If you haven’t done so already, I recommend you read Why Managers Are Stuck in Their “Silos,” which appeared in the April 28th edition of the WSJ. The professor who wrote the article cited a survey she conducted with participants in her executive-education program. She asked, “What, if anything has helped you to become a more effective leader today?” 89% found external training very helpful and that the most highly rated sources of help were external. HR in my company came in last with only 11% reporting it was helpful.
HR people are “tasked” (their word, not mine) with taking care of compliance issues and paperwork. Many are up to their eyeballs in resumes, as they attempt to stay ahead of the packs of departing employees that are exiting their workplace like wildebeests crossing the Serengeti. Their intentions are good. However in most organizations there aren’t enough of these people and the good ones often leave for jobs on the line, where advancement opportunities are abundant.
External resources are fluid. They can quickly scale up or down depending on the project on hand. Can you say the same about your organization? Most likely not, as managers must go through hoops to add staff and walk through political minefields to dismiss sacred cows who are no longer performing.
External resources can provide an unbiased view, which cannot be offered by internal people. I see this all the time in my consulting practice. A leader may think one of his people needs to go, but quickly changes his mind when he sees that perhaps he’s the problem. He trusts that I have his best interest in mind and is willing to make the necessary changes that will result in better leadership all around.
So the next time you consider using an internal source rather than an external partner I hope you will remember that in the end, it’s about results. Without that, you’ve got nothing.
If you are looking to transform from an okay manager to a great leader than join me in Boston on May 19th & 20th for my two day workshop, Move Up/Manage Right. Only a few seats left so don’t delay.