Based upon some of the videos and articles from this issue, here are some key questions to get you thinking about you HR practices as a consultant with your clients, or in your own organization…

Q1 – As an HR Professional/Consultant how would you rank these areas below from 1st to last as far as providing high value HR services to the company/client?

  1. Stakeholders we serve both inside and outside the company
  2. Context – Social, Technological, Economic, Political, Demographic etc.
  3. HR Focus – Individual talent
  4. How does HR best add value to the organization?
  5. Organizational design and culture (innovation, collaboration, efficiency, etc.)
  6.  Leadership (individuals, brand, sustainability)

Answer: Watch the “Future of HR” video by David Urlich. He suggests that the highest value in HR is created by taking an Outside – In approach:

  • How does/will HR best add value to the organization
  • Understand the Context within which we operate?
  • Clarify the needs and expectations of stakeholders – inside departments/leaders and externally – the customers, investors, community
  • Talent
  • Leadership
  • Organizational Design

Q2 – In working effectively across multi-generational workforce groups, which of these areas do you practice regularly:

  1. Devalue others – too focused on our own to-do list and ignoring those around us?
  2. Crush others with your over-dominating ego?
  3. Descend into evaluative language in response to others ideas, suggestions, etc.?
  4. Remain genuinely curious – asking questions rather than always trying to have the answers?
  5. Courageously stay in the moment, engage with others in the present and show your authentic self in dialogue with them?
  6. Cultivate leadership and initiate conversation, interaction with others?

For more information on these elements, please read the Feature Article 1 - Honing our Capacity to Navigate in the Labyrinth of Multi-Generational Complexity

Q3 – Which of the CHRO pressures are most challenging to you and /or your organization/client?

  1. CEO Pressures (Talent, Leadership, Exec Lead Team Dynamics, CEO Pay)
  2. Board Pressures (Exec Succession, Governance Risk, Exec Pay)
  3. HR Function Pressures (Increasing Demands, Decreasing Resources, Talent Gaps)
  4. Regulatory Pressures (Sarbanes-Oxley or similar, Risk Management, Public Policy compliance)
  5. Competitive Pressures (War for Talent, Costs, Innovation & Globalization)

For more information see one of our recommended CMC Toolkit resources: The Chief Human Resources Officer - Defining the New Role of Human Resource Leaders

Q4 – In which of the 4-Frames of Leadership do you spend most of your time?
         Be, honest now, based upon how you actually spend your time…

  1. Frame A – Personal; skills, opinion, and “What’s In It for Me?
  2. Frame B – Traditional; analytical, team-focused?
  3. Frame C – Self-Directed; systems-thinking, initiative-taking, innovating, strategic?
  4. Frame D – Network; systems-of-systems, dynamics awareness, global perspective, outcomes-focused?

See the Feature Article on 5 Dynamics of Network Leadership to see the kinds of questions that will help you intentionally adopt each frame of reference above.

Q5 – When working strategically with clients in HR or other governance and organizational areas which of the following dynamics do you facilitate exploration and consideration?

  1. PULLS – How are you connected to your industry sector and the overall marketplace? Are you broadly connected or at the whim of a few major customers/funding decisions – if so what dynamics are affecting them? Are your key clients growing or threatened? How are demographics impacting their business? Is the marketplace or society really demanding your product, service, or program? What will customers, competitors, new conditions “PULL” you into providing in the future?
  2. PUSH – Some organizations are excellent in the creation aspect, but rely on others to commercialize. Some organizations are excellent in the service delivery interface, others in the packaging of resources for those at the front-line. Some organizations manage to do all elements end-to-end. Internal systems and processes are both strategic and practical platforms for getting the most value out of innovation efforts. As with most things, the innovation “PUSH” dynamic has become much more sophisticated over the past 20 years, with the global knowledge base currently doubling every 3-4 years.
  3. LEVERAGE – The old mantra of “Knowledge is Power” is being fast replaced with “Collaborative Exchange is Power”! Even consultants are hired now not so much because of what they know, as for who they know and with whom they are networked. Thus, the leadership competencies to be applied in this area include:
    • Engagement of multi-faceted teams
    • “Fluid” approach to creating, leading, re-creating communities of practice
    • Knowledge sharing, cross-connecting, relationship-building and networking
    • Community engagement and “wandering” amongst your employees, customers & competitors
    • Clarification of common goals, measures, and outcomes – shared purpose
    • Re-design of decision-making structures to truly engage the people with the insight needed
  4. TRANSPARENCY & ACCOUNTABILITY – People in our world simply expect more from executives and government leaders. And they are finding both legal and other mechanisms to ensure it. One could argue that good senior leaders have always had this trait. However, in order to provide good accountability, executives need to make clear the expectations and outcomes to which you are striving. Thus, the dual requirement for establishment of outcomes and the effective communication of intentions lie at the heart of this dynamic.
  5. CONSTRAINT - The Network Leader ensures they are aware of the dynamic interfaces with the larger community in which they operate. For global companies, this means nurturing the interface with many communities, whereas other organizations can take a more regional or local perspective. Constraint factors include: environmental limits, government regulations, industry association codes of practice, competition, distribution barriers (language, packaging, physical), and knowledge/awareness of consumers.

See the Feature Article on 5 Dynamics of Network Leadership for more details on these 5 Dynamics.