Lateral Leadership

Stay focused.
Don’t lose sight of your goals.
Distractions will only slow you down.
Worry about your own business, not someone else’s.

These are great little sayings…if you’re not a leader.

A Broader View
The world has become very specialized. Academic programs, computer programs, physical training programs, and on and on…all target very specific skills or areas of interest. The same holds true in human resources. We have specialized many of the functional areas of HR in order to provide expert service to our customers. There is nothing wrong with that, unless you are in a human resources leadership role.

Why? Because in order to be a successful HR leader you must be able to see your company through an organizational lens, not a human resources lens.

“Tunnel vision is a blessing and a curse…on one hand you are able to focus your energy and resources to achieve important objectives; while simultaneously missing other critical factors that directly affect you and your team’s success.”

What’s Your Viewpoint
Seeing both the end point and the never ending stream of variables hitting us each day is a skill we are not born with…it is acquired through glorious failure after glorious failure. That’s why failure is so helpful! Let’s take a look at a relevant HR example:

An employee needs to be terminated, and even though the documentation is clear and the process has been followed, there might be other considerations. 
Question: Will terminating the employee today compromise the weekend staffing plan and otherwise create a much larger problem?
Answer: Assuming safety and gross negligence are not involved, it is essential that HR discuss the operational impact with the Department leader before finalizing the timing of the termination. It may be best to wait a few more days.

This is taking a lateral view in an HR world that clings to a tunnel vision perspective.

How About You
Are you so caught up in doing the right “HR thing” that you are inadvertently losing credibility because you’re out of touch with your organization’s operational reality? Add a lateral view to your HR practice and challenge yourself to see things differently.

I’d love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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