Letters

Congratulations. Your November issue of Management is very good with lot of interesting articles and comments.

In your editor’s letter you say that HR is the term we use to describe the discipline and the managers who manage people. That is the problem! HR people should only manage their own people. People should be managed by their managers, but all managers needs some HR skills or seek the advice and learn from HR specialists.

Heaven forbid if HR people got into the boardrooms. There are too many non-business people in the boardrooms already like accountants and lawyers. The big problem is that very few board members know what it is like to be CEO. You do not go to football match to look at the referees (the accountants), you do not look at the linesmen (the lawyers), the groundsmen (the engineers), the coaches (the trainers and HR specialists) you are looking at the players. Where are the players in the boardrooms? They are not specialists; they are the entrepreneurs, the deal makers, the people who see the half-full glasses, the people who know the market, understand the customers and how to create value for all stakeholders.

I agree with your comments on the transfer from process to people. People are not costs, they are revenue generators. People are the productive asset today and it goes down the elevator every evening and may not come back in the morning. Customers are more loyal to the people they deal with than the company they buy from. People are loyal to their profession not their employer. People are here today gone tomorrow. The talent market is more competitive than the customer market etc etc.

The most successful companies are those with line managers who are good people managers. Good at coaching, mentoring and performance management. They know the basic skills in recruiting, development, outplacement and remuneration. They seek specialist advice from HR people who keep themselves up to date with the latest legislation. We need business people in the boardrooms, not support specialists.

Stig Ehnbom
General manager
NZIM Auckland

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