The HR function of a business, for the most part, has been seen as a secondary support function, set in the ways of the past. A forsaken support function, usually the first to get the blame, but never the first for businesses to invest in and give attention to. However, with advancements in technology and transforming mindsets, people are putting more focus on getting the entire workforce to perform more efficiently.
Given the unrelenting competition in Asia, human resources matters now more than ever. There is a need in this day and age, particularly with technology-driven disruption, to have HR leaders who can properly shepherd their people and drive results.
Leaders of Change
Innovation acts as a catalyst for change and sometimes with change there can be a discontinuity with the old ways and models. The Business Times has this to say: “Organisations that are actively embracing digital transformation and new technological opportunities are seeing significant, measurable results and gaining a competitive advantage.” For this reason, it is imperative that leaders are prepared to navigate an ever-changing and unpredictable environment.
New technology has the power to change the status quo. While previously, the HR functions of businesses used to be the last to get any kind of technological upgrade, widespread HR technology solutions are sprouting up and making a difference in the HR space.
HR Leaders and leaders alike cannot be complacent – they must be continuously prepared for new challenges and transforming the workforce to fit the new needs of the market. There is a high price to pay for not being prepared – 40% of Fortune 500 companies that existed in 2000 were no longer around by 2010, and that rate of extinction has held. Corporations like Blockbuster, Blackberry or Kodak that did not transform quick enough, have been swept away by other companies that were primed. It is important for business leaders to understand developments and analyse the strategies they have in place and determine the right HR technology solutions to engage.
Engaging Employees and Cultivating Leadership
While the push to think disruptively must come from the top, there is a need to engage the workforce for the best results. In a MIT Sloan Management Review, author Jane McConnell emphasised the importance for leaders to practice participatory decision-making. By engaging the workforce, management can tap into a great source of information on clients and competitors and market intelligence made possible with the latest HR tools.
Taking inspiration from some of the major tech corporations like Google, which puts emphasis on treating their people well, leadership style in Asia can also be less directive and more transformational, where leaders inspire their team through effective communication and create an intellectually stimulating environment. Future-ready leaders will be capable of providing direction, alignment and commitment in their teams, establishing a culture of engagement.
Leadership needs to be cultivated while embracing disruptive thinking. The ability to think disruptively can help leaders create value in new ways to support long-term growth. HR Leaders need to have a plan for a range of scenarios and be prepared to look beyond long-established models.
Disruptive leadership is not about change for the sake of change. It is about integrating change into the modus operandi of the company. A dynamic HR leader will have to deal with a variety of competing priorities, especially when all the responsibilities can seem so pressing.
Disruptive leadership translates into action and delivery: a leader will act with speed, urgency and decisiveness. They will be able to interpret and visualise the future, while engaging employees and key stakeholders. They should have an adaptive mindset in a disruptive environment with the ability to continually re-position the business. Progressive companies are focusing on the development of their leaders and those who want to succeed should follow suit.
This article is a guest contribution by DecodeHR
DecodeHR is a Human Resources Consulting firm that thrives on working with companies who are passionate about realising the best in their people. We provide strategic advice and high-impact HR solutions to clients and our forte is leveraging technology to augment human capital solutions. DecodeHR distils the best global practices to bring to you practical solutions for maximum impact.
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