The Partnership Failure

The Partnership Failure

In the recent past we have worked with a number of global clients on their HR Operating Model.  The CSuite research we have been undertaking clearly points to the need for not only a more global orientation, simplified processes and practices: but also a measurement of internal customer satisfaction. 

The CEO’s have it right….as we emerge from the Global Recession; a strong Employer Brand is the threshold for workforce replenishment.  The progress thereto must be tracked.

Unfortunately one, if not the, most critical role in the HR model to satisfy this interest is that of the Business Partner.  Yet time and time again we are saddened in the prosecution or our client work to discern that the loyalty of this group fulfills the metaphor of “Elvis has left the building”.

When we probe deeper, it is not an issue of competency!  Moreover it is a lack of affiliation with, or loyalty to, their HR colleagues!

The question is not why…that is unfortunately clear during these difficult times when the function for the most part is being criticized while focused on unpleasant tasks such as restructuring, SSO creation. benefits modification, curtailment and elimination of services.  In these times  who wants to be “one of them”!  Yet whether it be dotted or straight line reporting, distant or proximate location….get used to it… are one of them!


Our client work, beyond the antipathy  this phenomenon prompts, mostly concludes, that the mantra from an HRBP of “if only HR” diminishes not only the Business Partner incumbent, it complicates the Functional Strategic Intent.

So what do we mean by diminishment of the Business Partner? We refer to this outcome as one of “Organizational Hostage”.  The leaders/clients to who you have been assigned to serve, ultimately feel distrustful of someone who is not an advocate of their own function and colleagues.  We would submit even more emphatically that this positioning leads to manipulation of the HRBP with the reputation of the HR function being disenfranchised.

We do not see it advantageous to the HR function if the Business Partner promotes the most likely criminal defense of a guilty party ODDI (the other dude did it)!

The reinvention of the HR Operating model this millennium is of paramount importance in a global economy.  It will require HR incumbents to educate, confront, resolve, and collaborate as truly in this function, the power of the whole is the sum of all of its parts.

To be clear…and acknowledged provocative….our recommendation when we unearth Organizational Hostages is to a) transfer them immediately, b) keep a close look on their objectivity and advocacy, c) at the first hint of the replication of bad behaviors, displace.

The end of the recession and all of the growth opportunities that portends will require the energies of serious people, not those who find it convenient to forget they are the “other dude”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: