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Hello seniors, First let me wish u a very happy and prosperous new year.!!!

I would like to start by introducing myself. I am working as HR in an HR outsourcing firm. recently got a new client from the pharma industry operating for 26 years. The Family business is run by Founder (MD) and His son (Director). son is a sleeping partner as he just has a helicopter's view of the business because he is engaged with other full-time venture.

As time passed, Director (Son) felt need to change so he thought of bringing change. He hired us for HR function with dedicated timelines.

But the main Prob lies with execution. Day to day operations is looked after by MD (Father) who is not very open to new ideas. the reasons could be as follows.

1. His process and products are so confidential that he is not ready to have trust in his employees who are working there for 20 years.

2. No new ideas are flowing in As people r working there for 15 to 20 years and those who have newly joined leaves co in a short span of time after understanding of outdated Systems.

Here Being HR change catalyst, caught in a very complicated situation with no support from the decision-makers. of course, after completion of timelines, we are answerable to Director (son) about the projected goals.

Request you all to give a suggestion. it would be a gr8 help.

Thanks in advance.

From India, Mumbai
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Recruitment/talent Acquisition, Career Counselling
Rajat Joshi
Hr Consulting ,trainer -creative Thinking
Trainer & Od Consultant
+2 Others

Dinesh Divekar

Dear gaurimici,
Your problem is that you have taken a land for tilling without checking whether the soil is fertile or not! As you started tilling, you realised that the land is not so fertile. Now your challenge is to make first the land fertile. Further you need to adhere to the time line to deliver the agriculture produce.
Coming to the solution to your problem. You may talk to Director and tell him to provide the requisite the information. Tell him that you are choking for information and deliverables may get impacted sans this information. I do not find any solution than this.
Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore

This one seems like a typical situation where too much control is exercised by the top management / executive committee. After a few years the dir or his son will bring in an outside consultant, pay a bomb for their services and will realise the problem that you have put here candidly.
Anyway, my speculations aside, you can use diplomacy and speak to both these people and present the problem. I am sure they might know themselves already, some problems you are facing. BTW, you havent mentioned your designation. Are you leading the HR team? Or are you at a junior level or at mid mgmt? If you are a junior / mid mgmt, what do your superiors think about this issue?

From India, Mumbai

@ Dinesh Divekar .. Very thankful to u sir for your inputs..


We are working as HR consultant for them.me and my seniors had 3 meetings about our plan and expected support. He was so aggressive that it was one way meeting only.

As per the agreed timelines we started working on JD preparation which is starting point of Appraisal system. but he discarded our format saying Old JD formats are very well thought out. plz keep it aside dont change it. In first meeting he only initiated idea of Getting JDs reframed. The old JD was of 21 pages!!!! which is practically not ready reckoner. so we thought of changing it. but now due to his resistance the whole purpose is not serving.

@Aditya Oak.. a Big Thank u sir.. for your response..


We are HR outsourcing Firm, n i am HR Executive working at client site. Basically all the strategic decisions and policy is done at back end by my seniors. i am responsible for execution of the same.

About my Dis client, even my superiors thinks that handling him and getting work done is challenge...

From India, Mumbai

Dear Gaurimici,

A typical problem of any family run business. The Father & Son / Brothers / relatives in any form are different individuals and have their own likes and dislikes which include issues relating to the style of operations, market, products, process, employees, etc., etc.,......

The worst happens when every decision is questioned and stalled or taken to different dimensions in all directions.

Now if things have to roll on with the appraisal system and to begin with the JD's which are running to pages you have to have both the Son and the Father together in a meeting and ask for clarity in the JD which needs to be jointly decided by them for you to proceed for the necessary changes. This will make the father and son duo to come to a point, where in generally; the Son's make it on what they want.

If you think the father is strong and obstinate, try explaining the need for change in JD's as this generation is not the one with the same value systems of the old generation as perceived (by many) by the father. Make it in polite statements as they dislike being pointed that they are old fashioned. Also make sure you have solutions for their fears that the formulas or whatever that they claim to be critical will not be disclosed and safe guarded. (All though this fear is meaningless most often).

If you feel it is getting tough to crack make the son and the father come to a point of understanding on who is responsible for the project and whom you are going to report to. Request for complete immunization from the other to have more clarity in handling the job /project.

Last choice is of-course to quit, but remember they dont damage your company's repute.

As a person who has seen atleast a dozen of such cases, you can call me for your queries if required



099524 19530

From India, Tiruppur

Hello Gaurimici,
Nalini has given very apt & realistic/practical inputs for you to try-out.
Another way COULD be to post the content [without the company details, etc] of the JD in this Forum.
The members could give specific point-wise inputs that you can use to handle both the father/son duo.

From India, Hyderabad
Rajat Joshi

Hello Gaurimici,

Appreciate the inputs and suggestions given by seniors - Dinesh, Aditya and Nalina.

"As time passed, Director (Son) felt need to change so he thought of bringin change. He hired us for HR function with dedicated timelines.

But main Prob lies with execution. Day to day operations are looked after by MD (Father) who is not very open to new ideas. the reasons could be as follows.

1. His process and products are so confidential that he is not ready to hve trust on his employees who are workin there from 20 years.

2. No new ideas are flowing in As people r working there since 15 to 20 years and those who are newly joined leaves co in short span of time after understanding of outdated System."

Here what is important is to understand how the industry works. MD( Father) has every reason to distrust as he understands the dynamics of the business which HR consulting doesn’t. HR consulting needs to establish their credibility by understanding the business model of the client and be aware of the Industry standards of the clients Industry. By aligning both models which includes the present and how future (model and market scenario) would entail - if this is understood and discussed with the Father and Son – am sure they both will come to an understanding on the implementation of the HR processes.

At the end of the day – they have to be convinced that the new HR model is aligned to their business model and growth of the organization.

Being caught between the old and new school of thoughts – is indeed a challenge for HR professionals !.

Best Regards,

Rajat Joshi

From India, Pune

My dear,

The problem has two ends, one the father and the other son. You are perhaps engaged by the son.

Please prepare your work outs and discuss with the son atlength along with the merits thereof and also explain the problems faced at the hands of his father. Please request him to get you the go ahead of his father so as to accomplish the target successfully.

The second end is the father. Please go to him and explain the merits of the study and results expected out of it. Please do not forget to highlight the fact that the company is following outdated pattern of HR policies which will in due course erode the productivity of the company (with old people with dwindling energies and stagnant ideas) and will stand stonewall entry of fresh/young incumbents to compete with the others in the industry. At this stage please do not produce any documents to him. After you get his resistance-driven consent produce before him the plan of peripheral change, so as to win over his confidence. Once it is done please come up with other policy changes.

Please ensure that you wont dwell upon an idea of retrenching old people, of course , can think of superannuating them after they reach the particular age with due benefits. You may also offer, if required, preference to the qualified wards of the people leaving the company due to death/retirement.

With this approach I hope things may roll out in your favour.


From India, Delhi
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