Posts Tagged ‘Destruction HR’

Cross-post from BadConsultant:

OK. We’ll paraphrase because, well, going back and finding the original LinkedIn forum discussion would be just a little too much of a gaze into the abyss

[and staring at the walls of solitary confinement hotel rooms is more than enough for us most of the time]

but suffice to say, it was a very excited HR professional who’d just been hired to lead talent/succession planning for a major company and wanted to know:

… implementing talent planning, is a 9-box or 6-box better?

It’s hard to know where to start, it really is.

But let’s start with what should be the blindingly obvious – you’ve been hired to deliver something, presumably because you have a track record of delivering that something

[or something very similar]

and – even though most leaders run in the opposite direction of accountability for thought, intent, or deed – like it or not, you’re getting paid to have an opinion.

About that thing you’ve been hired to do.

You know. The thing. That you…

I don’t care how inclusive you aim to be, you can’t start from

I don’t know, you tell me what I should do


OK. Before we blame the victim, let’s not be so kind to the HR leadership who placed this person in such a predicament.

Have we really come to the point where needing to check the box that says

we have a succession planning process

is so desirable/necessary/expected that we’ll put someone… anyone in the role even if they have no clue about the process, its intent or the pitfalls inherent in the assessment and categorization of individual talent?

Have we?

I guess so.

Time for some BadConsultant-ism. Time for sh*t to hit fan.

It doesn’t matter how many boxes.

Because the leaders who provide


data on potential successors, are AWFUL raters

[and if you don’t know why that is, then what the hell are you doing in ANY assessment based role?]

The final grid will be the result of horse-trading and executive insecurity – narcissistic egos, handbags at dawn

[if you’ve never been in a compensation calibration meeting, you just aren’t qualified to weigh in on this subject]

We guarantee that your upper right box

[of 3, 6, 9, 47…]

will contain the names of those people who do enough to look great, but not so much that they unsettle their chain of command. Any objective assessment of the upper right box would show political operatives, and very, very few change-makers

[and if you don’t know why that is, what the hell are you doing in a role remotely connected to leadership and organization development?]

though the chance of objectivity getting anywhere near a talent/succession planning grid is, frankly, laughable – or, at minimum, delusional.

In fact, the number of boxes

[much like the number of performance rankings available for year-end rating]

is just another example of HR’s red-herrings. It’s a false end-point that makes us feel like we’re moving things forward, when in reality, all we’re doing is maintaining the illusion of hunky-doryness.

For the most part the outcomes of Talent/Succession Planning rarely come close to the decisions they should facilitate.

Just another day in the corporate abnormality of HR


best practices.



Cross-post from BadConsultant:

Well, it wouldn’t be the first time that BadConsultant was riding a trend before it had even become a spark in the eye of an in-utero idea emergent at an innovation incubative blue-sky research fantasy novel land far, far away, would it?

Yet now, some 4 years later, what does BadConsultant read in the comments section of an update on LinkedIn?

“… Let’s pretend that the role of a Chief Performance Officer is to: 1) identify dysfunctions in bot-human, bot-bot, and human-human performances; 2) determine the hidden costs of those dysfunctions (ain’t no line item for ‘shit’s not working’ but there’s damn sure a cost and it’ll be huge for the next 20 years, because a LOT of shit’s not going to work); 3) save the company a LOT of money money by eliminating the dysfunctions; 4) convert the cost savings into investments in sustainable growth via new revenue generating activities….”

Well, who is this BadConsultant to be meek, mild and self-effacing.

You might not remember, but we do…

DestructionHR was always intended as a safe haven for those HR and OD professionals who seriously believed the rule-book needed to be torn apart. It started, but very quickly went into suspended animation

[we think of John Hurt, Sigourney Weaver, et al sleeping in their pods on the Nostromo]

mainly because, in every discussion where the title was shared, the knee jerk reaction to that word


was absolute

[almost as interesting was the fact that HR representatives actually thought we didn’t take that into consideration when designing the concept]

We were told there was NO WAY that DestructionHR would ever make any sense.

So we let it sleep.

[but, of course, held onto the domain name]

4 years passed

[4 long years of seeing the need for DestructionHR at most clients and at every networking event]

then suddenly we see that comment on LinkedIn.

And just for a second, BadConsultant was seen to do the Snoopy happy dance.

So… Are you a HeRetic?

A bientot


People want to work

People want autonomy

People want to grow

People want to make a difference

… but…

Organizations want to control

Organizations want square pegs in unchanging square holes

Organizations fight to maintain the rear-view mirror

… so…

Organizations have evolved over decades to places barriers and obstacles to the natural energy flows of their people

… but are learning…

That very energy is the source of survival and competitive advantage in the future

… and so…

must learn to destroy the barriers and obstacles that impede peoples’ achievement.

One function has the capability, and some would say right/permission, to lead such destruction – HR.

Or, more accurately, the function that will emerge from the remains of a destroyed HR.

This… this is Destruction HR.