Sunday, March 27, 2011

Do HRM Centers of Excellence Lead to Mistrust?

Over the years, many organizations have reorganized their HR functions to create Centers of Excellence. Of course the people not in the center are what? Are they the left-over non-excellent people or non-excellent functions? The labels used create a two-tier system that may be leading to a slowing down of the HR function. That's because going fast in HRM requires a high level of trust, and if one party is excellent and the other is not, it does not lead to an environment where people are willing to work together and do what it takes to improve, innovate and speed up. This line of inquiry comes from the work I've been doing on Fast HRM. This work uses agile and extreme programming to help speed up any organization process that involves people. It's about speeding up the HR processes themselves and other people-focused initiatives which HR may or may not be involved with in an organization. However, as this work evolves, and as I see how HR slows down and speeds up a business, I can't help but wonder if the evolution to Centers of Excellence is getting in the way. It seems that Fast HRM needs a new organization design; it needs an HR function that is close to the customer, and it requires HR professionals who completely trust each other so they can move work quickly from one to another. This does not seem to be happening in the traditional Center of Excellence vs. "others" HR group. However, I'm not in the HR trenches like many of you are. Let me know what you think. Please share your stories of what's happening with the HR movement to Centers of Excellence.