One of the things about writing a regular blog is that you sometimes get referred to by others as a thought leader. Quite how you define a thought leader is open to debate. Is it someone saying what no one else has thought of or stirring things up to get a reaction, or is it just someone thinking out loud? I suspect it’s the former, I’m probably the latter. Which makes me a “commentator” according to my friend Troy Hammond, who wrote a very funny self deprecating post on this subject recently. I’m happier with that label if I have to have one.
I only mention this because something interesting is happening in HR in New Zealand which seems to have slipped by almost without any commentary.
The Human Resources Institute of New Zealand announced last week they are “pleased to introduce…the concept of a Chartered membership category.” This, said HRINZ, will facilitate the goal of striving to lift the professional standard for HR practitioners in New Zealand. They are seeking the views of members before implementing in 2016 something they have been focusing on “conceptually for some time.”
Of course the Association of People Professionals has already expressed an intention to work towards a chartered option. So this means NZ professionals could potentially go from nothing to a choice of routes to chartered status almost overnight (and be just like our accounting colleagues).
So this is fantastic and game changing news, right? Something that should be shouted from the rooftops, right? Well, apparently not. Not if the HRINZ LinkedIn Group is anything to go by. In our biggest HR-related online group there is not a flicker of interest. Not one post that I can see to get the party started and get people talking. Not one little expression of delight.
Come on people, this is a fantastic opportunity! We should be excited and celebrating and embracing this opportunity and insisting it happens.
And therein lies the problem. If we are honest, most HR people really don’t care that much about raising standards and professional competence, either for ourselves or within our organisations or in helping others to. Because if we did we would be all over this like a rash, demanding and pushing hard for it.
I have long advocated for chartered status and did so a couple of years back when I was still a HRINZ member and now as an APP member. I have always believed chartered status will both raise awareness and credibility of the profession, and ultimately raise standards because it will involve properly measured continuing professional development.
Sadly, in reality I don’t think most people professionals in this country have either thought much about it or understand what chartered status means. That needs to change and quickly.
We badly need to raise standards across the people professions in this part of the world. That’s all there is to it and it’s long overdue. And that my friends is not thought leadership, it’s just a fact.