I came across an interesting comment recently from Annemie Ress, Former Global HR Director of eBay and Skype, when asked what she expected the HR trends of 2016 to be:
“While success in the 20th century was driven by process, structure and encouraging people to function more like machines, success in the future requires us to make more of the human side of business*”
As the HR Manager of a rapidly-growing business like Black Swan this idea struck a chord with me- the human side of business being the part I’m most interested in- and it got me thinking about what this could mean for the ‘HR’ of the future.
Much more than being the business’ watchdog, more and more HR is becoming about how to equip people with the right skills to be able to perform their job better. This doesn’t have to automatically mean packing people off on training courses; instead it should focus on the identification of the human skills in a team and how these can be harnessed and the team shaped around them. Another observation Ress made was that increasingly the structure and rigour of organisational charts, reporting lines and set departmental functions do not translate so well into a modern business. Does it really make sense to group Sales with Sales and Data Science with Data Science? Or is that just the way it’s always been done?
These days a more fluid model, one that recognises the skillsets of team members and encourages inter-departmental collaboration is what’s needed to come up with new, innovative solutions and ideas. As human beings our capacity for original thought gives us the advantage over machines, so why would we stifle this?!
At Black Swan we encourage our people- we don’t program them. Our elite ‘squad’ are told to challenge conventional wisdom in order to continue to be pioneers in our field. Our teams are collaborative rather than contained, and the ability to learn new skills and take on new ideas is paramount to our ‘Going Commando’ philosophy – more about that in this video:
We are still learning how best to make use of the ‘human side of the business’ as we go along, but we recognise that culture and engagement in our team have a huge role to play. One thing we can be certain of is that we will continue to question the ‘norm’ and create as many ‘Black Swan moments’ as we can!
If you are interested in a job at Black Swan then please visit our careers page at: www.blackswan.com/blog/careers where you can find a list of our current, open roles.
That said, here at Black Swan we are always interested in like-minded, talented people, so even if you don’t see a suitable role advertised on our website you can always send your CV to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think you’re Black Swan material.