In the future, HR will be fervent about developing people and helping them realize their greatest potential. It will be about proactive care of people—maximizing the good, not just minimizing the bad.

HR won’t be about reacting to screw-ups all day long, struggling to keep up, and bemoaning an inability to do anything about it. Nor will it be about providing loads of training that teach people all about what screwing up looks like and why you should avoid it. Yes, there will still be regulations and policy to develop and oversee, but HR’s core function will be to create an environment where people can focus on how they can do the most good (not how they can avoid doing bad), and ensuring that people are always learning and growing.

HR will understand that allowing people to languish without the tools to learn and grow is callous, and it undermines what the organization as a whole could achieve. In the future, Human Resources will provide humane resources that recognize people as thinking, creative, and earnest individuals who can contribute in their own meaningful way if only they are given access to learn. When a job doesn’t grow with the person because a department isn’t growing, the person will not be limited by that problem.

Today, in many organizations, people are developing faster than their organizations. Tomorrow, organizations will realize that the rapid development of their people will drive their own growth. It will be those organizations that consistently strive to keep up with their people that will come out on top.

As HR helps people with their cognitive and professional wellbeing, they will be able to identify people with high potential and place them in positions where they can have the greatest positive impact. Rather than letting them stagnate in a job that cannot  accommodate their drive for excellence, HR will find a place for them so the larger organization can receive the greatest benefit (or risk losing them to an organization that can keep up).

And when managers and department heads come knocking to complain that their best and brightest are being poached, HR will respond, “We do not punish our people for growing faster than your department is willing or able to grow.”




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