Posted by: Dominique Seal

Posted on: .

What is the future of HR? Is HR a driver of change?

Change in any shape or form is inevitable. It’s hard to predict and to manage. One needs to embrace it with open arms and acknowledge that its complex nature presents a multi-faceted challenge for HR, especially in the current market. It’s time to re-think the importance of HR leadership in bringing about change.

Christian Annarumma, a Change & Transformation specialist who has operated both as a client and a candidate of mine over the years has kindly provided his take on change management and the impact of HR in driving change along with the challenges we face.

What is change management in an HR context?

Change management in an organisation will enhance processes, systems and people. In order to be successful, these three domains need to be managed in parallel. HR could then be both the receiver of the change being itself transformed, or conduct the change being the expert in people management.

Christian believes that the lines are blurring between these two concepts as organizations have outsourced most of their repeatable, low-value add activities. This ultimately leaves the HR function to have to step up as true business partners, understanding the fabric of the business across all areas such as finance, operations and strategy, not only HR.

Organisations are now focused to evolve in a rapidly increasing competitive market and need to remain relevant and not be disrupted. The digital revolution is changing the way businesses interact, transact and accelerate the pace of change. The outcome is that people are the key assets to maintain an organization’s competitive advantage and need to be managed and motivated in an innovative fashion.

So HR must be a driver of change and also a recipient of change, for the organization to remain relevant.

In your opinion what are the three biggest threats to the interim market?

  1. Regulation (IR 35)
  2. Brexit weakening UK economy and the overall demand for workforce
  3. Disruption from internet platform enabling direct access to contractors

Taking this into consideration, interim Change Consultants need to adapt to these new ways, operate in a multi-disciplinary team and be able to integrate processes & systems along with having a strong commercial understanding of the business outside of HR.

However, one needs to understand that the 'change' market is fragmented and not clearly defined as of yet. Due to the nature of change, the role description could be an HR manager, an OD specialist, a Transformation expert or even a Culture specialist.

The market will evolve in the next 5 years. We need to monitor how companies adapt to change and how they utilize their change resources. For example, Christian has seen OD being placed outside of HR in few organisations. The Ulrich model is being tweaked as the change part is becoming almost everything that HR is doing in-house. So, watching how HR and change evolve depending on industry maturity, sector, technology exposure is key.

 


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