Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.
In the last few months I feel like a personal war has been waged against me. After trying for many years to effect change and deliver value by working with HRINZ, I finally gave up in early 2014. I resigned my Branch Presidency and then my membership.
Instead I focused on some positive ways I could support my profession – by writing articles and blogs, by running the best, practical and unforgettable HR training out there (Elephant after all was named because elephants never forget!) and starting the HR Game Changer movement and conference. I was also excited about the HR people who were keen to start a new entity to make HR chartered – I believe this is what’s needed so that businesses understand the skills and experience required to work in HR.
All in all, I was excited about the future of HR.
Then out of the blue, the first lawsuit came. No contact with me first, just straight to legal action. During it the HRINZ Board and CEO took me and my colleagues to the High Court for an injunction where they chose not to take an injunction, and then made us to prepare for the full case before they withdrew at the last minute. Total cost to us has been around $60,000.
I made a statement about this legal action in a letter I sent out with the HR Game Changer brochure. And a couple of weeks ago, lawsuit #2 hit. The HRINZ Board and CEO are claiming defamation this time.
Over the last week I have done some serious soul searching. This year has been a miserable, depressing time and I’ve decided that it’s just not worth it.
I’ve made the momentous decision that I’m giving up HR.
If the HRINZ Board and CEO wanted to break my spirit, they’ve achieved it. If they wanted to destroy the passion I have for HR, they’ve done it. If they wanted me to see that the worst type of HR behaviour can win out, they’ve succeeded.
I think I might be the only HR person in the world who has been sued repeatedly by my industry body. The emotional strain of law suit after law suit has been horrendous. The financial aspect is also horrific. Even if the other party drop the case, it still costs both of you tens of thousands of dollars that neither of you get back.
But I’ve realised that letting this destroy my health and my marriage is just not worth it. I need to move on.
I am lucky to have met some truly amazing and inspiring HR people who I believe will be the ones to transform what we do. I am struggling to understand those of you who have contacted me to say you completely disagree with what HRINZ is doing, yet you’re paying your HRINZ membership because your company is covering the bill. What you’re doing then is giving HRINZ money to continue to sue me, over and over again, using your membership fees. It makes no sense to me and if I can’t understand why people in my profession choose to behave like that, it’s time I got out.
Why am I telling you this?
The biggest reason is that I want my final few months in HR to be positive ones.
I’m hoping that those of you who want to transform HR will be at the Wellington or Melbourne HR Game Changer conference so we can set a road map going forward of what the future of HR should look like. I will also be finishing the HR Game Changer book that I’ve been writing to capture the discussions and ideas shared at the conference – an HR book shaped by the HRGC community and written for the future of our profession. I want to still be excited about both of those.
What about Elephant? Well we have an absolutely amazing team and I know they will continue to deliver the awesome training, conferences and business consulting that has been helping HR and managers build brilliant businesses. I am very proud of the company I started and I hope that HRINZ will stop taking legal action against Elephant once I’m not involved anymore.
I know they have said publicly that they are happy for there to be another HR entity so they will leave the Association of People Professionals alone.
I wish all of you who are trying to take HR into the future the very best and I will be fascinated to watch from outside of the HR world on how the journey to change the game progresses.
Hopefully I’ll get to see many of you at the HR Game Changer conference to say goodbye in person.
So from me – it’s over and out.