The Future of HR

The Future of HR initiative kicked off in early January 2011 at Sony Pictures Entertainment with a meeting of practitioners and faculty from the Center for Effective Organizations. This initiative began with a basic framework that recognized that unearthing the most vital factors defining the future of HR would require considering HR as part of a larger system. The group identified Co-creating with a broader community, Innovation, Employee value proposition, and Collective leadership as four priorities for the initiative moving forward.
After the one-day event, two working webinars were held to broaden the practitioner contribution to the initiative. John Boudreau and Ian Ziskin have since broadened the scope of the initiative based on these and other discussions with practitioners to include other future facing issues and began to take a deeper dive on the four priorities mentioned above. This culminated into the six themes below and the creation of a Consortium.

  • Hero leadership to collective leadership
  • Intellectual property to agile co-creativity
  • Employment value proposition to personal value proposition
  • Sameness to segmentation
  • Fatigue to sustainability
  • Persuasion to education

This is a consortium of like-minded organizations, exploring the future of HR, organizational effectiveness, and environmental dynamics. Most “Future of HR” efforts focus on important issues such as HR competencies, functional organization, strategic partnership and measurement. This project is different, because it will focus on emerging dynamics that are often “white spaces” in the current perspective of the HR function, but in fact will define and shape its future. The objective is to define the leading edge and help organizations diagnose how prepared they are to address it.

The focus issues being examined are:

  • Gamification
  • Globalization
  • Big Data
  • Mass Customization
  • Open Source Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Personal technology
  • Social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  • Generational Diversity

A selected team of HR leaders from each of the eleven organizations in the consortium are participating in several survey-feedback sessions over the next several months. They have created internal communities of thought-leaders on these key issues,and have established a network of like-minded HR professionals in other organizations. This provides a perspective on the future of HR that is unique, expansive and encompasses vital issues that will soon emerge as pivotal to HR success.

The survey-feedback initiative is based on the ongoing research and publications of John Boudreau and Ian Ziskin on the future of the HR profession, published in journals such as Organizational Dynamics. Read the article The Future of HR and Effective Organizations.