HR blogger Laurie Ruettimann has a post up where she declares the complete automation of HR is near: She of course goes on in the post to explain why the function is on the brink of irrelevancy, citing problem factors like a lack of gender and racial diversity at the top, the general dislike many employees have for their HR departments, poor use of recruiting tools etc.
I disagree with Ruettimann’s assertion that HR is on the brink, but it’s a quick, interesting read so check it out here.
…With that said, what I personally found most interesting about her piece was when she said “HR mistakes proximity to power for power itself.” This quote resonated with me, because in my experience I’ve found it to be unsettlingly true: most of my friends and associates are HR people, and when they describe what they do and talk about their work there’s often a strong emphasis on who they report to.
…As a compensation guy I happen to be a big fan of reporting up to major executives (having a highly paid boss generally tends to be good for your own salary), but reporting up to a major exec doesn’t necessarily correlate strongly with having actual power.
I spend a lot of time thinking about (and testing out) what it means to influence, how to do it, and how to maximize your influence to make the largest possible impact(s). With that said, I feel very comfortable saying the following: Proximity to power doesn’t equal power. Power equals power.
Closing, Ruettimann was definitely right about one more thing she said in her post: Most people don’t add meaningful value via their work: If you want to gain influence, be one of the people that does.
…I can’t think of a more reliable way to become powerful.
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