Why are Foresight and Insights Ingredients for Success?
“Successful HR Leaders combine business and people foresight and insights to effectively implement innovative talent, structure, processes, culture and leadership practices.”
Last week I talked about the ingredients for success which makes HR Leaders Successful: Their Personal Reputation. The second ingredient to this recipe is the HR professional’s ability to understand the business, its people, the stakeholders and the trends unfolding within the industry. Professionals unable to cultivate these elements may find themselves at the losing end of the bargain.
Just a decade ago, Blockbuster ruled the movie rental business and was valued at $5 billion in 1996. A year later, Netflix launched its DVD-by-mail services and it didn’t seem to have a chance with its stocks being labeled as “worthless”. Yet over a decade later, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy while Netflix gained leadership of the industry.
So how did a company like Netflix succeed in beating such a strong competitor like Blockbuster?
Fundamentally, this happened because the leaders understood emerging trends and the changing needs of the movie rental business.
And what is it that HR Professionals need to build on their HR brand?
The key ingredient of foresight and insights. Here are a combination of what makes this ingredient absolutely essential:
Stakeholders have vested interest in an organization. HR leaders are dealing with a multitude of stakeholders whether it be line managers, employees, investors, media, community, etc. As an HR professional it’s upon you to understand and identify the needs of the stakeholder. With that understanding you’ll be able to deliver in accordance to their needs while keeping in mind that your services are of value to them as end users. In essence, you use your ingredients for success to help them achieve theirs.
If you don’t understand the business you can’t add value. HR is in no way separate from the business. Hence, in order to align itself with the business it needs to have a sound understanding of what the business is as a whole. This includes the business model, products/services and capabilities needed to succeed in future.
Think of your organization as the human body with different departments acting as the organs that function distinctly. To keep the organization healthy and fully functional HR is responsible to keep a check on its pulse. This helps to understand employee’s expectations, the engagement levels, relations inside the organization, etc. Lately there’s been a lot of buzz around Big Data in the business world. HR too needs to keep abreast with its own analytics and metrics in order to remain relevant and stay in touch with changing trends in recruitment, talent management and other key aspects.
As the cliché goes: change is the only constant. With constant evolutions and changes in HR any professional who refuses to evaluate the future is on the brink of failure. Blockbusters’ shortsightedness played a significant role in its decline, whereas embracing the future helped Netflix adapt to changes for the better.
Leaders need to understand ingredients for success using future trends identified by information and data. Similarly, incredibly successful HR leaders keep a hand on the pulse of the organization and are always hungry for foresight and insights that’ll define the future.
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