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From human resources to resourcing humans

Georgina Wright

In this blog, =mc’s newest Learning & Development Consultant Georgina Wright blogs on the exciting journey from extinguishing fires to preventing them.

Why am I dealing with this issue again? Why am I hearing the same complaint that I heard before? Why are people unhappy about what that their manager keeps doing? Why are managers unhappy with what their teams are doing? And most importantly, why am I having to pick up the pieces and smooth things over again?

This was my very own Groundhog Day. The loop that my life kept going around in, working within the HR departments of several demanding organisations. And it was the reason I decided to move from being a ‘Human Remains’ generalist (as I once unforgettably heard Human Resources described) to specialise in the Learning and Development arena. I became driven to help prevent the same mistakes being repeated for millennia to come. Or at least that’s what I aim to achieve!

You see, I don’t believe that people are born inherently bad, or don’t want to get on with each other. Nor do I believe that (most) people become managers to boss people around. Or that new managers become devoid of compassion or emotion on the day of promotion. Just as I don’t believe that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and that everyone hates their boss.

I believe that people generally (and yes, there are exceptions to every rule):

  • Have good intentions
  • Want to contribute to the greater good
  • Like working together
  • Have blind spots
  • Are only human, feel pressure and get a bit stressed or anxious from time to time
  • Might not be able to manage their time as productively as they could
  • Aren’t always able to express themselves as clearly, confidently and effectively as they might like
  • May not have the confidence or skills to help others be their best
  • Might sometimes get a little too caught up with themselves to see what else is going on around them

And from here stems many of the reasons that managers aren’t always as good as they could be. Or why teams don’t always perform as well as they might. In a nut shell, I have all too often seen one or more of the following contribute to my very personal Groundhog Day:

  • The inability to collaborate effectively – “It’s my way or the highway”
  • Not having a shared sense of purpose or a shared vision – i.e. not understanding the ‘why’
  • Ineffective and unadaptable communication skills – with a ‘one size fits all’ approach
  • Little or no self-awareness of one’s impact on others – “What’s your problem?’ syndrome
  • Inability to manage conflicting demands and time pressures – where we lose control and things cyclone into stress & short temperedness
  • Poor feedback skills – where the only way is down, and generally just the ‘constructive’ stuff gets said
  • Not playing to each other’s strengths – leading to ineffective delegation, uneven workloads and resentment

Rather than trying to cure these ailments after they have damaged a team, I have decided to move from the frustrating, dark side of Human Remains, into the light of Learning and Development. With a proactive approach to people management, I pledge to prevent these ills before they have time to take hold, to build capacity, knowledge and skills of all individuals I come in to contact with,to get managers in to great habits with the best tools, skills and knowledge that I have available. Finally, I pledge to systemically change organisations through their greatest asset – their people – in order to transform their performance.

I think it’s going to be a long and exciting journey – and I’d love you to join me.

To prevent your own Groundhog Day, and to find out more about how I can help you, view my biog, contact us or follow me on Twitter.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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