Welcome to the April issue of Alignment Solutions! This month’s theme is Identifying and Overcoming Causes of Misalignment. Inspired by the words attributed to the cartoon character Pogo in the 1970s – i.e., “We have met the enemy and he is us” - we take a look at some of the ways we may be responsible for obstructing organizational and personal success, and recommend ways to remove or minimize those practices.
The Feature Article suggests reasons why two functional areas, human resources (HR) and information technology (IT), are failing to live up to their potential as drivers of business success and proposes ways to change that picture.
The Business Solutions section offers a framework to help you support HR’s and IT’s natural talents as drivers of business success.
The Personal Solutions section challenges you to increase the enjoyment of your life by improving your talents rather than struggling to overcome your weaknesses.
I invite you to visit my web site at www.BusinessAlignmentStrategies.com
to find articles and resources that may be of value to you and
your colleagues. I welcome your feedback!
Transforming HR and IT from “Wayward Children”
to Drivers of Business Success
It is my belief that sound human resource (HR) and information
technology (IT) practices are capable of driving organizational
success. Yet my observation and experience indicate that far too
many HR and IT departments do not even come close to realizing
this capability. My contention is that organization executives
enable mediocre performance by failing to challenge HR and IT
to live up to their respective potential.
I can make the case that HR personally touches every individual in the organization. As a result, the HR function is uniquely positioned to direct employee performance toward organizational goals. Yet how often does this happen? Similarly, I can make the case that the work done by IT departments can or does affect all areas of an organization. Given the potential for technology to increase productivity and profitability by making processes and systems more effective and efficient, IT seems a logical choice when searching for ways to achieve organizational goals. Yet one sees the same kind of complaints from CIOs as one does from HR executives - e.g., they don’t understand the value that we can bring to the organization. Why the sharp discrepancy between the promise and the reality of HR’s and IT’s contributions to organizational success?
The analogy that comes to mind is that of wayward youths whose failure to live up to their potential begins with a lack of, or ineffective, parental control and guidance. This lack of direction and development enables the youths to squander their talents and pick up bad habits. Why is it so surprising, then, that the wayward youths grow up to be wayward adults? Similarly, why are people surprised to find that HR and IT are behaving as wayward children, given that they essentially have been “raised” that way?
For the same reasons that talented children to go astray, HR and IT departments fail to live up to their potential. Here are just a few suggestions of how executives can stop enabling HR’s and IT’s mediocre performance and start challenging these areas to live up to their respective potential as drivers of business success:
What actions will you take today to stop these wayward behaviors in your organization and support business success?
To read the full length version of this article, which includes
additional suggestions for aligning HR’s and IT’s
talents with their performance, please see my article Transforming
HR and IT from “Wayward Children” to Drivers of Business
Success on my web site.