Paranoid-al Activity: HR, spine up and relax…

My pal Michael Carty asked me to write a submission for his stellar series, “If I could change one thing about HR” for his blog xpertHR –so many thoughts, so little time.  But to me the answer is pretty clear.  HR needs to quit being so damn afraid. Really. really.

There are many things to be afraid of, but HR practice shouldn’t be one of them. So many HR practitioners are afraid to let their inner rockstar shine.  Afraid of reckless abandon…and yes, I do mean reckless. Reckless doesn’t have to be stupid, callous, cruel or libelous. Reckless in the HR world simply means, if even a baby step, to quit living in the world of the worst case scenario. It doesn’t serve you, your company or the HR discipline well.

I’ve had two brilliant mentors in my career…both taught me so much that to try to describe would be an insult to them.  However they came from the 1.0 and 2.0 generations of HR. Here were some mantra’s from both of them:

  • Everybody can sue you
  • In HR you always have to “know your place” within the corporate structure.

Years of experience did teach them these principles. These thoughts did come from a real and smart place. After years of hand-slaps, you do learn to “know your place”.  But what if they had imagined a different reality; enough to have changed theirs.

Still other HR pros (simple-minded ones) think that they are more credible to scare others into HR submission.  Instead of finding their voice and influencing corporate change through talent management they believe lawyer-speak feels and sounds important.  Yuh….

So:
·         Quit being afraid
·         Know risks, inform your boss of risk, but also know the probability of that risk (likely low)
·         Think differently.  Quit making rules for the exception.

This is a call:  Spine up and relax HR