Going for It: Rapid Reinvention

More with HR expert Jim Haudan

Yesterday, we learned about troubles facing HR managers. Today, we learn about upcoming trends in the industry from Jim Haudan, CEO of Root Learning. But first, more about Haudan.

ATL: Tell me about you.

JH: I have a BA in Education and an MBA from the University of Toledo. I've had the privilege of working with some of the biggest names in business, including Gap Inc., PETCO, Dow Chemical, Pepsi, FirstEnergy, Taco Bell, and Hilton Hotels. Some of the points I'm particularly proud of include being named Entrepreneur of the Year in Northwest Ohio in the Business Services Category in 1997 and writing a bestselling book in 2008, The Art of Engagement: Bridging the Gap Between People and Possibilities. Also, we were named one of the Best Small and Medium Companies to Work for in America for the last six years and one of the Top Small Workplaces in America by the Wall Street Journal and Winning Workplaces in 2009.

ATL: What does Root Learning do?

JH: We arm our clients with the knowledge and tools needed to answer the most important question that plagues many companies, "What are your roadblocks to success?" We believe that people are one of the most critical levers to success and by using a blend of custom and innovative learning solutions, we help businesses figure out the most effective way to engage employees and solve business problems through people, rather than in spite of them.

I have the fundamental belief that people don't understand life-defining issues because they are not in the game. So, if there is a way to help people get off the bench and get into the "game of their business," a place we all spend between 40 to 60 perceng of the hours we are awake, we could get better results and people would gain meaning and purpose.

ATL: What HR trends do you see coming in 2011?

JH: Talent is always talked about, it's at the top of the list and HR is trying to match talents and skills to strategy. The talent needed for the future is now a company's strategic initiative.
Managers in HR also have to help leaders in business play at a higher level of altitude than ever before. Business leaders must shift from working in the business to working on the business. "In" the business is the tactical: doing things we do well. "On" the business includes the strategic things we've not done before. Right now, it's 75 percent in and 25 percent on. It should be switched or they, or their business, will not be successful.

And, while change, change management, and change leadership have all been talked about in the past, today's imperative requires that leaders lead change by making it personal and recognizing that the pace car for organizational change is their personal behavior. At company after company ,people continue to comment that the strategy isn't the problem, the problem is the fundamental disbelief that leaders will change their behaviors to bring the strategy to life.

Now, I've got to finish an interview. I'm going to try harder to get in the game. I'll see if I have time. I wonder if my boss would pay for Haudan to come here to talk to the bloggers? Don't forget to catch me on Facebook and Twitter!  


Avis Thomas-Lester

 |  October 14, 2010; 4:35 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I think the viewpoint is correct for managers to focus more on the business than in the business, but I would like to know more about how this is done. With budgets tighter than ever and leaders saying, "all hands on deck" to get work done, how do we justify to stakeholders that our managers must continue to work on the business in a touch economy?

Posted by: efrancis1 | October 21, 2010 10:36 AM
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Jim has always had an interesting point of view on business, education, and HR. Cool to see those integrated so nicely here.

Posted by: rootedrobin | October 15, 2010 1:05 PM
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