Excuse me but this is a carnival of HR if you don’t mind, so please calm down before we proceed. For this months theme we have been asked to think about how organisations or people are represented or influenced by different styles of dance.
(‘Carnival of what?!’ I hear you cry – Carnival of HR. For more details check this out)
It made me think of how most dances are pretty structured in that there might be certain moves that you need to include, which seems to be especially the case in ballroom dancing (I never thought I would say it but thank you to Strictly Come Dancing for providing an education in this regard). On the other hand you have the likes of break dancing which are very abstract and much more off the cuff.
However, racking my brain for what to come up with for the carnival I felt that in the cases of the examples above they were either to restrictive or too abstract to be representative of the work HR professionals have to undertake. For example, one would not expect a dancer to win plaudits in a ballroom competition from ceasing a fox trot to start spinning on their head as it would not match up – though I am sure we would all love to see what Craig and Len made of that (US readers this is another Strictly reference – last one I promise).
Yet in HR you are expected to take on roles which create amusing contradictions and often put us in these difficult situations. We are the people employees turn to when they have a problem whilst at the same time acting as a wing of management and progressing the interests of the organisation. It is expected that we take on both a strategic and operational function.
We coach and help staff look for means of improvement and development opportunities, yet also get involved with representing/acting as an authority or adjudicator when people have not met the standards expected of them – such as instances of disciplinary and grievance, performance management cases and so on.
You might be reading this and thinking ‘What is he talking about? That is not my reality of HR!’ and you would be correct – I have no idea what your experience in the field is and how that contrasts with mine, either as a custome of HR or participant in the industry.
This, in some ways, proves my point – HR is, to go back to our carnival premise, a circus with a very big tent and one in which we all bring our own definitions and expectations of what the function should do and how its place in the organisation.
A combination of the abstract and the logical; a function that is able to provide an approachable and human element to what it does, whilst being a source of legislative, procedural and strategic information on which an organisation can depend.
How best to represent this in a dance? I think this guys version of the robot does it the most justice
(NB – forget the two guys dancing at the beginning – it is when the orange jumper starts moving that the real fun starts)