Oracle/Taleo published a great PDF talking about survey results on the perceptions between CEOs, CFOs, and HR. It's a great info graphic to look at. Click here for "The Relationship Between C-Suite & HR".
Several years ago I spoke at a SHRM chapter event about HR vs HC and who should be in the C-suite. I'm so pleased to see this gaining traction now!
The PDF shows a few interesting trends, none of which are too surprising:
So none of these are a surprise, right? We have traditionally groomed HR people to be almost solely focused on transactions and process. These skills are inherently clear to any one who hires and works with heads of HR. In these times of regulation we need individuals who can focus on the transactions and process to keep companies compliant. So why would CEO's and CFO's, and other c-suite executives, look to the head of HR to be in the c-suite? It takes a totally different skill set to manage and balance the strategy of people and business.
Enter - the Chief People Officer
This is the individual that C-suite executives need to bring to the table, a new breed of individuals who understand business and its drivers but also understand the issues around people strategy, not just the process and procedures found in HR. The CPO works WITH the head of HR, but is a completely different function. The CPO, like their other c-suite executives, works cross functionally in an organization, looking at the macro people issues (HR being only one of those). The smart CPO is watching global industry trends, understands the business and its key drivers, works with leaders throughout the organization and is not "tied" to the HR organization alone. Some of the key responsibilities of the CPO include:
These key functions, along with other ones, should be the key focus on the Chief People Officer. Just like the emergence of the C-Technology-O, the C-Marketing-O, or any other relatively new "C" position, the Chief People Officer is not the Head of HR, but a new emerging position that the C-suite needs to consider.
Really - it's new. The "human capital" space, if you take out the HR (transactional) aspects of human resources...the idea of 'human capital' is really still very new. We are going through the exact same industry life cycle as the eLearning space did in the late 90s and early 2000s. It's rather interesting in fact to see just how similar it was.It started with the term 'eLearning' and now our term 'human capital' and what does that really mean? Many are still trying to define it.
Then it moved into learning metrics and measuring the effectiveness of eLearning....now we have human capital metrics conversations. But the first eLearning metrics were really about capturing 'butts in seats' and 'page clicks' and 'course satisfaction'. All of that has moved into much deeper analysis of effectiveness of training, multi-modal learning, and all sorts of awesome things that people like Elliot Masie and others spoke about in their "Future of Learning" type sessions in the late 90s.
At the same time that the metrics concept was emerging, so was the incredible boom of eLearning technology companies, LMS systems, and the like. Both delivery systems and tracking systems are popping up by the dozens.
Then the mergers & acquisitions began... HC companies buying each other...then the integrations of LMS companies with human capital systems too. The SAP acquisition of SuccessFactors, then the Learn.com platform (eLearning system) acquired by Taleo (HC system), which was then acquired by Oracle - that's just one example.
Then I would say, the calm settles in and true growth begins. Social media and other ancillary applications are integrated into this more robust systems. But what is truly great is that really cutting edge technologies emerge. The eLearning space has some amazing high tech applications with virtual reality training, things resembling Google glass....really cool, really immersive learning. It connects people in ways we never imagined and just look at what eLearning has done to higher education, home schooling, and even public schools now.
So what does this mean for the human capital space? My prediction is this... by 2020, human capital transformations are going to impact the business world in ways far more significant than eLearning has transformed education. The HC growth curve is going to be steeper and more impactful on business management than eLearning has been for education. I'll write some thoughts on my predictions soon.
Amy Riccardi is the Chief People Officer and Founder of HCM2020. She's a guest lecturer at Georgetown and George Washington Universities and works with executive teams and CEOs to help scale and grow their business.