement

    traineeisdeemedtobeaproductiveresource.Thistime,allthepracticalpunditswill

    beproved

    wrong

    because

    here

    is

    theory

    that

    is

    derived

    from

    practical

    operating

    knowledgeandwisdom.CEOswhofeltthatHRwasmissingsomething,willnowcome

    nearertoclosingthegapsbetweenrealityandrhetoricandthebestpartisthatitisnot

    arocketscience.

    Weallknowthatpeopleareatthecoreofanybusinessorganization.Thedreamof

    everyCEOandHRManageristohaveacompletelysynchronousorganizationwith

    perfectandseamlessalignmentbetweenbusinesscontext,outcomes,HRredesignand

    HRaccountabilityfortotallyoptimizedpeopleperformance.Thebookprovidesonesuch

    seamlessmodelcompletewithtoolkitforHRtransformation,onlineresourceslike

    videosand

    downloads,

    case

    studies

    that

    prove

    it

    can

    be

    done

    in

    the

    real

    world,

    and

    endorsementsfromacrosstheglobe,includingIndia,andacompletewatertightcaseon

    howtheseformulascanworkforyou.

    Nothingissuperfluousinthisfeastforthegreycells.Theauthorspresentacasefor

    transformingtheHRfunctiontakingthecuesfromthebusinesscontextinwhichthe

    companyexists.PitfallsthatpreventsuccesshavebeenidentifiedandHRManagersare

    urgedtoputrationalebeforeaction,integrateandalignHRstrategywithbusiness

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    strategy,undertakeholisticeffortsandnotpiecemealpartialones,andconnecttoall

    partsoftheorganizationandnotbeanindividualchampion.Dontfallintothetrapthat

    thesolutionliesinanotherHRstructure,andefficiencyequalstransformationbecause

    thesederail,crippleandinfecttheprocessoftransformationthatissoneededwithin

    theHRfunction.

    Simplicityleadstosuccess.SoHRManagersneedtobuildthebusinesscase,definethe

    outcomesexpected,redesignHRandengagelinemanagersandothersandacompletely

    newleafisturnedoverandHRisrenewed,remodeledandrevitalizedintheirrelevance

    tobusinessandwork.Butbeforeanythingelse,youneedtoanswerseriousquestions

    onwhyyouneedtochange.Onceyouareconvincedthatyouareattherightlevelof

    readinessforchange,youcanenterthehallowedportalsofthosethatcansucceedat

    thetransformationalefforts.Ifyoufailtheassessment,thenyoustayatsquareoneand

    taketimeofftounderstandyougeneralbusinessconditionsandspecificstakeholder

    expectations.Youcankeepyourselfintactbecausethereasonsarealloutthereandthe

    transformationisnotinsideyou.

    ThenewperformanceindicatorsfortheHRfunctionaretheextentofsatisfactionof

    stakeholderconcernsandthecapabilityoftheorganizationthatgotbuiltintheprocess.

    Therearemanypracticalsuggestionsthatcangiveconcretemeasuresforvarious

    segmentsofstakeholderslikeemployees,leaders,customers,regulators,

    analysts/investors,andthecommunity.HRisalsoexpectedtocontributetoenhanced

    measuresoforganizationalcapabilitiesthatdefinethefundamentalidentity,culture

    andimageofthecompany.

    RedesigningHRisveryeasilyexplainedbytheauthors.Allyouneedtodoistore

    calibratewho

    you

    are,

    what

    you

    deliver,

    and

    why

    you

    do

    it?

    There

    is

    no

    existential

    angst

    asallittakesistofillintheblanksthatdefinetheanswerstothesequestionsandyour

    HRstrategystatementisready.TheHRorganizationisreadyfortransformingasallit

    hastodoistomaketheHRdepartmentfollowthelogicandstructureofthebusiness

    organizationandbejustlikeanyotherprofessionalserviceorganizationandmakea

    differencebetweentransactionalHRandtransformationalHRwork.Thiswillsetthe

    foundationforclearchangesinthefivechannelsthroughwhichHRdeliversvalue.A

    tweakoftheresponsibilitiesofthesefivechannelsofdeliveryisallittakestofinalize

    theHRdepartmenttransformation.

    HR

    is

    transformed

    through

    content

    and

    process

    interventions.

    Redefining

    the

    content

    of

    HRaspeople,performance,communication,workandinfusingprocessesofalignment,

    integrationandinnovationwillcreatearoadmapforenhancingHRpractices.Butthisis

    onlytheblueprint.Therealeffectsoftransformationareundertakenbyupgradingthe

    HRprofessionalstothecurrentbenchmarkedwavelengthsbysettingthestandards,

    assessingindividuals,investmentintalentimprovementandfollowingupandtracking

    competence.

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    ItdoesntworkuntilyouholdHRaccountableforachievingitsowntransformationby

    involvingHRleadersandprofessionals,linemanagers,externalcustomersandinvestors,

    andconsultantsandadvisers.Itallhappenswhenyoumakeithappenbydefining

    milestones,activitiesandoutcomesandbyturningwhatshouldhappenintowhatdoes

    happen.TomaketheHRtransformationirreversiblemeanstakingthenecessarysteps

    towardsinstitutionalizing.

    Asaspecialicingonthecake,thefourcasestudiespaintawonderfulpictureofHR

    transformation.FlextronicswasonewherethecompanycreatedanHRorganization

    fromscratch,Pfizerachievedtransformationofalargeestablishedsystem,Intelmoved

    theirHRfromtacticaltostrategic,andTakedawhereHRdemonstrateditsvalueaddina

    smallnimblesubsidiary.

    Thebookisclearofclutterandexcessivejargon,verywellstructuredinformationand

    appealstotheleftbrainofintelligentreaders.TargetaudienceswouldincludeHR

    consultantswhospecializeinenablingHRprocesses,CEOswhowantmoreoutoftheir

    HR,HRprofessionalsthemselvesandalsoanybodyinterestedinsimplesolutionsfor

    problemsthatareoftenverycomplicated.

    Inrealitythough,HReffectivenessisnotsostraightforward.Itseasytoescapeinto

    strategicthinkingbuttherearemanyoperationalandtacticaldeliverablesthatought

    nottobeignored.Strategicexcellenceisalwaysmeanttobebuiltoveroperational

    excellence.Employeeshavetheirfirstandlastencountersinorganizationsthroughthe

    HRdepartmentandmomentsoftruthareexperiencedrealitiesinthoseencounters.

    ThingsareastheyareandnotastheyoughttobeandHRalwayspaysthepricefor

    theglassbeinghalfemptyratherthanhalffull.EventuallyitsthespiritofHRandnot

    thecontent

    and

    process

    that

    makes

    the

    difference

    and

    those

    who

    know

    these

    things

    knowthedifferenceitmakes. Andthespiritcomesfrominsideoutandnotoutsidein.

    Therealtransformationsareinsideheads,heartsandmindsofpeoplewholiveand

    experienceorganizationseveryday.

    AneetaMadhokDecember2009.

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    ReviewersProfile:AneetaMadhok,MBA(XLRI),PhD,CMC,GPHR.Isaglobalmanagementprofessional.SheistheDirectorofOpenSpacesConsulting(Private)LimitedandtheChairpersonfortheInternationalCouncilof

    ManagementConsultingInstitutes.Dr.MadhokgraduatedwithadegreeinPsychologyHonoursfrom

    DelhiUniversityandcompletedherMBAinHumanResourcesandOrganisationDevelopmentfromXLRI,

    Jamshedpur.AfterhavingextensivelyworkedforeightyearsinallareasofPersonnelManagementand

    HRD,sheundertookdoctoralstudiesandcompletedherPh.D.inthefieldofManagerialLeadershipand

    WorkMotivationin1991.Dr.Madhoklooksforopportunitiestotranslatemanagementpracticeinto

    theoryandviceversa.Sheiskeenlyinterestedinthewaysthatindividualsintegratethemselveswith

    organizationsand

    group

    dynamics

    in

    teams.

    Her

    research

    and

    consulting

    work

    has

    led

    her

    to

    provide

    insightsandmanagementprocesssolutionstoseveralleadingorganizations.Shehastohercreditover70

    publicationsincludingrefereedarticles,consultingprojects,newspaperarticlesandbookreviews

    publishednationallyandinternationally.SheisalsothePastPresidentoftheInstituteofManagement

    ConsultantsofIndia,fellowofSumedhasAcademyforHumanContext,aCertifiedManagement

    ConsultantandhasbeentherecipientofscholarshipawardedbytheForeignCommonwealthOfficeof

    theUnitedKingdom,andtheBestManagementTeacherawardoftheBombayManagementAssociation.