Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Peter Drucker is becoming more relevant with each passing day just as Marshall McLuhan, “The medium is the message”, is with each passing Tweet.

Where are the champions of your corporate culture?

This short (thankfully) Huffington Post article, Why HR is Losing Culture, by Bill Jensen, an IBM Futurist and author, takes dead aim at HR as having permanently lost the war for the hearts and minds of their firm’s employees to…IT.

IT? Really?

He makes his case that digital competency is essential to understanding the evolution of communication and collaboration in the design and execution of work.

I get that.

He also notes that HR’s best options are to:

Partner with IT in a Supporting Role. (He thinks IT now owns the means to develop peer-to-peer value.)

Embrace the Asset Revolution. (Every individual, according to the author, sees their greatest assets as “time, attention, knowledge, and passions”. HR/IT needs to advocate for this.)

Build MyWorkMyWay. (I like the way Bill states that “the future is tailored learning, tailored information flows, tailored coaching — individualized to each person’s needs to help them be their best. HR had their chance to push for this, and mostly didn’t.”)

Deliver Peer-to-Peer Value. (He makes the statement but then fails to support it with references to ‘networks of networks’ [Bersin] within and beyond the bricks and mortar of every company that are now critical for successful project execution.)

I get this too.

What I don’t get is the enormous leap to IT’s absorption of HR’s mission. Then again, I’m not a Futurist. I’ll try to stick to what this budget covers and the next set of pilots. Still, gets you to thinking whether TA will continue to report to HR Leaders if they aren’t viewed as adept at managing the ‘Culture’.

(Thank you Wayne Tarken for sharing this link)

TA is the tip of the HR spear and our role in Leading the function must become much more assertive in breaking down the barriers to information sharing and developing buy versus build strategies for the business.