HR Practitioner, Are You Ready to Wear Multiple Hats ?

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Surya Prakash Mohapatra

Global Leader- Resource Enablement,

HP Inc.

Role of HR Practitioner is Evolving

HR function is going through a metamorphosis. As we moved from the industrial economy to a knowledge economy, HR shed its industrial relations and personnel management tag. HR which was a ‘support function to the business’ was elevated to the ‘enabling function status’ in the later years. Today HR is not just an enabler for the business from outside. It is actually an inextricable part of the business itself. How have these changes shaped your role as an HR practitioner? In the past, the HR practitioner merely played the role of a policy maker and enforcer. Today the role has expanded. As an HR practitioner, you are now expected to wear multiple hats. Let’s take a look at these hats:-

  1. Brand Ambassador

Today prospective job applicants would look at your company profile as well as your profile on LinkedIn before making a decision to apply for a job in your organization. In order to attract and retain talent, you need to build the employer brand of your organization. Some recent studies have reported that 84% of passive candidates would consider leaving their current employer for a company with an excellent reputation. Google receives on an average about 140 applications per vacancy. 79% of new hires at Edward Jones come through employee referral.These statistics underscore the importance of employer branding. As the HR leader you are a key influencer when it comes to employer branding for your organization. J.T. O’Donnell, CEO of Cereerealism says, “If your marketing department is trying to find new ways to connect with customers, the answer might lie down the hallway in your HR department.”

  1. Business Strategist

The CHRO is no longer the Chief Adviser to the CEO. Rather he is the chief strategist for his CEO. In today’s knowledge economy, human capital is the most valuable asset. Attracting, hiring, retaining and unleashing talent in the most efficient and effective manner to drive organizational goals is going to be a key component of future business strategies and the HR function is going to play a key role in driving this. Remember, you are no longer a strategy enabler. Today you are a strategy accelerator with clear accountability for execution and results.


  1. Technology Expert

Technology is all pervasive today. So HR cannot but embrace it. Technology has touched all facets of HR today including recruitment, learning and development, employee engagement, employee communication, employee life cycle management and so on. As a HR leader, you need to stay in touch with advances in technology. HR leaders should have the acumen to leverage the right technology to make their workforce more productive and their people processes more effective, efficient and seamless. Do read my article,“Touching lives through Technology”published by SHRMlast year. In this article, you would find various examples of HR technology in use to improve employee experience.

  1. Design Thinker

HR leaders should move from process thinking to design thinking. Design Thinking, when used effectively can be leveraged to solve problems or create new solutions. The beauty of this technique is that it keeps the customers or end-users (employees in your case) at the center stage. You can use design thinking to create positive experiences for people, drive engagement, efficiency, productivity, talent retention etc. HR initiatives without taking into account the needs and expectations of employees will only lead to half-hearted efforts and ineffective results.

  1. Culture Shaper

One of the biggest competitive advantages and key differentiators for an organization is its culture. Lou Gerstner, former CEO and Chairman of IBM in his bookWho says Elephants Can’t Dance?says,“I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game – it is the game.” While the senior leaders in the organization are instrumental in shaping the culture, the HR leader among them plays the most important role. Before working on the culture, as the HR leader you must ask yourself, “What is the vision of my organization?” And then determine what values, behaviours, practices, processes, systems etc. you need to have in place in alignment with this vision. Once they are defined, you can then work towards making these elements part of your organization’s DNA. You may think it is easier said than done. But there is no short-cut to culture building.


  1. Data Scientist

HR Analytics is a hot topic today. HR leaders now can leverage analytics to take well informed data driven smart decisions leading to improved productivity, improved ROI, increased revenue, cost reduction etc. Analytics in HR can help you hire the right talent at the right speed, retain your most valued employees, provide relevant and effective training, drive collaboration and so on. You can leverage predictive analytics to know which employees may leave your company in near future, which training programs can improve business performance, which initiatives can drive employee engagement and many more aspects about their workforce.


  1. Facilitator of Interactions

In the knowledge economy, Knowledge is dynamic and critical to an organization’s success. Employees need to keep upgrading their knowledge all the time. HR and L&D practitioners, themselves cannot cater to this dynamic need of their workforce. But what they can do is build an eco-system and create context where employees can discover who to collaborate with in order to gain knowledge and develop capabilities. The eco-system must include all relevant people, processes and tools to drive collaborative learning in the organization. Social, informal and community based learning would become key elements of this eco-system. HR leaders like you would take on the responsibility of facilitatinginteractions among employees and ensure that these interactions become intrinsic to the way their organization functions.

Are you ready?

Hooh ! ! So many hats on you!! Wearing multiple hats is not going to be easy for the HR practitioner. The role will have its challenges and complexities. However, at the same time it will have its fair share of excitement also. Dealing with the challenges and complexities would require the right mind-set, skill-set and tool-set for the HR practitioner. Are you ready for the transformation? I assume the answer is ‘yes’.

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Live Thy Dreams!!!


Anita Simson

Manager – Human Resources

Towell Mattress & Furniture Industry

Live Thy Dreams!

Dreams are the most powerful source of energy! Time and again you must have come across this catchphrase. You may have heard this n’ no. of times… yet shown some reluctance to believe it. Seriously- have you believed it truly, wholly and utterly? And if yes, how far have you believed it and tried to live your dreams?

Being skeptical on deeming that dreams are not to be dreamt and realized; but just to fantasize… is a most common notion.

‘Dreams’… let’s keep the word as dreams. I do not want to use any of its synonyms, as for the simple reason- it sounds so serene, so pure and thus no other word will complement the feeling so beautifully. I honestly do not want to use any other synonyms for dreams. As this word is big enough, beautiful enough and heroic enough to portray and demonstrate what it is meant for. So let’s address it as ‘dreams’ only… it’s phenomenal.

Dreams- what are they?  A few responses derived to this question are:-

  • Have dreams…. It’s a wonderful feeling.
  • It’s just a dream… can’t imagine of bringing them into life.
  • Had dreams…. Got frustrated in the process of realizing them.
  • Wake up and work towards its.
  • A step towards your ambition.
  • What a waste of time? Just get into some action…

According to me, my experience says that it may have several definitions or ideas; but it yields surefire results. It’s all about taking the baton in your hands- primarily, to dream big, believe strongly and then to shaping it up into realization. When the word

‘Dream’ strikes- for me… is – Dare to dream and most importantly ‘Live thy dreams’!

Dream big and dream more… this substantiates your living. Dreams help you stay alive. You know that you need to attain this dream and you strive in the right direction. Yes, moving in the right direction is significantly important than simply moving. See it, feel it, touch it and hold it… and realize you are very much on the right direction. Sooner or later, your dreams, if executed well, will materialize and will start feeling the sense of achievement… and you will live it. Let it not die and let it not turn into illusion.

If you don’t take your dreams seriously; personally- chances are high that you won’t bother to fulfill it. And after years you will regret for not doing so. Dreams are very personal… it sounds and looks big- when it is backed-up with your effort, exertion and determination. Better try than regret and time has always proven that sincere tries always win.

Having dreams make you sound like a forward looking professional. You, being in any profession, should be having an enduring vision and a clear path for your development. Being a forward looking personnel, helps you to be future proofing and incites you to understand the market scenario, instigates you to be competitive, prompts you to be knowledgeable and arouses you to stand ahead in the business world.

Someone recently asked me: Is there anything wrong, if my dreams change every day?

Here, he was pointing out his dreams, as his ambitions in life keeps changing every now and then. Do you think this sounds as a weakness?

What’s your take on this?

For me- keep dreaming and keep dreaming more… more in your platter empowers you with choices. It’s very much acceptable to keep changing your dreams- change in your dreams portrays that you are very much living and only a living person can imagine and aspire differently. One without a dream is just existing and not living. It’s like an ocean having waves every now and then and thanks for not being the stagnant water pond- where no life exists. Here, if you keep a persistence of dreaming and dreaming big, I need not tell you the difference of just existing and living. Your dreams needs to change and you need to dream every day. It shows you as living and wanting to do various things. Once you have platter full of things, you will ultimately move into the right direction and at least achieve some of the things that you were dreaming of. So, no dreams is no drives and thus no life. Don’t stop dreaming. Keep your dreams alive… this will take you far ahead.

Dreaming is a waste of time… My dreams were never fulfilled? … Another question.

This totally sounds like a frustrated struggler; who had strived but in vein. No positive talks can correct him. Here, a short story of a butterfly caught up in a room and wanting to fly out would at least help the person find some light at the end of his tunnel. It was a dark room and the only light coming in was from the outside glittering world… the butterfly pushes himself hard to fly out to the direction he could see the glitters’ but every time it bangs on some surface and falls down. Little, did he know that he was trying his hard luck every time on a glass wall? He tried persistently, sincerely and with all the desire to be out, but he failed. Finally, it died not even realizing that there was a wide door open at his back; from where he could easily fly out.

What was the reason of its failure?  Less effort, no will or giving up attitude?

No, he had strived hard and we can believe that he had all the quality to reach the external world. But had he put all his effort to change his direction he would have succeeded. When you fail for the first time, second or be it a consistent practice… take two-three steps backward and put a considerable thought on your actions, your directions and your dimensions… stop and identify what you lack and where you go wrong. When you could change this; chances are great that your results will also change. It’s simply the theory of ‘Cause and Effect’.

This context probes me to the wise old saying … ‘Where there is a will; there is a way’-quite dreamy line- isn’t it?? And very true, but with an extension would sound more practical- ‘Where there is a will; there is a way- If not, create one!’ Yes… now it is a living line. It’s very much true that in order to reap the benefits- only ‘will’ doesn’t help; you need to find a way or construct a way. The exercise from dreaming to the living makes it more mighty, more weighty and thus more beautiful. Now, this is what is dream for me! Live thy dreams!

I realized what it means to be a forward looking and wearing the HR hat, it’s one more added feather to be a ‘Forward Looking HR. Undeniably & unquestionably, a fine HR habit to be developed.

I would not want to stop now from looking ahead… I am unstoppable! I am living my dreams and you should live yours.





























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TRANSCENDENCE…the evolution of Transformation


Frederick Reynecke

International Organizational Change Management Institute


TRANSCENDENCE…the evolution of Transformation

It’s got to be one of the biggest frustrations of the last 20 years. This fallacy about transformation has got to STOP.

Of the ‘transformations’ I’ve known and read about, few actually transcended the organization’s operating model, few had clear intentions to transcend outdated business processes, value-chains or social/environmental attitudes.

Remarkable right? But sadly that’s been the truth. Perhaps the instances where system integrator contracts have been cancelled is where the client’s hope was transcendence, not just transformation, and the SI didn’t have that as part of their scope.

Transcendent IT Strategies means getting ahead in the game, not just implementing new technology for the sake of reducing the risk of archaic IT systems, but rather to leap-frog competition by transcending operating models and Function Oriented Architecture. I think when companies like SAP marketed it’s ERP products, they were hoping the market would use SAP projects to truly get ahead in the market place, not just replace legacy systems, doing things the same way.

Cloud Applications are now going to force Transcendence, literally (Perhaps figuratively too) upwards to cloud applications.  Cloud applications are pure in the sense that they have a clear start and clear value-delivery.

Take online recruitment for example. Position becomes flagged as future vacant, vacancy goes online, spreads through for example ‘LinkedIN’ and provides a portal for candidate applications. The hiring manager can vet the CV’s – value is delivered. Where is HR?

So this is really an exciting time for organizations starting up or looking to grow their success. What it means basically is that organizations are going to be forced to get extremely lean and run on Cloud Users alone. Big organizations may not be able to do that as quickly as what small organizations can. I reckon the Fortune 500 cycle is going to spin…

When Charlie Chaplin wrote “A Cog in the Machine” perhaps it could now be a metaphor, and renamed “A User in the Cloud”.


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What’s More Important: Talent or Engagement?


Madhu Rathee


Universal Group Company

What’s More Important: Talent or Engagement?

Talent or Engagement:-Engagement with Talent.

Talent Management with Talent Engagement as a part of Talent management. Finding people with the right talent and engaging them are essential elements of maximizing performance — but of the two, getting the right person in the right role makes the greatest difference.

If a manger is talented he/she naturally engages team members and customers, retain top performers, and sustain a culture of high productivity. And last but not least, they contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers do.

Even I was wondering for the same thing that selecting managers with the right talent for the role or employee engagement? I did many things in my organization including Competency Mapping.

This study revealed something I did not expect to find. While I did not anticipate that engaging managers with low talent would lead to exceptional performance, I did expect it to lead to better performance. Instead, I found that performance dropped by 9.9% for managers (Specially Sales) with low talent and high engagement compared with managers with low talent and low engagement. In other words, without the innate talent to be a great manager, engagement did not result in better performance.

But I would explain that those talented managers are more likely to find a way through obstacles if they’re engaged. Ultimately, talent is accelerated by engagement.

I would say putting people in roles that fit their talent — especially management roles — promotes employee engagement and improved business performance.

Talent and Engagement both are complimentary with each other.

Talent joins a company appreciating the company and its product. As talent engages more fully in company operations, assignments, projects, that appreciation grows. The greater the appreciation, the greater one’s commitment to performing with quality. An employee — especially a “talent employee” — who has the opportunity to perform in ways which she/he sees as valuable consistently seeks to improve that performance.

Talent management looks for quality candidates. Employee engagement turns up that quality.  Successful attraction and recruitment combine for the first step. Once talent is hired, employee engagement strategies increase communication and commitment.

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Why the IOCMI has the Change Field Covered



Frederick Reynecke

International Organizational Change Management Institute


Why the IOCMI has the Change Field Covered

The IOCMI (TM) manifested in a period of uncertainty insofar as Organizational Change Management (OCM) is concerned.  Within the ambiguous loose collection of management practices utilised in the context of

Change/Transformation/Enablement/Communications/Management Consulting etc. services, the word ‘Organization’ was often dropped and it became more and more common to talk about ‘Change Management’ (CM), which is not OCM, but rather a part of the HR Sciences which PROSCI took over so incredibly well, cornering the ‘People-Side of Change’ market.

However, with most Organizational Change efforts failing, clearly there was, and is a problem.  We believe that the reason for this, is that the People-side of Change – ‘Change Management’ was thought to be the silver bullet or scape-goat, for ALL changes. But, because Change Management is seen as a ‘soft’ science and didn’t really have a point of credible entry into strategic and business planning processes – it was setup for failure.

What so often was not realised when Organizational Change was delegated to HR or Change Management Practioners, was that Organizational Change requires so much more attention and investment, then just People-Change Management.

OCM Activities includes understanding what changes across the entire organizational eco-system, not just people, are required to achieve strategic goals. There’s also Mission, Vision, Strategy, Policies, Value-Chain, Processes, Systems, Sustainability, Innovation etc. etc. OCM is all this, AND undertaking the management of changes to all these business areas, not just one.

With this in mind, The IOCMI started with the book “The Principles of Organizational Change Management”, for which I was the unlucky author – taking a stab at what Organizational Change Management is supposed to be, a lessons learned from an immeasurable amount of failures, however diminishing over time, to some wonderful successes.

The IOCMI grew a Board of Advisors with a combined 900 years of experience across 122 countries, fluent in 18 languages.  42 Of these Advisors took up positions as Directors and we never looked back.

Our value proposition which we consider as our contribution to improving the OCM Industry and Organizational Change efforts, covers what we perceive to be an end-to-end OCM Platform which we sum up into 3 constructs:

1) OCM Community, 2) OCM Talent 3) OCM Market.

Within each of these constructs are assets, services and products for people with an interest in OCM, online and real world Change Academies growing a Talent Pipeline, and services and products that organizations can use for Board, Strategic Management and Project environments.

For anything ORGANIZATIONAL Change Management related – we have it covered. We recently developed an OCM Governance Policy which has been well received by the market, and it is definitely the place to start, for doing Organizational Change, right.

If you’re an OCM Professional, OCM Student, or in need of OCM Services, please contact Vinodh Thiruvengadathan on and I’ll be happy to set up a session with respective management and specialist teams.


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Mastering Change: Why Organizational Change Fails


J Kumar

KSK Energy Ventures Limited

Senior Manager – HR

Mastering Change: Why Organizational Change Fails


Most of the Organizations who look forward and wish to be dynamic always welcome changes in the World. The definition of the Organization here means the People who are actually running the Organization at the Top Level and the Strategic Level. These are the so called Visionaries of the Organization who wish to take the Organization to the next level and work towards reaching the Pinnacle and become the Market leaders in their area of expertise

The Actual Process

In this process of becoming the Market leaders and with the zeal of proving their expertise and dominance, most of the key people in the Organization often fail. The basic reasons may be as follows

  • Failure in their Core strengths in terms of their Product Expertise / Domain Expertise
  • Understanding the current systems, processes and policies those govern the day-to-day activities
  • Understanding the calibre of the Manpower available within the company
  • More importantly, the Organization Culture that drives the Company

Any Organization succeeds in handling the Change Management only when the environment embraces the change that is coming in. The People, Systems and Processes shall be flexible and adaptable to the changes. More importantly, ATTITUDE of the key people who drive the change should be positive

The change that is to be introduced should not be revolutionary but should be evolutionary. The change can be swift but cannot be radical which imbalances the total harmony in the Organization


Any Change in the Organization succeeds only when the People, Systems, Processes and the Culture are receptive. Lack of thought and approach shall kills the change and the Organization Fails.

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What you need to do to hire and Retain Top Performers


Jaya Ray

Executive Founding Member

Value Creation Pvt Ltd

What you need to do to hire and Retain Top Performers

Any organisation which is growing or has chalked out a trajectory to grow with a specific business vision and mission, can only do so, if it has strong performance oriented employees to be a part of the expansion journey!

Top performers are the spokes in the wheel of the organisation which is the vehicle that is making this journey. They can only be attracted with the following factors present in an organisation:

  1. Clear focus of the organisation with a well defined vision and mission.
  2. A clear process driven organisation which can define the goals, targets and the way to achieve them. A well defined process will be able lay down the stages that constitute the progress of each department and the employees attached to those departments.
  3. Top performers are generally very restless and always look for avenues to excel and exceed even their own performances and past records. Hence it is very very important , that such people remain highly engaged at all times. Such kind of  people thrive on structured and engaged work environments which give them the impetus and thrust to meet their targets.
  4. Top Employees need to be trained and developed on the continuous basis to enable their capabilities to be evolved. Hence a strong and robust learning and development function is of primary importance for a growing organisation to retain Top Performers.
  5. An open and transparent communication process within the organisation is the next important thing for an organisation to attract the best talent from the industry.
  6. A visible and proven growth rate of the organisation speaks volumes about its history and what it is capable of doing in future. As the saying goes- actions speak louder than words…Hence the point rests!
  7. A dynamic, competitive and employee friendly compensation and rewards structure is what will attract the cream of the sector to join the organisation. A robust rewards and recognition system goes a long way in paving the way for a healthy, competitive and result oriented, happy employees!
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