Wanna stay Ahead of Curve? Developing Thought Leadership is a key...

" Our mission statement about treating people with respect and dignity is not just words but a creed we live by every day. You can't expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don't exceed the employees' expectations of management." Howard Schultz

To put it simply, 3 things are important to be successful and to stay ahead of curve.

1) Clarity of thought

2) Ability to articulate those thoughts and

3) Ability to Execute it....

Further, it is important that we understand the business that we operate in and how we make money in a simplified manner. When I speak to HR Professional, I find majority of them at loss and they do not understand their business model or how their company is making money. In spite of this, they claim that they are strategic business partners.

I am not sure if you do not understand your Business, can not present it to outside audience or prospective customers, how you can be an effective business partner. I have seen this becoming fashionable to say this. However, it would be of help if Top HR Leadership start developing their TEAM's attitude towards financial aptitude.

things that I witness amongst HR Professional, specially, Engagement HR is that they are becoming experts in co-ordination & orchestration of programs. However, HR Engagement is much more than mere co-ordination, organization and event management.

We hire people who are MBA's to do HR engagement activities and do not stretch their minds
rather we condition them to follow established practices and THIS IS THE WAY IT HAPPENS OR IT IS COMPANY POLICY. We do not encourage them enough to have their opinion and challenge the status quo. I have seen organizations having Open Door Policy and are not open enough. People will think twice before articulating their opinion for fear of reprimand. Over a period of time these young graduates become slaves to conditionality's and do not grow as fast as they could and in the process organizations loose vitality and effervescence, impacts of which is felt over a period of time. In my view, stretching people mind is better than compressing. It is imperative for HR Leaders to start investing in making sure that people who work under them are coached to develop thought leadership which shall help them fish for themselves rather somebody fishing for them every time they land themselves in difficult situation.

BUT BOSS IS GREATER attitude no longer works. Participative Management & commanding respect rather than demanding it due to power or position will be the key to enhance organization productivity and employablity of our new indefatigable and highly ambitious generation.


  1. I am in 100% agreement to the thought.The need of the hour is to translate the HR effectiveness into financial numbers, that is when HR will score a place in the board. However there are bottlenecks and those can be overcome only by strog leadership from the top, HR leadereship and dynaic CEOs else HR will succumb or as rightly put by you HR minds will be compressed instead of being stretched

  2. I was reading book by Alan Collins. His thoughts (to be specific: two of many) stuck a chord in my HR ego.

    1st that we HR professionals tend to keep on waiting for someone's approval (consolation on being in HR, I will rudely put) instead of doing something.
    2nd is that although we HR 'personnel' say we understand the business but then do we have the ability to just present the facts of quarterly happenings to management/board for other functions like finance, marketing?

    Regarding engagement I think we the HR people try to treat it mechanically i.e. we throw types of engagement (which actually are commitment activities) activities at people, then expect them to show improvement.

    As rightly put by you, for success we need: clarity (business, concepts, everything) is what we young HR people need, then communicate to all to take them along with us and finally to execute impeccably.

  3. Jun Dulay6:09:00 PM

    I fully agree with the 3 important things to stay ahead of the curve and that HR engagement should not be confined to mere coordination and event management but we must also realize that HR is not directly accountable for the end financial results. The strategies for arriving at these financial results are crafted by top management and other units such as operations, finance, marketing, etc. and HR normally supports the strategies by providing assistance (find, identify and develop the players) in the strategies. It can also help craft the strategies if it understands the people needs of the strategies and has a strong familiarity and feel of employees' competencies so that it can identify how people competencies can be more productively and strategically used.

    It is also true that in many organizations, managers who are not sure of the capabilities of their people will not delegate important aspects of the strategies. Unless, HR has a good development program that will prepare the potential players with the required competencies. For example, it is not enough that the development program has a set of good courses but that the program provides enough exposure to actual application to merit trust from the managers. In fact, I believe it is not enough to simply have clarity of ideas, communication and execution but these must show actual results in application. Actual application can do much more stretching of the mind than just lectures and case studies and the effect works both ways - for the trainees and for the managers.

  4. As a leader (designationwise) how do you ensure that inspite your clear thought , ability to articulate it you will be successful in executing it. The challenge is as a leader you might have a particular thought process and when you try to execute the same you may have resistance or it just gets done for sake of compliance.

  5. Dear Sachin, for a Leader to be successful in his / her endeavor, it is imperative that they also hone their skills in change management which essentially is their ability to take all the stakeholders along.