September 13, 2009
hr 2.0

HR in a 2.0 World: Leading vs. Following

Dave Ulrich is right when he says “HR holds the key to an organization’s future success”, but alas, I believe that this prophecy will only ring true if HR itself becomes ambassadors of a 2.0 world.

Recently I delivered a presentation to roughly 100 leaders in and amongst the HR ranks.

3 key points I raised included:

  • The “2.0 Train” has already left the station; HR better be in the engine car and not the caboose/brake van
  • HR cannot be followers in the 2.0 world; they must be pioneers AND shepherds of the vision
  • 2.0 for HR is not solely about technology … it can be defined as follows:


Each of these six “2.0” components have a very specific purpose and thus outcome, but it’s the HR function itself that needs to ensure they are all tightly aligned so that we can actually achieve an Organization 2.0 vision.

NOTE: I will describe my own personal thoughts for each of these six “2.0” components shortly – stay tuned.

In a way, Don Tapscott and Tammy Erickson over at nGenera might refer to this as Collaborative Enterprise Management. Maybe it’s aligned to Jon Ingham and the Human Capital Management strategies he suggests.

Either way and whatever theorem or concept you seem to fancy, the HR function has to get out in front of the 2.0 wave and lead it throughout the org. Quite possibly, it will find itself becoming redundant if it doesn’t.

7 Replies to “HR in a 2.0 World: Leading vs. Following”

  1. Ahhh, thanks for the correction Jon. And yes, I agree – social capital is the nugget I’m referring to. Thanks for the articulation.

    Perhaps we could/should refer to it as Social Capital Management (SCM) going forward … and HR can be the pioneer/shepherd of its goals, objectives, vision, etc.

  2. Hi Dan

    I saw a guide recently, a basic intro to Web 2.0 for HR managers. What struck me was how basic it was; which immediately made me think surely of all the business areas, HR should be leading the revolution – more so than marketing. I’ve checked Jon’s blog often, even namedropped him in the piece I wrote about HR 2.0 following my dismay at the dummies guide: We’re currently putting together a web 2.0 human capital portal for HR managers – doc viewers, sns, auditing tools (to which the Ning is a taster) – and are looking for the latest thinking to inspire our members (it’s a free resource). I’d love if you would be kind enough to check it out when it comes online late Sept?

  3. There is (in my opinion) really a lot of work to do with respect to

    – org charts
    – work design and job descriptions (including their purpose and structure)
    – compensation philosophy and practice (almost completely, in most organizations, geared to job size / level in hierarchy .. see job eval’n methods and how they need to be changed, consider new forms of what is known as “broadbanding” combined with competency and / or results-based pay) .. etc.
    – Performance management schemes (interestingly, with the relatively widespread practice of 360-degree feedback schemes, this is closer to 2.0 world than other HR methods, although how objectives and learning contracts are developed will need to be explored and examined
    – recruitment, orientation, initial learning curves
    – HR pros as knowledgeable 2.0 agents who can help / support line management with work design, learning issues, pay practices, etc. (this is a big area, I’d spend some time doing pretty extensive re-tooling of some key HR change agents)

    Anyway … my guess ? Lots of work to do. As a generality, HR started talking about becoming business partners and change agents quite a while ago (Ulrich was a leading champion back when), but significant change in the perception (very important) and capability of many HR professionals is a real issue. You just have to look at the development path and all the HR discipline content they get before they end up in a mid-level or senior HR role 😉

  4. .. not to mention the (general and specific,both) coaching of managers and what management means in an interconnected, interlinked, flows-of-information workplace environment.

Leave a Reply

Pre-Order Now!

Dan’s 4th book is now available for pre-order. Publishing September 29, 2019.

Buy Dan's Books
Listen to Dan's Podcast
Read Dan's Column On