The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology


Cycling Concepts and HR: It’s Not About the Bike

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I’m most certainly an advocate that the greatest, most expensive bike you can buy simply must make you faster.  You’ll obviously climb better, sprint faster, ride longer.  I support this model by having a very nice bike, custom built by one of the world’s best welders of titanium, built to my exact specifications.  I even had my own custom built wheels using components most people have never heard of (even for cyclists).  So there’s a point here.  Undoubtedly I look good (actually there is some doubt here).  But whether I’m actually faster and better is certainly debatable.

For HR, we have technology tools that support our service delivery.  Technology is often slick and sexy.  We can sit around and automate processes and transactions with our managers and employees.  But at the end of the day, if the service delivery model is not the right fit for the organization in general, we’re missing the mark strategically.  All too often, we see technology as the way to get to strategy, and it’s honestly what every technology vendor will tell you.  “We’ll free up time and money be helping you get more efficient so that you can be more strategic.”  Well, if you don’t know how to be strategic, and then if you don’t know how to deliver strategy, then the technology really didn’t make much of a difference, did it?

Once again, technology is seen as an enabler of a bit too much.  I’ll admit that it’s a critical component that you probably can’t do without if you’re trying to transform the delivery of HR services to your organization, but it’s not the complete answer.    When you address “getting more strategic” this involves a very large number of items to address, from your staffing model to the staff competencies itself, from the new processes you use to the behaviors that enforce adoption into those processes, etc…  Technology is only the beginning of a restructuring exercise that you’ll be going through to achieve your final end state.  Like the bike, it does not make you faster and better.  Like the bike rider, getting fit is about the rider, not the tools.

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2 responses to “Cycling Concepts and HR: It’s Not About the Bike”

  1. hn Avatar

    Nice metaphor. Well said.