Why Can’t We Accept That HR Has a Blended Role in the Enterprise?

HR – Human Resources – has a blended role in the Enterprise – that many seem to rail against. But then, it’s not their money in the form of shareholder equity that’s at stake. Perhaps if it was they’d think differently about it.

There are many “Stakeholders” for any one Enterprise. The following is one model – shared for illustrative purposes.

And when you look at your situation, the context for your Enterprise – you might be able to adapt this model to your situation – and then use it to look further at all of the specific Stakeholders that each of your Stakeholders’ have. It’s often a very complicated situation. Such is life.

When HR – or whatever your Enterprise calls the function – which is known by many names and is configured in many ways – does its thing – or things – it serves the Shareholders and does so within the guidelines and constraints of the law – and they do so in a competitive environment – unless the humans do not have options on where they can work. Which is the case for a variety of reasons. Another blend.

And HR doing its things is in service to the rest of the Enterprise and the rest of the Enterprise systems in place to serve the Processes that serve the Customers and their Stakeholder-sets that serve their Customers and their Stakeholder-sets. Oh what a tangled web we weave – when we set up an Enterprise and its internal functions.

Here is my model for untangling a real situation – with a fairly simple model to help me figure out that age old question: who’s on first?

The first 7 blue boxes in the “stack” are what I consider HR-type functions that may or may not look like the names of the departments/functions in your Enterprise.

Some are focused on PROTECTING and constraining the Enterprise – keeping them within the boundaries of law and cultural norms. Others are focused on IMPROVING the Enterprise via the Human Capital, the Human assets, the Human Resources, or whatever you call the people in the processes in the Enterprise. Note: there is no one right answer – only many personal preferences expressed by those who feel a need to speak up about their preferences on “labels” for such things.

The old saying – at least old for me – is: Protect and Improve the Enterprise.

First Protect. Then Improve. Not the other way around.

HR is is almost always in the “Can only lose for winning” box. Maintaining a balance means that the opposite “side/need” somehow cannot go full tilt.  I think many leaders “get this.” I am afraid that many others, most in fact, do not.

I’m guessing that those who do not get it – who do not see the need for this wise-balancing act – would only think differently about it if THEY owned the Enterprise in its entirety – and suffered the financial and a little jail-time consequences – for HR being out of balance.

Feels like a Simulation Exercise design concept. Gamification anyone?

For real money and free (as opposed to jail) time? Those are the real stakes of some Stakeholders.

Otherwise it’s only a game concept.

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