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In growth of the company HR plays most crucial and important role,but very few HRs are considered for top most positions in the company, Is this justify?
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Dear Shraddha,
Your observation is true, HR plays the most important part in managing talent. However , business head needs to be responsible for growth in revenue, overarching every other areas for delivery. The HR leader who works up to ensure revenue growth and sustainability with an operational excellence, surely succeeds as a CEO

You are right of course.

Suggest you go a little deeper and try to understand the reasons why we as HR rarely find a place in the main stream or on the front benches, as it were!

Over the years I have realized that unless we prove our worth, people only consider us necessary appendage. We need to introspect and improve. Nothing will come automatically to us. What are our contributions beyond excellent words and a pretense of being mature and important! Have been able to make the "powers that be" sit up and look at us as useful and contributing members of the team?

In my opinion formed over a long span of time, I have made some observations during my experience. I will share some of these:

1) Our orientations are "functional".

2) Our perspectives are also "functional" first, then "organizational" and finally "professional" and we invariably fumble in deciding the stance from issue to issue!

3) We are unwilling to learn what is not taught! Our inter functional interface is pathetic. We may cultivate friends across functions but fail often in internalizing realities of other function.

Aside of that we also tend to be too engrossed in issues of "status consciousness", tend to consider most matters from a "win-lose" perspectives.

We do not prove our utility or value for issues of organizational nature. No one teaches and we don't learn!

Your observation is TRUE and in my book WE are primarily responsible for this state of affairs.

Lastly, I urge all to NOT treat this post as a sweeping generalization as I have neither the knowledge nor the authority to do so!

There are honourable exceptions to this observation that I know of ans surely you do too!

Moral of the story is even if your observation is true (and it certainly is!), we need to introspect, reconfigure ourselves professionals and add value to the organization intelligently and without even seeming to be obstacles in any form! The question is can we do it?



December 18, 2012

Hello Samvedan, Whateva u wrote was true & observable,i think if we work over it surely the output would be good.Its just we need to take some different and good steps.
Hello Samvedan,

While there are points where you hit the "bull's eye"--so to say, there are some aspects that really can't be attributed to HR professionals alone.

General human attributes like status consciousness, tendency to view issues from a win-lose perspective & unwillingness to learn what is not taught cut across functions--not just HR.

However, what you mentioned reg orientations & perspectives being "functional" is very true--one of the main reasons for HR professionals not heading companies. To put it in another way, in general, HR persons don't look @ the 'larger/big picture' [the "organizational" perspective that you mentioned] in their decisions. This is where many HR persons get hit--they leave it to the Directors/MD to handle this part of the decision-making process.

Having said this, frankly, I am not sure if even if a HR person wants to do so, would most of them be able to do it? One reason would be the lack of technical/professional qualifications [meaning the basic degrees, NOT the MBA, which comes later]--which hinder the understanding the consequences of any decision from the organizational perspective.

Another reason would be the typical hesitation of many [if not most/all] HR persons to 'dirty their hands'--so to say. Any lot of employees in a company tends to respect only those who don't hesitate to get their hands dirty, IF needed--even if it's in such actions that a HR person also learns the nuances of the work in that company. Other functions invariably have to get their hands dirty, as a part of their job--if they don't, they are as good as OUT.

In the Indian context, there's only ONE person whom I saw, to the extent I can recollect, reaching to Top of a large organization from the HR function [he is now a Director in Reliance Energy, after a stint as CMD of NTPC]--and his was a unique qualification combination in the 1980s--BTech+MBA(HR), when most BTechs those days chose Marketing, Production & such specializations in MBA.

This is my say on this subject--not sure how many agree with it.


Hello TS,

Thanks for responding.

There is nothing in your response for anyone to disagree!

Some of the shortcomings I referred to are really universal and not peculiar to HR alone.

But in most organizations, particularly in the mfg sector, HR is considered to be the management, next only to the location Head.

This is for two main reasons:

1) All line managers' interactions are limited primarily to their line whereas by the very nature of the function's requirement HR gets to interact across the organization.

2) Being involved with "rules & regulations", "Notices","Disciplinary Actions", "Unions", "Compliance" etc. HR's visibility is far greater than the line management.

To add to this many HRs tend to mystify their functional knowledge using legal terms like case laws, courts etc. as a very easy method to rise in the esteem of "poor mortals" and to gain power!.

Power mongering, grabbing the limelight, weilding authority even when not needed are failures of of the line management also.

But ..........

being close to "economics" of the firm, be it as involvement with mfg, quality, marketing and to an extent "finance" these chaps hog all the limelight leaving poor HR to find ways to enhance self importance If they start to succeed they face intense competition. They generally generally lose out because to move from being a functionary to becoming a generalist is not only a difficult, it also requires of you to "upgrade" yourself as in developing competencies in other functional areas also. How many HRs do really make a conscious effort in this area?

We are responsible for our situation either because we are not proactive in doing what it takes to move closer to being a generalist or simply wait for the organization to do something for us, or for that matter HRs find peace and harmony in higher emoluments, fancy designations, greater visibility and allow themselves to decay!

I think all HRs need to seriously THINK about this state of affairs!

But thanks again for responding. It prompted to add a few more points!




December 18, 2012

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