HR: beyond Compliance through Collaboration


Beyond Compliance panel  One of my E2.0 sessions was a panel looking a how HR can move out of its compliance role through the use of collaborative / 2.0 technologies.

I thought this was a good panel session, and was pleased that we seemed to come to the conclusion that HR is complex, not simple, and that getting beyond compliance means accepting, tolerating, and navigating through this complexity.

It’s a conclusion that is very different from that generated by many HR conferences at the moment – which is maybe down to this conference’s focus on collaboration, and the additional complexity inherent in dealing with teams, networks and communities rather than just the traditional focus of HR ie the individual employee.  Also see Rawn Shah’s summary on this:

“Mr. Ingham described another dynamic that HR is not yet ready for: the shift of emphasis from interactions between two individuals, to interaction in collaborative groups. I readily agree that this makes things much more complex. In fact, I would point out that there is a basic lack of understanding in what constitutes collaborating groups. More simply, there is a lot of talk about working in a ‘community’ but little agreement on what constitutes a community.”


This is why I do rather disagree with my co-panellist, Danny Portillo (from Rypple)’s suggestion that we drill down, using analysis, to identify simple HR actions we can take.

To me, strategic people management, particularly of the collaborative kind, requires synthesis (understanding of the system – the people, and particularly the relationships between people) rather than it does analysis.


Some of the tweets:

joningham: @dporillo (Rypple) @joshbersin Michelle Johnston @olivermarks on HR beyond Compliance #e2conf #e2conf-11 #cipd10

rypple: Rypple is a great social tool to help development, it supports diff org structures and lets people choose coaches #e2conf

swylie650: I’ve never met a company that failed because their employees were over-empowered @Josh_Bersin HR track at #e2conf

MeganMurray: Getting into the guts of human issues, HR and collaboration in M1. #e2conf

ryanvesely: #e2conf collaboration is impactful when HR processes and org culture are aligned. Think about how you bring collab to performance


Picture credit: Alex Dunne


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I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).


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