Friday, 1 October 2010

Leadership @ HR

In today’s business environment, when most organisations realise that their people create the difference between success and failure, strong and strategic leadership from within the Human Resource function is an imperative. In this issue, we have tried to scope the evolution of HR and then define leadership in the context of the HR function as it stands today. While the buzz about HR has been growing across industry sectors, it is only recently that we have seen strong and charismatic leadership come from within the community. We spoke to a host of extraordinary HR leaders across industry sectors to understand what it takes to be a true HR leader in this ever-changing business climate.

Today’s dynamic marketplace requires human resource professionals to have an expanded role in the organisation due to increasing importance of social and relationship capital. The challenge today is to gain and use influence to become a better business partner, to determine the strategic direction and the short- and long-term objectives of the organisation, and to take initiative and lead from the front to use the human resources function to help achieve corporate goals. While aspiring leaders in HR need to be technically proficient in the tools of their trade, they also need to acquire management and leadership capabilities to leverage these tools to produce sustainable and measurable results on the ground. Communicating and constantly upholding the corporate culture to build a cohesive team is an important enabler for driving growth. HR leaders who have made the transition from good to great are more than messengers of corporate culture; they have transformed themselves into evangelists who promote the ethos of the organisation with a religious zeal. An interesting finding for this issue was that most organisations that had great HR leaders had taken proactive measures to deal with the downturn and, but naturally, in these organisations there were fewer drastic measures like downsizing or salary adjustments. The adverse business sentiment also separated the men from the boys, and the better leaders found innovative ways to increase productivity while keeping the workplace energised. Today, at all levels we need committed leaders and managers like them to translate strategies and frameworks into solutions on the ground.

As you may be aware, your magazine The Human Factor has been awarded “The Best HR Magazine of the Year” at the Global HR Excellence Awards. This is a proud moment for us, and I feel honoured to lead a team which transformed the fledgling magazine to a force to reckon with in a matter of two years. I would also here like to express my gratitude to the stalwarts in the HR community who gave us their unflinching support and held our hand when we needed it most. My heartfelt thanks also to you our readers, without who the entire exercise of publishing this magazine would accomplish absolutely nothing. As we move closer to our second anniversary, this award gives us even more impetus to strive harder and add more value to the community.

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