Brace yourself for an unpopular opinion. As a serial HR Director, I had always maintained that strategic HR, its alignment with organisational strategy and impact on organisational behaviour wasn’t really that complicated at all. Not many people agreed with me. Other HR directors didn’t like my assertion I’m assuming because, if I was right, they would have to admit that they weren’t dealing with witchcraft-like complexities beyond the mortal capabilities of other people. And nobody likes having to drop the curtain, Wizard of Oz style, to reveal a perfectly ordinary set of buttons and levers that anyone can pull.
In fact, I’ve long been an advocate of the devolution of HR into the management line (a fancy way of saying let everyone be responsible for pushing some of the buttons and pulling the levers). Some of the business managers I have worked with embraced the opportunity to take care of their own people fully. Others reacted as if I had suggested they perform open heart surgery on their own children using only the items available in their desk-tidy. In order to try and gain some momentum for my unpopular opinion, I realized I was going to need some relatable examples of what I was talking about.
At this point, as has happened so many times before, television came to my rescue.
During one particularly intense, ice-cream fueled, Netflix session, inspiration struck; the examples were all around us! Further, being the person who loves to stretch a metaphor so thin that birds accidentally fly into it, I knew that comparing popular TV shows with Very Important and Serious Business Stuff was going to be the way to make my point.
Motivated, determined and armed with a fresh tub of Ben & Jerry’s, I grabbed my remote and got down to some highly scientific research. The following series of articles are the result of this research. The sacrifices made by my couch, my eyes and my vitamin D levels were great, but will all have been worth it if any of you, my dear readers, are inspired to learn more or think more about how HR strategy shapes behaviour in your organisation.
Articles in this series:
Episode 2 – Mayday!
Episode 3 – Narcos