One of the things that drives me crackers about working in HR is how lots of people are constantly looking for the “transformational” thing.
“We need a transformational strategy”
“We need a transformational approach to performance management”
“We need a transformational approach to resourcing”
You know what I mean.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for HR being front and centre in terms of enabling business and organisational improvement but this obsession with “transformation” is, at best, misguided and, at worst, downright fraudulent.
“Transformation” is one of those phrases that gets used so often within HR that its real meaning has either been diluted or become meaningless. It’s one of those phrases that, like some Pavlovian switch, has lots of usually smart and intelligent people nodding sagely. It’s become the motherhood and apple pie de nos jours, the buzz phrase that we are all in favour of:
“Hey, how’d ya like some transformational HR?”
“Some transformational HR?! Man, I’d LOVE me some transformational HR!”
“Transformational HR? Gimme some of that!”
The problem with this of course is we can barely articulate the actual intent and logical conclusion of what we are transforming from and to. It might make us feel good, for a short time, that we believe we are doing things that are seismic and work that matters, but to non HR people, it just makes us look like characters from a Dilbert strip.
We need a new lexicon.
We need to stop using pointless buzz phrases.
We need to do things that are real and credible.
We need to do HR that works.
Is this too much to ask?