When you survey the landscape of businesses today, you see the contstant drive for improvement and solving “problems.” That is all well and good, but it tends to be inconsistent because often the problem that is given the most attention comes from the person or group who is most vocal. It may not be what needs to be the focus of the organization’s efforts, but that doesn’t stop them from pouring time, effort and money into randomly moving targets.
To solve this companies launch into strategic planning sessions which are effective and do their best to bring a better set of parameters to keep things moving forward. The “loud voice” syndrome can also take precendence in this format, but it’s harder to do because the plan should be looking at the business as a whole.
Why all this business talk on an HR blog? Well, it’s because we in HR need to understand that we are in business first and we happen to practice HR. When you look at this situation in organizations, HR can bring something to the table that others won’t think of . . . the rallying cry !!
This isn’t something for HR to offer as some sort of cheerleading effort. It’s a way for us to advice our CEO’s about the value of pulling the team together. Most of the time in strategic planning sessions, there are massive amounts of data shared. Decisions are made from the data almost exclusively from a lack of emotion. Rational thought is what tries to take the day. This isn’t an argument against data. Just the opposite actually. People need to be emotionally tied to things as well in order to get behind them and make them come to life. When this happens, the data will play itself out in the results that people are seeking.
When I was at Sea Base with my Scouts, there was a rallying cry that could happen at anytime and without a schedule. There’s an out island called Big Munson Island that all of the scouts/adults stay on at least one day and night during their trek. If a crew yells the word, “MUNSON !!!” at any time, you are obligated to yell “MUNSON !!!” right back regardless of where you are. This simple word provided a common bond to everyone on the Base. It was the emotional tie that everyone could relate to because everyone has had great memories of their time on the island.
HR’s rally cry has too often been “COMPLIANCE !!” or “FORMS !!” or “REDUCE LIABILITY !!” – ugh !! It’s no wonder that we are relegated outside the business conversation. These things are important, but they don’t pull people together.
By meeting with the CEO (and it’s something that should be expected of HR, not just wished for), you can see what he/she want the troops to go after. Being their sounding board to try out the cry is essential and will allow them to test what they are looking to do. The cry should include risk, growth and energy.
Now it’s up to you !! What rallying cry can you make for yourself ?? Your department ?? Your company ?? They’re looking for one and it’s time for HR to bring it to life !!