Revisiting HR 2.0

HR Strategy HR Technology

I’m not sure anyone knows what HR 2.0 actually is.  I’ve taken my shots a few times, but more often than not I’ve been talking about HR’s role in innovation.   Terrance pointed out a conversation that’s been going on at Linked-in that I found interesting.

First, there’s a guy over there that is claiming to have created the concept of HR 2.0.  This is like Gore and the internet.  (I like Al BTW)

The response that really interested me though, was this one:

If HR 1.0 has been characterised by a focus on the individual (performance management, talent management), HR 2.0 needs to focus on building social capital, at least in the UK and Europe where individualism is not the dominant force.

By Social Capital I’m referring to the sum total of relationships within the business. In that sense, if what we might call HR1.0 has focused a lot on individual talent, HR2.0 (in Europe and the UK at least) will have to focus much more on building productive relationships.   ((Retrieved from Linked-in Answers))

I like this response because it doesn’t really talk about the further transformation of the HR function.  Sure enough, benefits can get better, and maybe we need to find better ways of managing performance and such.  But the key is HR’s growing involvement in what makes the organization actually work.  I’ve talked about innovation networks and collaboration networks.  The author above is talking about the same thing – how we in HR can get involved with our employees to create relationships that are meaningful to the organization and it’s product.

What is web 2.0?  It’s the collection of collaborative technologies that happens to have manifested itself in the rewriting of the languages used to program it.  At the core it’s still the same, a collection of sites and addresses and content.  But how those sites, addresses and content relate to each other and how we relate to them has changed completely.  I believe it’s the same for HR 2.0.  HR may undergo some minor function transformation, but the real transformation will take place in how we and our customers relate and interact.

4 thoughts on “Revisiting HR 2.0

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  3. Quite right. I think the new frontier is linking talent, knowledge and networks. To be at the forefront of this change, HR indeed has to evolve in how it interacts with its customers and the kind of service it brings to them.

    I do not know if HR 2.0 is more than a buzzword. But I know that the role of HR has to evolve from identifying and promoting individuals to producing powerful social organizations.

  4. The comments on social capital remind me of two things. Some years ago, the Marine Corps changed its training to concentrate more on group performance, especially problem solving in groups. And GE’s Jeff Immelt has identified training and performance measurment that are too individually focused as something he wants to change during his tenure.

  5. One of the key elements of the “insert your word”-2.0 movement is the inclusion of the user as collaborator. Whether it is product design, customer service, innovation, etc.

    “X”-2.0 means in my mind the user has more input and decision making than ever before. While the current discussion centers around the technology – the real issue is that employees are creating their own networks outside the company – networks the HR folks aren’t privy to. They aren’t “linkedin” to the networks of their employees.

    You’ve posted before on this – the HR function needs to enable – not create or dictate – the employee experience.

    (Warning: shameless self-promotion to follow.) Two years ago I wrote a white paper that addresses just these issues as it relates to the transformation that is occurring in companies today.

    HR2.0 is about enabling, listening, responding.

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