We invite your participation in the conversation “reimagining Human Resources.”

Let us begin this conversation on reimagining Human Resources with a trusty google search for a baseline definition of Human Resources.

Here is what we come up with:

  • Human resources refer to the department charged with managing personnel.

The first expansion of this definition immediately leads to functional, legal, and operational role of HR:

  • The primary function of human resources is to ensure the company complies with federal and state labor and employment laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

A broader more generalized definition:

  • A human resource department has many functions, including recruiting, overseeing compensation, monitoring performance, and providing training.

That doesn’t feel right, does it? At the end of the great recession a trend emerged to give HR executives titles including the word “people”, such as Vice President, People. Also, we noticed the word Talent is used for many Human Resource roles. Training and development became talent development.

The title and reality are often divergent.

Tension will always exist between narrowly viewing labor as a commodity and empowering people to do their best work and experience holistic fulfillment. This tension is not necessarily unhealthy, either for the organization or for its people. But without strategic leadership, short-term labor concerns drown out long-term culture concerns.

Two factors we can quickly agree on:

  • We each are granted 168 hours per week. If we desire to expand our value beyond this time, no matter the number of productivity classes we enroll in, we must gain the cooperation of other people. (Influence, collaboration)
  • A corporation (literal meaning body) is a group of people charged with profitably executing a mission. And, the largest investment is, you guessed it, people.

Regardless of position, function, or role, we are all responsible for people leadership. It is not all up to the HR department.

Emerging from the recent crisis provides unprecedented opportunity to reimagine leadership from multiple perspectives.

Leadership Beyond has chosen “Reimagining Human Resources” as our first community of conversation series. Check out this video of Tom and Adrienne starting this discussion.

Here is where you come in:

To cultivate a leadership beyond, we must include multiple viewpoints from a diverse audience of established and emerging leaders.

Please send us any thoughts you have on this subject: from casual stream of consciousness to suggestions for subtopics, expert panels, interviews, resources, etc.