HR function has moved from strength to strength and evolved
continually in its pursuit to deliver value to its stakeholders. From
Industrial relations to Employee relations, from emphasis on a physical
employment contract to psychological contract, from a commodity oriented
fragmented approach to well-structured Talent Management & Organization
Development framework, from traditional tools to research backed, technology
driven, high end learning ecosystem – HR as a discipline has indeed come a long
way. The greater glory, however, lies not in the past achievements but in
shaping up and owning the future.

How exactly can HR then lead organizations down the path to
greatness? The answer can be found in the world around us. We always have these
members in our family, neighborhood, at work or in our friend circle that come
to be called by people around them as “Great” or “fantastic”. They possess
great skills and when these add up together, it creates an organization that
delivers greater value to its clients and the communities it serves.

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In my experience, the two important attributes that great people
demonstrate consistently are – “knowing well the people they work with” &
“Empowering and encouraging people to live their passion”. Great people work
hard to better know the community that they operate in. They respect the
diversity of the community, provide a failsafe environment, embrace new
technology and through various means; enable and inspire the members to follow
their dreams. Amidst this, they also challenge people to own their actions and
be accountable. Interestingly, these attributes align very well with the
concept of leading from behind. For HR to be great, it will need to create,
nurture and sustain a culture that produces leaders, who lead from behind and
not just recognize but also, wholeheartedly celebrate the spirit of leading
from behind.

In the VUCA world that is marked by sweeping changes, HR will do
well to create programs and mechanisms that help employees find their feet in
the ever changing business environment, collaborate rather than compete, learn
/ unlearn fast and innovate continually. The future is digital and speed to
market is paramount. HR as a function will need to lead the organizations
efforts to collectively improve the “Digital Quotient” and promote a “Digital
First” mindset. It is a long walk to greatness and there is no better function
than HR today to build and strengthen the organizations’ bridge to the future!