The Volatilities, Uncertainness, Complexities & Agilities were hard experienced by the Corporate World in 2018. What is in store in 2019 is the question bothering all industries, sectors & the professionals in it & CHRO's are no exception. Recent State level elections results & the heat of 2019 general elections are on & felt day by day. Upcoming budget & its expected provisions are being speculated in corporate war rooms & strategies to combat & exploit them earlier & better than competition, are being churned. With this context, let us take a look at what is in plate for Indian CHRO's as we have already entered in challenging & equally exciting 2019. They need to both, enable the achievement of FY 2018-19 results & strategize them for FY 2019-20, soon. Two-way approach is used, "Flip way" as a true professional developmental approach & "Flop way" is taking realistic view of internal undercurrents, cultures & legacies which can't be ignored. Both ways matter. While strategies on talent war, employee experience & making great place to work shall remain worthwhile in the decade, focus is drawn on few non-negotiables for 2019. Objective is to balance "what need to go right" & while working on it "what can go wrong?" which can be addressed appropriately.
1. Grab, explore & exploit disrupting technologies growing faster than human imagination.
Flip Way : Based on the sector or industry you lead, partner its immediate adaptation & drive the change upfront for its "First Time Right" execution. There is no second chance given the killing competition. If already in, raise the rigor & make it happen visible enough in 2019.
Flop way : Realistically assess internal functional acceptability, credibility & capabilities to lead this change. As a Leader influencing change for better is expected yet take calculated risks given constraints in all fairness. Play safe yet firm in the larger interest of the Organization.
2. Partner in managing global compliances, taxation, trading & pricing patterns
While these are not direct HR functions yet being on the table, items already on the plate yet business critical today.
Flip way : Extend direct or indirect support to business through people side of the expectations. Bring/Buy/Build talent that can lead these changes if not already done. Focus entire leadership development efforts on them as a priority. Ramp up efforts to build organizational capabilities around. Indulge, Influence & impact business results in this space.
Flop way : If do not have freedom to do so, tap internal resources including ex-employees for which internal acceptance would be easy. Extend developmental support to internal teams at your earliest. Strengthen systems & their effectiveness in execution. Drive related internal change management upfront with business rigor.
3. Delivering on Workforce diversity
Flip way : Human Capital is an Asset & a major Cost element. Its productivity & availability is critical. Its composition has no boundaries today. Go beyond traditional & build it in all possible combinations, at your earliest. While Quality & Productivity are must, focus on Agility, Adaptability & Flexibility as a major selection criterion both internal or external & as the focus for its development.
Flop way : No adventures if internal culture limits your efforts. First build a business case, assert with ROI & then take next step. Plan B, revisit existing workforce composition, its practices & explore options to build flexibility in it best possible. Start from own function to lead by example & to build credibility within system & for your voice to be heard later.
4. Prove HR Contribution to business
Flip way : Building HR's analytical capabilities & technology adaptation is non-negotiable in 2019. Based on internal need, capabilities & resources, chalk out HR strategy & take initial firm steps. Exploit the power of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Cognitive Analytics to organizational advantage by leading this upfront & also within HR. Demonstrate measurable impact on business through HR (Quality, Cost, Delivery & Sustainability).
Flop way : If no genuine business case to go for latest technologies, do not follow rat race. Rather sustain efforts to IT enable existing systems & build Analytical Thinking capabilities of the function & make talent MIS robust enough to provide right information to management as strong decision support system.
5. Build & sustain Gender diversity
Flip way : As a critical to business aspect of Diversity, work on it on priority. Replacing retirees, certain percentage of campus hires, making a plant or unit 100% gender diverseare few ways CHROs have explored in 2018. Shop floor, Field Force, Corporate functions, all roles for that matter can be looked at across levels through Equal Opportunity practices. It helps enrich Culture constructively for all stakeholders & is a compliance too.
Flop way : Drive POSH in an open, objective & transparent manner end to end. Be a watch-dog to ensureright environment prevail to voice right concerns & a robust mechanism is in place to address them. Be also watchful that it is not mis-used by internal - legacies, muscle power & power-politico relationships to settle personal scores from either side. The credibility of internal checks & balances as perceived by the stakeholders, matter. While the above mentioned five challenges are not new from ones in 2018, it is the depth & breadth to which it is going to impact organizations in 2019, make them a priority. The Flip & Flop ways warrant attention in 2019 as any mis-calculated professional adventure can hit & impact our career given the level at which CHRO's operate. While flip way can flatter & flop way can shatter us, taking due diligence of both can sure help BETTER us, our profession, career, credibility & business at large.