Back from Istanbul – and the future of HR

I’m now back in Copenhagen after a nice, sunny flight home from Istanbul. Most of the way, I could look down on a snow-covered Europe which looked amazingly beautiful from 10 km up.

The conference was a great experience which touched on the many themes that are (or are becoming) central to HR, such as:

  • Innovation
  • Talent development
  • ROI
  • Organizational culture
  • Eliminating bureaucracy
  • Leadership

I went out to dinner thursday evening with a group of other speakers and we ended up talking about what the common, unifying theme of the “new HR” might be.

It will probably surprise noone, that I believe that unifying theme to be happiness at work. The basic challenge of modern business is to activate the full potential of the people who work there. For this to happen, peope need to be happy. It’s that simple.

This makes happiness both a goal and a tool, and it is my claim that happiness at work will become the most important strategic goal of modern businesses over the next few years.

I also predict that we will see a trend, where happy companies will put unhappy companies out of business, simply because happy businesses are much more efficient and profitable. It’s no contest.

What does this mean for the future of HR? I think it mainly requires a new focus, namely this:

The role of HR is to make people happy

If businesses make this conceptual leap and start prioritizing accordingly, we will see HR becoming an even greater asset than it already is and we will see many workplaces change for the better. And it’ll help the bottom line.

3 thoughts on “Back from Istanbul – and the future of HR”

  1. Alex, wonderful to see your new blog format. And, as always, wonderful thoughts from your lively mind.

    Fascinating prediction – especially as it touches on the role of HR.

    Unexpectedly, at least from my perspecitve, I have found an eager audience for my brand ownership model among HR professionals. Part of this is due, I think, to the fact that I argue for fully engaged human workers – i.e. happy ones!

    Again, good to read your various posting!

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