News & Insight
September 2007

Human + Resources = ?

Bill Morin<br />Chairman & CEO<br />WJM Associates

“Human Resources”—What an odd coupling of words representing the people ingredient of business and organizations. We call all sorts of inanimate, inhuman things resources, but then we also call human beings resources.

When you really think about it, HR is really “THE” resource. Nothing begins or happens without the human element and yet we have labeled it as some foreign object… resource.

In today’s world, we have come up with all kinds of new HR buzzwords such as, “Talent Management”, or “Chief Learning Officer” as if they were different from the Office of Human Resource Management. Let us set it straight. Human beings as resources of talent happen to be the key factor in all things. Any other sense of what is important, i.e. profit, product development, sales, etc… falls into a deep void when discussed without considering the human condition of an organization.

How many meetings are held daily that focus on the bottom line, top line, or product line, and often dismiss the human line? Yes, we speak of the team or individual that will complete the task, but not in actual supportive ways. We tell or direct people but rarely ask what they or their team will need in terms of resources and support to get something accomplished. Somehow we take it for “granted” that the human resource will get it done.

It is strange however, that HR is still considered the “odd” management silo. You have production, operations, marketing, sales, legal, etc…, but when we think of HR, we think of things like feelings, rules and regulations, labor relations or training. We don’t think of the cost of finding talent, the price of losing talent, or the bottom line impact of talent “not” being ready to manage the business.

HR should be the first thought, not an “after-thought” in building an organization.

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