A couple of weeks ago my local video shop called in the receivers. There was a time we had four video stores to rent from locally, now we have one.
Video shops are going the same way as record shops. Suddenly obsolete and irrelevant in the face of changing times, changing technology and changing customer needs/behaviours.
For those of us working in HR in New Zealand, it’s that time of year we get asked to renew our HR Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ) memberships. After much thought and soul searching, this year I made the decision not to renew for 2014.
I wrote a post 12 months ago when I said I thought 2013 might be my last year of membership. And so it has proved to be, after 17 years I’m opting out.
As a senior practitioner, I don’t feel the Institute is offering me anything unique or different. My needs have changed in recent years, my ways of learning and networking likewise.
Last week I had coffee with Chris Till. I hadn’t met Chris before but, as the recently appointed CEO of HRINZ, he’s trying to get around and meet people who have expressed some views about where HRINZ needs to change. It was an interesting conversation.
I liked him a lot. He seems like a very down to earth, pragmatic, experienced HR practitioner and he’s quickly got a grasp on the issues he’s facing and what he needs to do about them. He has a strong sense of right and wrong. He talked very passionately about the importance of leadership. More importantly, he doesn’t come with any baggage. Rather than try and talk me out of leaving, he said he hoped I would want to come back in the future when I see what’s happened over time.
I hope so too. This is a crucial period for HRINZ. I know others who have not renewed or are seriously considering it. I would go so far as to say they are fighting for their very existence, or at least against becoming another irrelevance. HR professionals in this country and beyond are becoming increasingly connected in ways that have never been available to us before. HRINZ can no longer assume they have no competition and are the only option in town.
And that’s the dilemma that faces all of us at work. Organisations have to keep adapting and changing to keep up with changing technology, changing customer needs and expectations and the sheer pace of change. It has never been more important to have a point of difference and a competitive advantage. The “same old, same old” just doesn’t cut it anymore and HRINZ have recognised that.
I know there are some very high calibre people on the HRINZ board now working alongside a new and enthusiastic CEO. There are also many good, loyal people happy and willing to volunteer their time to be part of something meaningful and that leads our profession through the transformational change it needs.
I genuinely want to see a strong, influential, collaborative and professional institute in this country. I’m confident that HRINZ is in good hands and we will see a very different type of institute in the next 2-3 years. We need to, otherwise it will whither and die.
The clock is ticking.