I recently stumbled across an oldish (late 2015) but excellent executive summary of a Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) sponsored event examining the changing role of the HRBP. You can read an overview of what the event covered here (and the full executive summary here), but one of the things that stood out to me in the overview was the following section:


^This section jumped at me because – in as much as the focus here was on HRBP knowledge transfer – the highlighted section is really true of *any* leadership role. Whether an organization has centralized decision-making processes or more decentralized ones, to execute on any activity of importance a leader has got to understand the socialization and organizational alignment process (to both ensure support from other key stakeholders and to flush out any institutional issues that might otherwise disrupt a change midstream). Understanding the knowledge level/needs of key stakeholders and making sure the message flows upward and outward to them in the right way is also key. And doing this wells means understanding how each audience differs, what they care about, and what knowledge they do or do not have. From there, the message must be tailored appropriately for each intended stakeholder.

…So at this point you may be thinking “this is table stakes stuff”, and in many ways it is. And yet when I think about the most effective teams and organizations I have worked with compared against those that have been more dysfunctional, for a surprising number of teams within the latter group some combination of effective relationship management/streamlined decision-making was missing. That lets me know that addressing this issue is easier said than done.

Okay – so I suppose my thought questions to readers today would be as follows: Do teams need to discuss information flow and decision-making as part of the onboarding process for new hires? If so, at what level does that start? And on a related note how explicitly does the socialization effort and communication strategy required to advance an idea need to be called out when working through key project milestones? I would argue that maybe it needs to be called out fairly explicitly, because in a lot of cases at all levels I believe this stuff is being considered tacitly understood knowledge when it really isn’t.

Let me know what I have wrong here…

Happy Wednesday.