The source for many of my posts over the years has been the local churches announcing their upcoming sermons for the Sunday services and this one is no different. Originally I thought about this in a different context but the events of the past week have changed my focus.
We are involved in an ever-changing world and these changes require that we change our focus and approaches in order to successfully deal with those changes. They require us to change our corporate culture. Newton’s 2nd law of physics tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The difficulty comes when those changes are not carefully thought out. We can’t afford not to make the changes we also can’t afford to jump to a change with out considering the long-term impact of those decisions. None of us is immune from this formula.
Scenario 1: Organizational change
We will be the first ones to tell you that in order to create an organization, that is thinking strategically, is innovative in their actions and aligned with the business objectives, we need to change the culture of the organization. But those changes need to be designed around the voice of the customer. We need to change our culture to be more aligned with the entities who are paying for our services.
These changes can’t be arbitrary in nature and they must have a foundation in creditable, verifiable data, which indicates why we are making the changes. We need to be able to demonstrate how this will make the organization stronger going forward. As we look at the problems confronting the organization we take clear steps to define the problem, measure it affects, analyze the results and improve the process so going forward we can control the waste that the customer will not pay for.
Part of that analysis segment is that we must look at the range of solutions and choose the one that will meet the desired output with the least amount of upheaval to the organization wherever possible. We need to understand the consequences of our changes.
Scenario “2: The SHRM announcement
This past week we have been given the opportunity to see the title of this blog post in action. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced that following a three-year review they were going to create their own certification program in place of the one that is conducted by the Human Resource Certification Institute. They further have in essence done everything in their power to exile HRCI from the SHRM membership. Over the past week we have been exposed to in essence an adult version of the children in the sandbox.
Lets look at the action. SHRM contends that the changing nature of the workplace requires the establishment of a certification which judges you as a HR professional based on your competencies in the HR field rather than the “knowledge.” They contend that the current certification platform is not testing competencies.
The reaction has been fairly quick across the social media world. The action has been met with concerns, multiple questions about the process going forward and how the re-certification credits will be handled. This is of special concern to me as I hold the certification and our training programs carry pre-approved credits for the attendees.
Here is my take on the situation.
First, the current certification process has been accepted throughout the industry. Just turn to the open HR positions and see how many are asking for the certification as part of the job requirements. SHRM’s actions have done nothing to confirm for the corporate world how this will need to change.
Second, the HRCI certification programs have been around for many years, and are accredited by the various professional certification entities. Nothing in the statements have indicated that SHRM has taken the steps to ensure that it made the same efforts to get the new certification accepted by these same organizations.
Third, from a personal view, my intentions going forward are that I will maintain my HRCI supported designation. Further in October I will submit our training programs to HRCI for 2015 credits. As or the new certification program I am waiting for more expansive details regarding the program. The contents of those details will decide whether I seek dual certification in this field. I already have three certifications, so the case for me to take a fourth has to be really conclusive on how it will benefit not only me, but also the profession as a whole.
The next time you make a decision to take an action to improve the organization, it is critical that you explore what equal and opposite reaction. Whether we are talking about the organization or a profession, while change is mandatory, be sure that everyone understands the reasoning and the details in the facts rather than blanket pronouncements of the intended change. With proper preparation those equal and opposite reactions can be positive rather than negative , strengthening the organization in the long run.