Friday, 11 September 2015

“Reinvent the Principles of Human Resources to Grow as a Soft Leader” ―Professor M.S.Rao

“Take away my people, but leave my factories, and soon grass will grow on the factory floors. Take away my factories, but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory.” ―Andrew Carnegie

Human Resources (HR) is the backbone of any organization as it deals with all aspects of employees from recruitment to retirement including wages and welfare. As the war for talent is high globally, HR is more focused than ever before. Presently there is a drastic shift from manual workers to knowledge workers worldwide where people aspire to become consultants rather than contractors. Additionally, the aspirations and expectations of the employees are rising rapidly.  

Men versus Machine

Previously it was the machine behind the men counted. But presently it is the men behind the machine counts. Organizations are crying for talent. There is scarcity of right talent globally and it is a great opportunity for the right talent to explore and grow globally.

There is a limit to machines but there is no limit to human potential as human potential is infinite while the machine potential is finite. Elbert Hubbard rightly remarked, "One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man."  It is a fact that machines can be handled easily whereas people cannot be handled as people have different emotions, egos and feelings. Handling them is a very challenging task as they have different expectations and aspirations. Knowing what motivates them is another major challenge. At times they don’t gel well with other members in the team and leaders find it very challenging to lead and retain them. Here the role of HR comes into the picture to handle people from entry to exit effectively. Additionally, the HR must reinvent with latest principles and philosophies by keeping pace with the expectations and aspirations of all stakeholders, and to stay ahead of times and technologies.  

Irony of HR

The job of HR is highly glorified globally. But most HR leaders consider it a thankless job as they have an impression that they remain as king makers and queen makers and cannot become kings and queens. They create CEOs but they cannot step into the position of CEOs. They serve as ladders for the growth of others to the tipping point but they cannot reach that level. It is the irony of HR.


Renee West quoted, “You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.” Hence, emphasize more on people, not strategy. Emphasize more on men, not machine. Reinvent the principles of HR to stay ahead of your times and technologies. To summarize, your most valuable asset is your precious human resources. Make sure that they go home happily and return to office with excitement. Remember, your employees are your brand ambassadors. Care for them; respect them and retain them to accomplish your organizational goals and objectives and to grow as a soft leader.

“I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not on strategies.” ―Lawrence Bossidy, GE

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
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