In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones was searching for the Ark of the Covenant, the key to all human existence.
HR has been on a quest for its own Holy Grail for years – credibility.
In this post, Laurie Ruettimann says the way to get HR credibility is to take over. Move into a leadership position that allows you to influence the direction of the company and the value HR has within it. I agree. But what do you do in the meantime?
Find HR Otaku…
Otaku is a Japanese word for people who are obsessed with video games, anime and action figures. They are fanatics. They write about it, blog about it, purchase it, play it, go to conferences, read books, dress up in costumes and spend lots and lots of money on it.
One of the core principles I’ve been teaching business owners the last several years comes from Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow. The principle of finding customers who will be otaku, who will be fanatical about the products and services you provide is a game-changer. When you figure out who those people are and target your marketing to them, your business will grow because they will talk about it, sing your praises and spend lots of money with you.
And guess what HR? There is otaku in your company; you just need to find them.
Instead of rolling out a company-wide initiative that gets a typical head-rolling, “we don’t have time for that” response, do a pilot. And when you do your pilot, do it only with a segment of the organization that will be otaku about it. Talk about a shift! Instead of convincing the whole organization about the merits of the initiative, your otaku will promote it and you.
How do you find your otaku for a pilot? It should be a group that…
1. Is ready. Find a group that is not change adverse and welcomes opportunities for new things. Trying to pilot an initiative in a group whose philosophy is, “This is how we’ve always done it” is only going to lead to frustration.
2. Has the bandwidth to make the project work. Analyze what the commitment in resources (time and money) is going to be. Be prepared to answer how much time will be lost in productivity and make the case for the long-term ROI of the project.
3. Can show demonstrable, measurable results. Get really clear about what success looks like before you start and partner with the business unit on what the metrics will be. The executive team will want to see the ROI before it goes company-wide.
4. You have a good relationships with. The key to a good pilot is lots of open, truthful communication between you and the business unit so you can make improvements to your project.
So until you are the helm of your HR department, use the otaku technique, one business unit at a time to develop the credibility you deserve.
IMAGE VIA HaPe_Gera