Holding up the mirror

HR Business Partner – the modern court jester in companies?

This is a contribution by our guest author Christoph Henties. Christoph already published the three-part “Organisations Learn Jazz” in June this year. We are very happy to have him back this week.

Recently, in a conversation with an experienced, committed HR manager, she quoted one of  her superiors: “Our job in HR is solely to implement the board’s decisions and measures.” I visibly felt the restrictive effect of this statement of loyalty to the hierarchy on my interviewee. The disappointment at neglecting one’s own ideas for constructively shaping creative personnel work for employees and the organization was all too noticeable.

The concept of the court jester came to my mind: a figure who could tell the authorities unpleasant truths without fearing the consequences. This figure could mention the unspeakable. It had the task of telling the ruler the truth, had the freedom of fools.

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You can stay the way you are! – ?

The trainer has organized a transfer exercise in the seminar so that the participating manager can translate what he or she has heard and said to his or her working environment. Unfortunately, this transfer does not always work to everyone’s satisfaction. The manager takes it upon himself to change special points in his own behaviour, to organise himself more efficiently or to introduce new methods. But this often does not work as ideally conceived in the seminar. Then the environment was often “to blame”, which hindered  the application of new approaches. But that is only half the story.

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