…So this morning I read a great piece from CIPD here that examines the changing role of the HR Business Partner, and why some organizations have been more effective at cultivating the talent pool required to be successful in these roles than others. From the piece:

In many cases, however, there has been a failure to understand the business partner role and how it differs from the old HR model and then match this to existing HR capability. The simple fact is that the ‘ask’ has risen faster than the capability of many people in HR to deliver it. As a result, many HR business partners have been unable to deliver what is required in the role or have dumbed down the role to a level they are comfortable with but which doesn’t deliver what is required by the business.


This isn’t just about a competency framework; it’s about being realistic about the level we are asking people to operate at. It’s become unfashionable to use tests of verbal and numeric reasoning skills, but perhaps we should look at more sophisticated and rigorous ways of assessing what level a person can operate at. We are letting our people and the business down if we recruit people to do a job they simply can’t do. Levels of work suggest that by far the best predictor of success in higher complexity roles is judgment – but this is rarely assessed.

and finally:

It is very difficult to send someone on a programme that develops their intellectual capability or their systemic thinking ability. But these capabilities can be more swiftly developed through a broader career-pathing approach which tries to develop perspective (for example across different functions) and hence judgement. But this takes time and our research shows that this kind of development is the least often used by HR.

…So what’s powerful about the above is that it frames the matter of experience in a different way than I normally see it talked about. By instead tying the importance of good judgment to performance, the author (1) highlights the reality that not every person can develop the capabilities to be great at every role, and (2) highlights the reality that developing the capacity of talent can only come from giving them the high volume of ‘reps’ required to get good.

This may all be a roundabout way of saying that each organization needs to (1) recognize its talent’s strengths / weaknesses and (2) give its talent the targeted development opportunities required to reach their full potential. *But* this advice is easier said than done. It requires an organization to (1) really knows its people and (2) really understand what drives success in every role and what someone needs to be exposed to properly develop.