A key role of the human resources team is ensuring that the organisation has the right people performing well in leadership roles at all levels. This means HR must focus attention in five key areas, including job architecture, incumbent assessment, performance definition, recognition, and leadership capacity. In the terms of leadership capacity, HR bears the responsibility in defining and building the backbone of transformative and systemic leadership model and thus identifying new leaders of organisation who can:
- Contribute effectively in defining the company’s raison d’être.
- Monitor the consistency of leaders positioning relative to other company objectives, and defend their reputation with identified partners, communities and social networks.
- Cast aside dominant traditional standards and customs to rethink the strategy and develop innovations.
- Integrate multigenerational challenges.
- Determinedly get people engaged, stimulate the most committed employees and assist the most fragile or resistant members of the organisation.
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To achieve the points above, HR leaders will need to cross some unknown problems that might occur along the way. Thus, defining the right method to build and develop a leadership model in which HR will play a key role-counts as much as the target itself is of necessity. For example, HR can give managers a chance to try new ways of doing things that should help them cross the unprecedented challenge, such as follows:
- Allow managers to assess the personal transformation they must undertake and realize. Without this individual realisation, there is a very real risk that routine will take priority over the best of intentions and trivialize the desired objectives. In deconstructing dominant models, it is important to try to anticipate the “We’re already doing that” argument to help people imagine other ways of doing things. These efforts should help managers recognise and assimilate general transformation objectives and lay the groundwork for the attainment of the desired target, as well as the path to get there.
- Complete individual learning with a collective test & learn dynamic driven by the most motivated employees in the best position to propel and embody the desired new postures. This fresh impetus must be supported by a shared mindset in which people assist one another benevolently to accomplish established objectives. Within this framework, each individual plays a part in moving the group forward. This practical mindset must support all transformation initiatives. The best way to turn learning into a key transformation driver and make initiatives as inclusive and relevant as possible is to promote “test & learn” systems to develop collective intelligence, as defined by the philosopher Jürgen Habermas.
It is then up to top management to play an active role in setting the stage for learning on the individual and collective level, akin to what teams are doing at the lower echelons. Top management must also engage in a continuous and iterative transformation process to challenge existing systems periodically and transform them when necessary.
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