Business as a foreign language for HR professionals

Today in Human Resource Executive Online I eagerly read a post titled Is Business a Foreign Language for HR?

Anyone who has seen or read my blogs knows, I’m pretty insistent that HR (organization development, organization behavior, training, diversity, compensation) does not deserve a place at the table until HR understands the essentials of business:  finance and sales.

The article brought a deeper perspective:

According to Dave Ulrich, “we have consistently found that knowing business is not as highly ranked as a predictor of HR effectiveness.” Much more important in determining an HR executive’s effectiveness is whether the individual is viewed as a “credible activist” — someone who offers a point of view, takes a position, and challenges assumptions. They practice HR with an attitude, and are able to influence others.

The article brought to light something new that I appreciate:

…knowing business (finance, marketing, operations) is the ante, or ticket, of admission. Without this knowledge, HR won’t be included in key business discussions where they could provide a point of view, take a position, or challenge an assumption. And, if invited, they won’t be asked to stay.

I hope you enjoy Is Business a Foreign Language for HR? and the call to arms to amp up our business acumen as much as I enjoyed it.

Here is a link for a free subscription to Human Resource Executive Online, a great publication for anyone who wants to be a human resource professional.

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