#PunkHR – it will never be over for me.

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Where else do you find a profession so troubled by itself, so rife with definitions of what it should and shouldn’t be about and where so many possibilities lie other than that of HR?

Operations? You make things; service customers etc. Research & Development – you look into stuff; survey it; deduce; and come up with new stuff. Finance – you count; invest and balance books. Marketing – you entice, excite and extol the virtues of the organisation, its services and its products that Operations put together and deliver; R&D come up with and Finance authorise / allow to spend. Sure there’s Legal and others – I am not getting into MBA lesson silo-bingo here.

But HR. Hiring, rewarding, developing and firing is way too simple for what I have come to understand as the land of the HR Professional.

As @HR_Gem put in her blog
(here http://t.co/RxYOev2W4R) ; it’s about people. And therein lies the beauty of the many faces of HR. I could put a list in here of the things we all talk about but they’re all over the blogosphere and I am not being lazy here I just want to focus on one thing for now.

Our ATTITUDE. “Our” meaning HRs attitude. For I am one of us.  So HR’s attitude about itself, to the role and to the opportunities that lie before us.

So my take on our attitude is this.

We are too apologetic at times. We are too naive at times. We are too process oriented at times and we are too risk averse. I could go on.

What SHOULD we be more like? Hang on let’s not peak too early.

What is good about our attitude?  Our attitude is often defined by the following attributes: –

– Generosity;

– Empathy;

– Conciliation;

– Willingness;

– Flexibility;

– Effort;

– Putting others first;

– Taking the flak and accepting appropriate shortcomings;

– Keeness;

– Deep belief in learning;

– Fairness and inclusivity;

– Calming troubled waters;

– Being good organisational advocates

So what is needed then?

More balls. More determination. More belief in what we know is true. Our attitude then needs to be more about bringing our presence to bear. We OF COURSE need to do this with credibility but the lack of conviction up to now has been quite staggering.

We know A LOT.

We care A LOT.

We can save work. No seriously we can. FFS – let us get on with it. It starts with us adopting this attitude. Let’s get over ourselves and get on with it.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again here.

If you’re in HR and you haven’t the stomach for what will be a battle ahead, then move out of the way and let us who HAVE get on with it.

Your 90 policy ring binder will not shield you from our incessant desire to be better than you are letting us be. You will not deter us with your Human Capital Claptrap theory. Nor will your petty insistence that “the business” knows best. You are part of that business and if you don’t know enough about your business to challenge people in it for the better, then it’s over for you.

HR with attitude. And acumen to match.  To quote a pretty marvellous Northern Soul song – “it’ll never be over for me”.

Pogo on!


  1. Paul Clayton says:

    Couldn’t agree more about the battle ahead and the So called HR professionals that hold back the profession.

    The key is to understand that it is in fact just business and not necessarily a battle. I was taught early on that ‘friendly-demanding’ was the way to influence. If you are true HR professional you must continually influence and continually assess and refine your influencing ability. Without influence there is nothing.

    • perrytimms says:

      Great response and I am not a fighting talk kinda dude either. What we are faced with is those who don’t even know they should or could up their game considerably. We shall make it happen though as too many like us are up for the change. Let’s make it happen. Thanks for posting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s