What is HR for?
According to Harvard Business Review business and society are careering towards hyperspecialization. This is Adam Smith’s ‘division of labour’ taken to the extreme. I can see that as a possible evolution in work design, but it would need wondrous task design and impeccable task management.
If it is successful then much of your organisation’s head count will disappear out of the door. Outsourcing to super niche individuals and task agencies will become standard practice.
The question then arises as to what the purpose of HR is when the organisation is now only a small cadre of task managers, brand managers and information managers.
I suggest that HR prepares for this by reinventing itself as a genuine talent management centre because 21st century employees in an innovation economy will be akin to rock stars and top athletes. Those in HR who have build their careers on industrial-era recruitment, ‘sheep dip’ training and keeping a cap on compensation will need reasess their own career paths.