The HR Hammer: Lance Haun on The Problems We Have Are Human Problems

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February 17, 2013 by michaelchanrubio

When you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. To that degree, I think people in human resources think about business problems as human problems. We take the mantra of people as our greatest asset and turn it on its side to diagnose problems.

  • Are we hiring the wrong people? We need to train managers again!

  • Problems with the quality of your product? Put in better supervision and training!

  • Bidding out projects isn’t going as well? Time to talk to Jim and Jane again about doing a better job!

Lance warns not to frame every problem as a human problem, as I’ve experienced and learned that human behavior in organizations are also effects of the systems (processes, tools) in place. These things can determine norms and actions and therefore business results. He then goes on to distinguish with a finer focus the human elements that exist when beset with systemic constraints, and where we can act as managers — or as HR practitioners, how to advise management.


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