The CHRO and HR Practitioner of the Future

The following video will stop partway through, and a survey will appear. The video will resume when you submit the survey.

Do I understand how my business makes money?

  • No
  •  
  • Somewhat
  •  
  • Yes
 

 

Do I have the ability to prioritize and focus HR investments?

  • No
  •  
  • Somewhat
  •  
  • Yes
 

Do I have the ability to work as part of the executive team?

  • No
  •  
  • Somewhat
  •  
  • Yes
 

Do I have the business gravitas to sort out and take tough positions, not only on HR, but on the business?

  • No
  •  
  • Somewhat
  •  
  • Yes
 

Do I have the capacity to link internal organizational actions to long-term shareholder investments?

  • No
  •  
  • Somewhat
  •  
  • Yes
 

I'm Done

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Transcript

In this module, we will be exploring the following questions:

  • What might a profile of the chief HR officer of the future look like?
  • What are the implications of such a profile for HR practitioners?
  • What do we need to do to elevate the HR profession and transform HR practitioners into business leaders for the twenty first century?

In the book The Chief HR Officer - Defining The New Role Of Human Resource Leaders, the author suggests that the following are characteristics of HR leaders in the future:

  • Will have gained academic credentials in business at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • A significant percentage will have held roles outside the HR function
  • Will be diverse along gender and racial lines at U.S. based companies.

Regarding acquiring academic credentials, I argue that the HR practitioner of the future will need a fundamental knowledge of select business disciplines, including accounting, finance, risk assessment and management, supply chain management and marketing. Accounting and finance are the language of business, therefore, we will need to be able to read and understand an income statement and a balance sheet. Furthermore, we need to be able to relate this knowledge to the management of human capital within our organizations and be able to convincingly and in summary fashion, discuss the ROI of our programs and propose initiatives to other members of the C-suite. As I mentioned previously, we will need to be able to demonstrate how what we do in HR, contributes to both the top line and the bottom line of an organization. I recommend that HR practitioners make a daily habit out of reading or viewing online, business newspapers and magazines. My favorite is the Wall Street Journal. You will enhance your business acumen and financial literacy by doing so.

Gaining academic credentials at the undergraduate or graduate level has implications for HR program administrators, at the college and university level. Specifically, the curriculums of HR programs need to ensure that graduates acquire fundamental business knowledge and develop business acumen. In some instances, this may involve enhancing or rethinking the curriculum to include business courses, partnering with a business program or creating an HR specialization or area of concentration, within a business program.

With respect to HR practitioners holding roles outside of the HR function, I believe this is an important professional development tool for learning about the business. My experience at AT&T, over a 23 year career, supports this assertion. I was fortunate to be able to have assignments in sales, sales support, business development and marketing, prior to assuming an HR leadership role. I understood how the business made money and my field experience, enhanced my personal and professional credibility and influence among line managers. That range of experience proved to be very helpful in my execution of that HR leadership role.

Also, in the book, the chief HR officer, the authors recommend that HR leaders ask themselves the following questions:

  • Do I understand how my business makes money?
  • Do I have the ability to prioritize and focus HR investments?
  • Do I have the ability to work as part of the executive team?
  • Do I have the business gravitas to sort out and take tough positions, not only on HR, but on the business?
  • Do I have the capacity to link internal organizational actions to long-term shareholder investments?

Again, these questions are relevant for not only HR business leaders but also for all HR practitioners at the entry, mid and senior levels. They should be used as a touchstone to guide our daily work activities.

After all, how can we serve as business leaders, if we don't understand the answers to these questions?

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Key Concepts from this Video:

Academic Credentials, Roles Outside HR

Self Check

In transitioning to a successful HR practitioner of the future, Wright et al.’s book The Chief HR Officer recommends several questions that HR professionals should ask themselves. Identify which of the following are included.(Check all that apply)