10 years on The future of HR : Moving from HR Business Partner to HR Entrepreneur
The HR Business Partner model has now been with us for over 20 years. In 2011 after my role as Global Head of Talent and Leadership at UBS, attending David Ulrich & Wayne Brockbanks HR Business Partner programme in Michigan, developing the first national leadership and talent strategy and guidance for the NHS, working on developing parts of HR into an Organisational Effectiveness team at RBS Investment Bank and other projects it became clear that, for various reasons, the HR Business Partner Model wasn’t reaching its full potential.
Why was interesting. Having attended the official HRBP programme with Dave Ulrich and spent 2 weeks with him it became clear that the problem was not his model but the failure of HR teams to implement it in the way he laid out. I had repeatedly seen HR teams moving to implement the HR elements of the model without any action on the fundamental first step Dave sets out, to truly understand the business in real depth, and its end customer and only then to implement HR activity precisely aligned to deliver on that and strategic objectives.
To address this problem and ensure greater HR focus on organisational outcomes I developed the HR Entrepreneur, based on the development of Entrepreneurial Leadership in UBS, now a Harvard Case study, and supporting more business focused HR. I promote the HR Entrepreneur to HR audiences around the world and the feedback shows it works ! So I thought on the 10th anniversary the original article from HR Magazine was due for a celebratory republication !
But the fundamental question remains. How many HR teams are HR Entrepreneurs or even implementing the HR Business Partner as Dave and Wayne originally intended ?