The Power To Act

Yesterday afternoon, I got on the phone with Dustin and we were talking about a partnership call we had coming up. The conversation transitioned into what tremendous untapped potential the HR and talent functions in organizations have and how exciting it is to just meet with people who understand that. How getting people together and pushing great HR ideas across industries is a powerful force.

In the past, I used to frequently have these conversations and then go back to regressive HR systems that took all the will in the world to just fight through on a daily basis. I imagine many of the readers that still possess that optimism are in the same boat too. Maybe they have them in places other than online (at meetings, in conversations during or after work). At the end of the day though, it becomes a stream of conversation or a pipe dream instead of reality.

I have the power to act now. I have an extremely supportive company that wants me to push the envelope when it comes to uncomfortable conversations about the future of HR and the future of the employee. It means I get to not only talk about great ideas but I get to help implement them in the real world. That’s so exciting to me.

Here’s what I realized though: I had the power to act all along. The problem was that those conversations were uncomfortable and sometimes seemingly impossible to fight. They were mine to fight though. Nobody else was going to do it for me. Only after failing spectacularly on several occasions did I finally realize that.

Now I realize this is my fight and that I have the power to act no matter the circumstances. I am happy to have a career opportunity that makes it easier but I know that won’t always be the case.

Are you ready to use your power? Do you know the name of your cause?

Conflict: The Name of the Game

You feel that tightening in your gut? A little twinge of fear? It is the topic of today’s post:

CONFLICT

There was some point in history where the HR guy was the king of conflict. It is true! I read about it in a book somewhere. The HR person was respected (and feared!) for going head first into any conflict, battering forward like a warship in the Pacific in World War II. He was a man of brauns and brain and could make a grown man cry with a snap of his fingers.

Then something happened.

HR became conflict adverse. They lamented being put into uncomfortable situations. They became little administrative people that were concerned more about EEO reporting and correct filing of I-9 forms rather than having a kickass business. Oh sure, they played lip service to that but that lip service turned HR from a significant player in any serious business (who often transitioned into operations and management roles) to an administrative wing placed uncomfortably under Finance.

I hope that in my time as an HR guy, we can balance the two. I hear a lot of hype about being a “change agent” but to be truly successful, HR guys need to become “conflict agents.” Not unnecessary conflict mind you but conflict that promotes real change and real business growth. Most organizations that are successful are ripe with strife and conflict. That’s why they are so good. And that’s why HR will continue to be excluded until they embrace conflict readily and throughly.