HR Leadership: Capability vs. Expertise

I’ve had this HR gig for a long time – even longer considering I don’t even really like HR. Actually, what I don’t like are the conversations others are having about us and the conversations we have amongst ourselves.



Others say we can’t solve business problems, we don’t have the language of the business or we are stuck in an administrative support mindset. And we believe them! Our conversations are woeful and lost. We need to stop that right now and start speaking with pride about our profession and applauding our accomplishments.

We need to step up our leadership game.

Whether we are preparing a workforce succession strategic plan, developing an innovative approach to increase veteran hiring, analyzing workforce trends to identify recruitment and retention hot spots, digging into big data or making progress on the diversity front, skills alone are never enough.

Organizational leaders want more than capability. They want expertise. They are waiting for us to speak from our position as expert, offer points of view and challenge assumptions. It's integral to HR competency.

Pick a day, any day, and welcome to our world as HR leaders. As chief human capital officers, human resource directors, EEO managers or brand new human resource  generalists, we are expected to advise, identify risk and recommend.  Focusing on the technical aspects of the job alone will not get us to where we need to go to impact organizational performance.

Our work puts us at the center of the action where we are perfectly poised to lead. I challenge you to up your leadership game. Are you up for the challenge? 

Shout Out: A Day in the Life Sunday

I took a few days away from my regularly scheduled programming at the office to attend the Federal Workplace Conference and Expo. 



The Federal Workplace Conference is becoming one of my favorite federal conferences. The topics are relevant, the presenters experts and session after session, the labor relations/employee relations monster in me was satisfied with expert opinions and current case law updates. 

Knowing that technical expertise alone is not going to get us to where we need to go in facing the challenges of declining budgets, increasing workloads, an aging workforce and outdated or inadequate human resources systems and policies*, a human capital management (HCM) track was added to the sessions. I had the opportunity to work with Dan Gephart, Editorial Director, LRP Publications/ cyberFEDS® in developing the HCM track.

As a speaker and attendee, I can say that the planning and execution of this conference was first class. I'd like to thank Dan, his team and LRP Publications for producing the event and for the opportunity to participate.

* Bracing for Change: Chief human capital officers rethink business as usual