My last post applied a movie metaphor based on the film “The Purge”. This week – and perhaps going forward, I will continue this theme, as movies provide common social ground and a fertile field of conscience-challenging personal and professional analogies. So the lights are going down, popcorn in hand, and it’s time for the main feature….
A famous 2003 film that is ranked in the top 20 revenue grossing movies of all time (over $380,000,000) is about a mom killed by a cold-blooded murderer, her kidnapped son and the dad that goes looking for him with a crazed woman. Can you guess the title of this movie? The answer may surprise you - Finding Nemo. First reaction – too funny! Second one – a cringe that kids love this flick! What we are witnessing here is the mature application of perspective. If we apply perspective to HR – not what we think, but what others feel and won’t tell us, what would your customers – candidates, employees, managers and leaders, tell us about HR?
When I apply perspective to HR, I immediately think generational. For example, when prompted by my dad to explain what I do, I have learned that including the word “personnel” early in the conversation makes it click for him. At the opposite end, talking to my 16 year old who just got his first job yielded a quick comment – a complaint, that HR gave him a bunch of forms to complete.
If we were able to truly survey our HR customers – or better yet, be a fly on the wall in the executive washroom, what would we hear? 15 years ago HR wanted a seat at the big kid’s table… and we got it, sort of. When it is our turn on the monthly board meeting agenda, what do we talk about? If it contains process, policy, procedure, anything date-driven or what HR needs (you fill in the blank – money from the budget, a new system, boring stats, etc.), we need to retool our board report. Remember the 16-year old…. he is ready, willing and able to contribute (like your execs), but is not interested in the rule book, is not due-date driven, wants it easy and “needs” it now (like your execs).
You just wrapped up your presentation, the meeting takes a break time, you’re in the last stall, and no one knows you’re there… what chatter do you hear from your executives about your content? It may sting a bit, but now that you see a different perspective, what will you change?