Who is responsible for people and culture in your organization? Is that considered the purview of HR? Or is it more correctly viewed as the responsibility of all people managers?
Ron Ashkenas tells the story of Harris Corporation, which has figured this out as it evolves HR to help all managers take accountability for their colleagues and the overall culture of the organization:
“So HR’s evolution … does not just concern changing HR. It’s also about helping managers take more accountability for people and culture, and eventually blurring the rigid distinction between ‘HR’ and ‘management.’ In fact one of the key contributors to success at Harris was much greater rotation of people between HR and the line organizations. This has created an environment where there is less ‘HR-talk’ since managers and HR people have common perspectives and language.”
This blurring of lines is critical not only for everyone taking responsibility for creating the culture they live and work in every day, but also for taking advantage of the unique talents and influences each person brings. Bill Kling, founder and president emeritus of the American Public Media Group, recently explained how in a New York Times “Corner Office” column:
“I don’t think that there is one formula for leadership. There are cheerleaders who are really good at motivating people. There are innovative leaders who are really good at conceiving of products or spotting talent and who have a great vision for the company. There are leaders who are strong on personality, leaders who are strong on creativity. Some of the most effective leaders don’t fit a mold.”
Who do you look to to lead the culture in your organization?