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Rosabeth Kanter on Change & HR

Last post August 6, 2009 07:17 AM by rkuppili. 1 repiles.

August 4, 2009 03:42 PM 1
Total Posts: 34
Join Date: September 18, 2006
Rank: Executive
Post Date: August 6, 2009
Posts: 34
Location: New Zealand

Rosabeth Kanter on Change & HR

Dear HR Professionals,

Find below quotes mentioned by Rosabeth Kanter on Change management and HR (Courtesy:

Some interesting quotes from the interview are :

"The human resource function faces many challenges today. Technology threatens to replace the administrative functions and the very success of certain ideas means that line managers do them, not human resource executives, so I think there is a question about the future of the profession."

"There was a time when they(HR) definitely dropped the ball on quality. Twelve to 15 years ago human resources could have owned quality, but many companies appointed a "Czar of Quality" who came out of engineering or manufacturing. The human resources profession was not ahead of that issue even though a great deal of quality practice had to do with empowering people to solve problems, training people in new methods, and creating more teamwork. Similarly, knowledge management tended to be led by people from IT rather than HR.

Some companies valued the HR executive enough to change the title to Vice-President for People. Southwest Airlines for example, is held up as a role model where the HR executives were really partners with a very entrepreneurial CEO in figuring out how to implement programs. So there have been examples where the culture-building functions of HR has meant that the function has played a leadership
role, including questions of change and capabilities for change. "

" The role of HR may be very different in future. I have worked with an unusual European firm that has won many awards because of a large- scale transformation over 10 years which dramatically reshaped the culture, professionalized management, created innovative products and provided better service to customers. The human resource executive was a partner with the CEO in carrying that out. HR
decided that their field was so important it should be a business in and of itself. They set up a service centre and gave it a new name. Now all of the HR professionals offer themselves as a professional consulting firm selling their services on the market, and the business units tend to buy from them. That is one model for the function. It keeps it very professional. They have to be ahead of the business managers in thinking about what they need. They are taking on change management, knowledge management and other areas in which they can make contributions.

In other cases I am seeing that parts of the HR function, such as administration of compensation and benefits, are getting outsourced. I don't want to sound naïve, but why should compensation and benefits administration be under the same executive as legal compliance, change management and building cultures? If you ask who
the customer is you'll see it really is different. The HR function has been schizophrenic. In some cases it is serving management trying to lower costs, while in others it is serving government compliance issues and in yet others it is serving the employees and trying to get great things for them. "

"Build a function that people rotate in and out of from line positions. A full-time, long-term career only in HR is not healthy either for the business or the people in it. Some of the best companies I know have people in senior human resource jobs who
haven't spent their whole career in HR, they have line management experience. It is also very healthy for line managers to have to grapple with the people strategy questions."

Hope you enjoy the whole interview !


August 6, 2009 07:172
Total Posts: 121
Join Date: September 18, 2006
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Post Date: August 6, 2009
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Re: Rosabeth Kanter on Change & HR

An inspiring article ofcourse...