As much as we in business love to self-analyze and theorize, there is quite a bit we do right thanks to the very nature of free enterprise. We are subject to the market’s responsiveness to our business efforts where ultimately, the almighty customer rules.
However, while there is a wealth of intelligence, logic, and good intention in the operational processes we already claim to use, actual practice lags behind; we continually write about the flaws because we aren’t that great at doing our right things continually and consistently. We talk about them and document them rhetorically in mission statements, but those seemingly visionary documents are rendered meaningless when we fail to execute.
Reinvention comes into play when the reasons we don’t execute well reveal root causes riddled with red flags: Ignoring our sacred cows may actually be wise. Yet if there’s a good reason we don’t do something, we shouldn’t stop at just ignoring it. Instead, let’s pay attention, dig deep, and get real about turning old thinking upside down and looking for a far better way. Let’s reinvent.
My current favorite for reinvention? Human Resources, and I couldn’t let our Ho‘ohana Community May Reinvention Forum skip by me this year without bringing my speaking topic here to Talking Story too.
First, I must say I always find that those who work in HR are good people who had initially entered Human Resources as their field of choice with a sincere desire to be the employee’s advocate, no matter what that position that person may hold —including managers. Therefore, I never wish to vilify them, just challenge them to the greatness they had once aspired to. In their fervent wishes to be a service department they’ve unfortunately become doormats, far too complacent about asserting their ideas and assuming their responsibility for leadership.
Doormats. Think that’s harsh? Well, let’s take a look at a few of the reasons why I feel that HR is so ripe for reinvention.