Thursday, 23 December 2010

First Century HR Officer asks "What's the role of HR today?"

As revealed last week, previously ignored fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls have been found to contain the diary entries of Malachi Barnabas, a 1st Century HR Officer working in the Bethlehem area of Israel.

World Exclusive! The Secret Diary of a First Century HR Officer.

Today, HR Case Studies publishes a final extract from his diaries.
Well, dear readers, it’s about time to put the diary away for a while.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a Holy Roman Business Partner (HRBP) these days. There’s been a lot of talk about just what purpose us guys serve, and whether we’re there just to support The Empire, or whether we occasionally have to stand up to an Emperor or a Governor who’s clearly losing his marbles.

I was in a seminar organised by the Central Israel Pharisees Department (CIPD) last week, and they’d actually managed to get some Seriously Big Cheeses along to talk to us. The keynote speaker was actually King Herod. Bet he cost the CIPD a few shekels in speaking fees.

One of his comments intrigued me:

“I can’t bear being told ‘you can’t do it that way’,” he said. “Do not put barriers in the way. Sometimes you have to take a step back from the policy, from the law, and say ‘what do we need to do right now, and how are we going to get there?’ Don’t hide behind the policies.”

I’ve been reflecting on what that means recently.

I spoke to Herod after the conference. He seems a reasonable guy overall. A bit self important and driven perhaps, but I like a man with a clear vision.

Anyway, I must have impressed him, as he’s asked me to do a bit of work for him. He wants me to draw up a Corporate Manslaughter Policy specifically for the Bethlehem area. Not sure what he’s got in mind, but who am I to question someone in authority?
 Look out for Malachi Barnabas's new book "Power, Innovation and Problem Solving: The Challenge of HR in the First Century". Available soon from all good scroll-sellers.

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