why did we decide to team up and write this book? What was our motivation? There were three clear reasons for investing the last several months in writing this book.
In the early days of our work as HR professionals, all three of us have encountered internal stakeholders who asked us some very difficult and uncomfortable questions about our work, our contribution and the reason for our existence.
These interactions impacted us quite deeply and fuelled in us not just a sense of anger but also a sense of pride and a burning desire to establish, in our own small way, a positive impression and perception of what an HR professional can do. As we look back, we have left many who have engaged with us, convinced about the value that this profession and its practitioners can deliver. We see this book as a great way of passing on not just our insights and experiences but also our sense of hope, optimism and pride about who we are and what we can do.
In the past few years, we have been working with hundreds of HR professionals to enhance their capabilities through bespoke in- house programmes as well as public programmes. The experience of conceptualising, designing and delivering these programmes over these years has given us a rich repository of insights and perspectives. Equally, the process of thinking about HR has only contributed to our own clarity on a number of issues that are of relevance to the HR community. We felt that this book could be a great platform to share some of these insights.
Organisations in India have done a lot of innovative work in the field of HR, but they have been too modest to talk about it. As a result, there is a continued reliance on experiences reported from other countries to tell us what is right and what is not. It is time that we in India craft our own theories and ideas. This book is a modest attempt in that direction.
This book is meant for anyone who is a people champion- managers, leaders and of course HR professionals-who have or would like to champion any aspect of people management. This book is especially targeted at the young HR professionals. It is our firm belief that the perspectives and views these young HRprofessionals subscribe to will eventually determine their attitudes and orientations to the function.
It is our hope that this book would help any people champion to:
Develop a more balanced view about the function, including a sense of pride about what has been accomplished and optimism about what the function can aspire to achieve. Embrace a contemporary view of the function that is appreciative and contextually relevant but also grounded in reality. Understand the real needs, issues and challenges of the function and respond in a way that makes sense for today and tomorrow.
Bring focus on the competencies that need to be developed keeping in mind current as well as future needs and demands. Understand, apply and practise the science and art of HR in developing solutions to contemporary issues.
This is the very purpose of the book.
With our collective experience and continuing engagement with businesses and the HR function, we would like to put forth our insights and perspectives in the hope that it will be of some value to HR professionals who are either starting off or are in the midst of their amazing career journey.
Having worked in HR and been HR professionals all our lives, we don't just feel competent but also passionate about doing this for the future generation of HR leaders. This is our inspiration.
List of Abbreviations
Contributing Organisations and Leaders
Part 1. HR Refreshed
1.Through the Eyes of the Beholder
4.The Doing, Feeling and Thinking Paradigm
Part 2. Bringing People on Board
5.Planning in Uncertain Times
Part 3. Managing People
8.The Spectrum of Relationships
9.Learning, the New Way
10.Beyond Managing Performance
11.Money and Beyond
12.Managing the Moments of Truth
Part 4. Management and Leadership Development
13.Aspirations and Needs
15.Institutionalising the Process
16.Developing Managers and Leaders
Part 5. Making the Organisation Effective
19.Contributing to Leadership Effectiveness
20.Shaping the Way Organisations Work
Part 6. Managing the Relationship with Employees
22.What Really Matters
23.Towards Progressive Employee Relations
Part 7. The Making of the Quintessential People Champion
24.Advancing in HR
25. The Young HR Professional's Readiness to Serve
26.The CEO's Schooling as a People Champion
About the Authors