The history of human resources is rooted in compliance, policy as well as procedure. This made change hard because change meant waiting for a government mandate regarding I-9’s or court decision changes to the ADA. But compliance is not an excuse to avoid change. Because of that human resources craves structure, a written document, a new procedure and keeping things the way that they should be. This means light on the change and heavy on process, procedure and policy.
Can Human Resources Management Change?
The ability to change an organization even a slight change takes more than just a corporate email to staff employees. Change ain’t easy especially in human resources management. And sometimes even the slightest change, one with proven ROI and millions in cost reduction is met with hesitation and resistance. Change ain’t easy.
This change is often shoved under the rug until a lawsuit, compliance or government visit like our friends at OSHA until you are forced to take action and immediately change. This is the reason in my mind that HR is so challenged when it comes to innovation as well as change because one must have innovation before change can begin.
Innovation just like change isn’t always met with open arms. It’s met with nay sayers, resisters and those who are set in their ways. HR when it comes to change, innovation, technology and doing business is just like Major League Baseball. How you say?
Earlier this year designer, Grady Phelan launched a Kickstarter campaign that was sure to revolutionize the baseball industry. A simple change to a wooden baseball bat and one 23 degree angle could save the industry $100 million medical expenses because a common baseball and ergonomic industry.
Except the idea has flopped, raising less than $6,500 not because of great innovation and the science to back up his 23 degree change in America’s favorite pastime’s technology. The innovation didn’t happen because the players weren’t willing to change no matter what the cost. Baseball is rooted in traditions, a history and a standard way of doing things because they have worked just they way they are. The resistance to change is rooted in our reliance on history, what’s comfortable, tradition and superstition just like HR. Maybe just maybe it’s time to shake things up and focus on change and innovation to drive results and new experiences that lead to other opportunities in work, business and life.
Can HR Change? I Mean Really Change?
These are the things I’m considering personally as my family and I begin making the move to Bay area. I speak from first experience that change is hard as it puts us in unfamiliar places that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar causing higher blood pressure and especially stress. I’m dealing with that now as our family looks for a rental home in Palo Alto after being home owners for 15 years. Change ain’t easy, but it’s necessary to bring about the next chapter and hopefully a better company that can remain competitive in business, HR, staffing and developing your human capital for the long term.
Check out Phelan’s video on how a small change in baseball can revolutionize the industry. I’m certain you’ll see the similarities you likely face working in HR, as a business leader or nearly any position at your workplace.