Lots of discussion going on in the HR blogosphere about the SHRM Annual Conference. I wasn’t at the conference so I really can’t comment about the goings on except to say there might be some things better left unsaid. You know, that whole “what happens in San Diego…” But I digress.
I do want to explore a quote being tossed around by Conrad Venter from Deutsche Bank. He said that HR will be obsolete in 10 years if we stay on our current course. Many probably received this with shock and/or alarm.
My first reaction to the comment is duh! Evidently, Mr. Venter has a marvelous command of the obvious. Any profession that’s doing the exact same thing they did 10 years ago is probably antiquated today. And any profession that thinks it will be doing the same thing 10 years from now is naïve. This applies to every profession . . not just human resources.
But the part of the conversation I’m still looking for is “What should we be doing?” Give me something I can use. Don’t just tell me I need to change to stay current. I know that. It’s like saying “We need to do something” during an emergency. Tell me what kinds of things I might need to know to be successful now and in the future.
You know, years ago when the first PDAs came on the market, my HR colleagues were dead set against them. Didn’t want that “electronic leash”. Didn’t want to answer the CEOs email at 8:30 p.m. I decided to buck the trend and get one – exactly for that reason. My CEO had one. My CFO had one. My VP, Sales and Marketing had one too.
I learned that to be a good human resources pro…I need to be a good business person first.
The best career advice I can give someone is to pay attention to what the C-Suite is doing – what they’re reading, where they’re going, what statistics and trends they’re watching. Back in the day when I first started the blog, I wrote a series called the “5 Things Any Business Person Needs to Know”. The 5 things are:
It’s certainly not an exhaustive list but something to be aware of. None of us has the crystal ball into the future. But it’s clear the future will look different. We need to make educated decisions, find something we think is important to know and just do it. Start becoming familiar with those skills necessary to excel in the future.
And if the future of work throws us a curve ball as it’s been known to do? Well, we just learn something else. But, for right now, let’s just be the best business people we can possibly be.0