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soy sauce

i like the articles,Bob Sutton’s Top 10 List is intresting!


An interesting list but let's follow Ulrich's questioner and his response and pop up a level: for those principles to be applicable a company has to decide to follow them. In other words good HR tactical principles depend on the strategic credibility and impact of HR. But my response would have turned it around. HR like many other functional specialties, e.g. IT and logistics, doesn't have more clout because it hasn't earned it.
You earn it by a)speaking in corporate wide language - what impact can/does/should HR have on business performance. All the questions and points you're making strike me as functional implementation issues. Now there are big picture issues such as work, workflow and team design for blue collar work, devising ways to manage the knowledge worker who's supervisors won't necessarily understand his work, associated challenges in team and workflow design, compensation and coordination across organizational boundaries. That leads to major questions about appropriate org design from a strategy perspective, skill development for knowledge workers, managers and top executives and many others. It turns out I've had to wrestle with those in every organization I've been involved in and we never asked HR to contribute and HR made no effort to contribute.
Hmmm....what's wrong with this picture?

Ajo Cherian

This is a great list and I learned a lot from it. Every one of us human beings is flawed in some way, and depending on individual persons or talents to fix flawed systems is just compounding the problem I think. I am starting to learn that the greater good comes from creating strong networks and systems in an organization, rather than the power of individual people.

Cecelia Ghezzi

I find your list to be very true, and if all HR companies followed these guidelines, their companies would probably be much more successful. Can you elaborate on #5? The comment "fight as if you were right, and listen as if you were wrong" is interesting. Do you mean have confidence and be open-minded? Thanks.

Mark Allen Roberts

I wouldlike to see one that says something about tearing down the dysfunctional silos and insuring we win and lose asa team as discussed in my blog: Silos are Great for Shooting Missiles not for growing Market Leading Organizations, “Tear Down Your Dysfunctional Silo’s and become a Market Leader

HR can play a strategic role in helping organizations become market leaders.

Mark Allen Roberts

Netra Macon

I would agree with #7 but what people fail to remember is that a performance review is the end result of a means. That means is-coaching and feedback which should have taken place everyday wether it be to say; "Good morning, I noticed you implemented this new time table into your presentation which makes it flow better," or "Good Morning can we discuss your presentation? I noticed you made some changes that will work well, may I ask some questions that the audience may ask to help you." Or just simply "Good Morning, How are You?" We live in a time where people forget how to enjoy the now and the journey, as someone pointed out to me last week. She was abosolutely right. I'm very passionate about coaching and feedback; if managers did this more often most of everything else on your list would be a no brainer.
I've realized as an HR Manager it's the connections and the journey that I enjoy. We forget about the human touch/connections we make each day and think we are doing a great job when we send out an emai. Which is a whole other topic in itself.

Thanks for Sharing.

Marty Jordan

Number 10(the reverse of it that is...)has been on my list of "truisims" since the days of my grad school training in organization development. I don't know who to attribute this to...but it is a quote I heard in one of my classes. In conversations I've had with managers, it has always got them thinking differently about their "people" problems. The doubt a bit of a paraphrase by now...if you put good people in a bad system, the system wins most every time!

Susan Penn

Hi Bob: Great list, and especially profound is the "bad is stronger than good" comment. How many times are good people brought into a bad situation with the weight being on new talent to "expel" the problem, sometimes merely by being there and training for the person's position. Not a good start, and the new hire feels the burden and the guilt! Good HR leaders don't weigh down new talent to the organization in this way.

Great points, and I appreciated and enjoyed the comments from your experience in Singamore.

Nicolay Worren

Dear Prof Sutton,

I agree that these are assumptions that may need to be challenged. As an organisation design specialist, I particularly like the last one that focuses on systems. However, there may seem to be a slight contradiction with number 7: The review system (I would call it the performance management process) is also a "system" - ? I have yet to see a good proposal for what could supplant the performance management process (other than the boss' intuition about who deserves rewards etc, which is even more problematical).

Bret Simmons

Love the list, Bob. My favorite is number 10. We know this is true, but why has the focus on talent and strengths become such a frenzy? Is fixing crappy systems really that difficult?

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