Are you fulfilling the role of the credible activist?

Just recently, in attending the AHRI National Convention I heard about the AHRI National Awards. I was thinking about entering these, and came across the criteria for the HR Leadership awards. These awards recognize leading HR practitioners whose contribution to the achievement of the business outcomes through HR practices is worthy of recognition.

If you are considering nominating yourself or someone else you’ll need to apply today as it’s the last day, but even if you aren’t you might want to evaluate yourself and see how you rate as a HR practitioner. You might even want to use this as a bit of a checklist or goal for the year ahead instead of how you want to be seen by your business.

woman with megaphone

Criteria:

1. Achievement: The applicant has been recognised for excellence in an academic or career capacity

2. Impact: The applicant has made a tangible contribution to the organisation

3. Progression: The applicant’s career demonstrates an upwards trajectory beyond the expected

4. Leadership: The applicant has demonstrated a capacity for leadership

5. Commitment: The applicant has demonstrated a passion for HR through service to the profession

6. Innovation: the applicant is ahead of the field in ideas and/or practices

7. Credible activism: the applicant demonstrates personal credibility but also a point of view about the business

8. Strategic architect: the applicant demonstrates an understanding of strategy and how HR will deliver strategy.

A few of these are pretty self explanatory but a few I found to be terms that I don’t think you hear a lot of- but hopefully it will be something we HR professionals refer to a lot more in the future. With regards to leadership, I guess it depends on how you define it.

Personally, I interpret it according to Zimmerman’s (2001) definition which is that leaders must play the role of a visionary, a collaborator, a salesperson and a negotiator. I’m sure reading this; you will agree that we play all these roles at some point as a HR professional.

The one that really sticks out for me is the ‘credible activism’ which comes from David Ulrich. It’s about being trusted, respected, admired and listened to, and most importantly holding a firm standpoint about the business.

Ulrich said in a press release, “HR professionals who are credible, but not activists, are admired but do not have much impact. Those who are activists but not credible may have ideas but will not be listened to,” he added.

It really made me think about my role here and will challenge me for the next year to make a serious impact upon the business. What are your goals for the next six months?

Read more from the Society of Human Resource Management on this, or click here to read an interview with David Ulrich.

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