An interesting email crossed my desk this week. It was from Michael Losey, former President & CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. Mike was sharing some information about the latest book by David Ulrich, professor of business at the University of Michigan.
Of course, I’m familiar with Dave Ulrich. He’s quite the icon in human resources. Written more books and has more credentials … I can only hope to live so long. He’s also one of the architects of the latest HR Competency Model (which is truly fascinating and all HR Pros should take a look at it.)
But since Dave’s latest work is less about human resources and more about work, I really wanted to see if he would share some insights. And lucky for me, he did:
1) Your latest book, “The Why of Work“, focuses on employees finding meaning at work. How can we help managers understand that ‘it’s not just about the paycheck’?
Different people have different things that are meaningful to them. Generally, those who work only for money find their sense of meaning outside of work, in their families, hobbies, neighborhood, or church. Managers who are meaning makers are more able to make a difference in important customer, financial, and productivity results. Making meaning makes money. It is not a “nice to do” or luxury, but a real process of management success.
2) One of the other concepts outlined in the book is the “abundant organization”. Can you share with readers why their organization might want to aspire to be abundant?
We almost all seek meaning in one way or another. It is a universal need to have a life worth living. An abundant organization is where meaning is created for the individual, value is created for those the organization serves, and hope is offered to humanity. When leaders enact the 7 dimensions we refer to, they are able to build more abundant organizations that delight employees inside and customers and investors outside.
3) You’re well known in the human resources world and often speak about the future of the profession. I’m interested to know – if I worked for you, what would you expect from me?
I tell those who work for me that there are three basics:  be honest and don’t cheat me or yourself,  be open when things do or do not work,  do your best and learn. I have been lucky to have long term relationships … a wife of 34 years; administrative assistant for over 20 years; and partner for 12 years. I sort of like long term relationships where we know each other and feel a support for and from each other.
4) Here at HR Bartender, we do serious work but try not to take ourselves too seriously. So my last question is what’s your favorite drink (adult or not)?
I don’t do alcohol, but on the airplane (and I travel way too much), I have learned to order a mix of diet sprite (or Fresca) and cranberry. I get weird looks, then the flight attendant generally says, “that looks good.”!
Many thanks to Dave for agreeing to the interview (and responding so quickly)! And, I really hope you’ll check out his new book. I must say I’m looking forward to seeing the hands-on tools for employee engagement that the book promises.
Speaking of promises, Dave is offering an exclusive deal – if you pre-order his book “The Why of Work”, you’ll get free access to a special webinar. This offer only lasts until May 7 – so sign up now! Details can be found here.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Dave’s website, “HR must give value or give notice.” ‘nuf said.