This article first published at The HR Agenda Magazine [January-March 2014 issue].
Every year, on the occasion of delivering the traditional State of the JHRS Community Report on the pages of The HR Agenda Magazine, The Japan HR Society (JHRS) chooses a simple but powerful word or phrase that best describes the community’s collective aspirations and goals for the year ahead. In 2012, we chose Thankful!; in 2013, Onward and Upward!; and, for 2014, we dare to boldly declare: “Be Relevant. Be HR.”
How do we become relevant? Let me propose three ways:
Become Relevant as a Profession
In the past year alone, the pages of this magazine have featured a number of articles that focused on transforming the role of HR in Japan into that of a more strategic business partner rather than that of a mere pencil pusher or “organizational police.” Whether you accept it or not, the inconvenient truth of the matter is that HR as a profession will only become relevant to an organization if it actually delivers real value to the organization.
Again, HR must always remember David Ulrich’s famous quote: “HR must give value or give notice.” Below are some suggested readings that might help drive this point into our subconscious:
• HR Business Partnering: The What, Why and How
• KL Calls HR Business Leaders: Global HR Excellence Conference
• Forget HR Strategy!
• HR Business Partnering: The Global Hokey-Cokey
• Does HR Belong in the Hiring Business?
• HR as a Business Leader: Going Beyond the Psychobabble & Esoteric Nonsense
• Why are You in HR? A Hint – It Shouldn’t be Just About the People
For this issue of The HR Agenda Magazine, we look deeper as we bring you articles on the more advanced, avant-garde HR practices and tools collectively called HR 2.0. Read each of these articles, learn from them, and most importantly, put your learning into practice. If you need help, contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). JHRS can help!
Become Relevant as an HR Professional
If HR is to become relevant as a profession, it goes without saying that the people within the HR function also should become relevant as HR professionals. To do this, we should be investing in our own professional development so that we can be equipped with up-to-date and business-relevant HR 2.0 practices, tools and techniques to meet the expectations of the business and our stakeholders.
Go for an MBA (if you don’t have one yet), take an HR Certificate course via JHRS Academy x TUJ or JHRS eAcademy x eCornell, or if you really want to have a globally-recognized HR credential, get certified by our alliance partner, the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), and join the elite pool of HRMP, HRBP or GPHR professionals around the world. Click here to learn more.
The message is simple: if we want to be treated as “professionals” by other professionals (e.g., lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc.) then we need to think and act like professionals. Integrity and credibility can’t be freely given. They must be earned.
Become Relevant as a Community of HR Professionals in Japan
This year we will be celebrating our seventh anniversary and there is no better way to celebrate our collective achievements than by reinforcing and invigorating the JHRS community as a whole and advancing our basic strategy of expanding and getting recognized both domestically and internationally so that we can continue to be a thriving and relevant community of HR professionals in Japan.
To date, we are proud of our institutional partnerships with TUJ, eCornell, Knowledge@Wharton and HRCI. To the best of my knowledge, no other HR association in Japan has worked so hard and come so far in providing Japan-focused HR professionals with platforms for continuing HR education, an HR credentialing system and Japan’s first and only bilingual HR magazine.
"This year we will be celebrating our
seventh anniversary and there is no better
way to celebrate our collective achievements
than by reinforcing and invigorating the
JHRS community as a whole and advancing
our basic strategy of expanding and
getting recognized both domestically and
internationally so that we can continue to
be a thriving and relevant community of HR
professionals in Japan."
And we are just starting. In the future, we envision JHRS becoming an institution where government and business leaders go when they want to consult or get expert opinions on HR-related matters affecting the industry and the country. We aim to be the Keidanren or Chamber of Commerce for the HR profession in Japan.
Since our founding, our vision and mission has remained (and will continue to be) the same: “To become an exponent of growth and progress for advancing the HR management practices in Japan.” We believe that by being authentic and being steadfastly committed to our core principles in everything we say and do, we become relevant.
So in 2014, we do have one important New Year resolution to make: “Become relevant or be irrelevant.” I choose to become relevant. What about you? Click here to vote for your answer.
BE RELEVANT. BE HR.