Relative HR Progress

Paul Hebert Audacious Ideas, Good HR, Innovation, Organizational Development, Paul Hebert, Performance, Policies, Star Wars, Training and Development

We humans have a tendency to see things in absolutes.

It took Einstein to clue us in on the issue of time relativity and even that still leaves many of us scratching our heads.  (Tell me again how the speed of light has anything to do with how fast two people age?)

We like to see things in black and white. That makes life easy.  Choose Door A or Door B – let’s not complicate things with Door C (and don’t pull me down the rabbit hole called The Monty Hall Problem – that just makes my brain hurt.)

Unfortunately, black and white is where HR lives in many instances.

HR has rules.  HR has laws.  HR has policies.  HR has informal and formal procedures.  HR has binders and twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one means.

dontcompareBut absolutes Don’t Matter

But you need to put that out of your mind.  There are no absolutes.  Everything in this world is relative.  Even your HR plan.

I saw this in my Facebook feed the other day:

Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.”


Think about that for a moment.

Every case history you read about how to do engagement…

Every webinar you listen to about how to do training…

Every white paper you download about the benefits of automated SaaS wellness and time tracking combo tech platters…

Is offered up to you by someone already in their 20th Chapter.

You’re still on Chapter 1, or 2 or even 10.

Don’t Compare

Comparing your organization to those that “get it” or those that are “cutting edge” or those that are implementing “best practices” are all in a different chapter than you and you need to remember that.  You don’t have to be where they are to be successful.  You need to realize you’re in a different place.

Too often I see people complain about where they are in the process and they highlight companies that have spent years developing a way to manage their people and they wonder – “why can’t I do that next week, month, year?”


Because they are on Chapter 20 and you are on Chapter 1.

Take your time… read the book and know that when you’re on Chapter 10 – someone else will be just picking up the same book and starting at the prologue.  You won’t always be at the start – and you won’t ever be the at the end.

Your journey to be better in HR is being continually written.

There will always companies who are a chapter or two ahead of you.  That’s okay.  Learn from them.

But in the end… write your own book.