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Opportunities before HR practitioners in an evolving economy, by experts


Despite the global economy challenges affecting the workplace and market forces, experts have identified opportunities to explore and strategies for a thriving mechanism for all Human Resources (HR) practitioners and business leaders.

Among other speakers at the special human resource forum of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM) held in Lagos recently, a Professor of Psychology, University College London, Prof Adniran Furnham, said a good management philosophy would enable an organisation to minimize its exposure to disruptions and prevent actions that will damage its longevity, profitability and reputation.

Furnham, who was the guest speaker at the event, said practitioners only need to look around to see the fast-changing world.

According to him, the world is changing and “so are the workforce, workplace and the customers”.

He explained that at the centre is the dynamic leadership of HR practitioners to determine the fate of their organisation amidst the changes.

According to Furnham, “If the world is changing, then we need to do things differently. Leaders, that is, HR managers, pay attention to global trends; the big disruption happening there, and ensure their organisation is not left behind.

He said Nigerian economy is faced with so many challenges like decling crude oil prices, which has lead to the supply gap in the foreign exchange market, adding that the development is likely to increase “as the demand for dollars outpaces supplies, putting pressure on the Nigeria naira”.

Furnham added that the future unfolds is three ways: oil prices stabilisation, where the price bottoms out of $70/bbl in Q2 2015 was recovering to $60/bbl by Q4 2015, averaging $55/bbl over the year as a whole, while oil price recovers to a new equilibrium level of $70/bbl in 2016.

He said: “Majority of our future are now shaped by things and events we cannot understand today.”

Continuing, he said: “The implication is that it makes strategic planning almost ridiculous. Not that planning is unimportant but it has to be dynamic. Planning gives us the illusion that we are in control and secure but we need strategic thinking at every level to survive the future.
That is the key for HRs.

“It is not quite easy to look out through the window and see the future. Organisations are today having difficulties with conversations about the future. But the quality of questions we ask will determine the type of strategies we developed. The problem is that many leaders are not asking the right questions,” he said.

Experts are unanimous that five things, otherwise called drivers, will disrupt the world of work over the next decade. They are: Technology, Institutional Change, Demography, Environment and Ethics and Shifting Societal Values.

Technology, according to Furnham, has significantly changed how we live and work, especially (for the HR) how we deal with information. There is a 24-7 instant access to everything; with all the data always available on any and every device.

“The HR is dealing with a generation that knows how to get everything instantly, using multiple devices. This seamless integration is also expected in our practice. We can no longer pretend that these things are happening. These are leadership agenda that HR must understand, learn and adapt for their organisation to be in tune with the future. HRs must begin to ask, what does this (technology) mean for me and my stakeholders.”

Also speaking at the event, the President of CIPM, Anthony Arabome, said until recently, most boardrooms discussions centered on Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO) succession and business strategies.

He said, “Now, boards are changing the game — focusing on the role and impact of talent on business performance and risk.

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