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  • Writer's pictureAcumen Learning

Someone Who Thinks Business First


Some VP over at Netflix has had it with HR not getting it. They recently posted a job opening for a Director of HR who, "…thinks business first, customer second, team and talent third."

Further, they make it clear that they are NOT looking for, "A Change Agent, an OD Practitioner, a SHRM Certificate, a People Person, a policy or guideline writer."

Gees! Tell us what you really think Mr. VP.

Now before you go off spouting comments like these…

  • "I see it as a sad "tough guy" type ad that could lead to real problems if taken and "executed" as stated."

  • "I am not sure what they are looking for, and I am not sure they are either."

  • "They're trying WAAAAY too hard to sound trendy and current. In their attempt to be edgy, they come off sounding like they're missing the boat. Without talent, they don't have "business first" at all."

  • "I have a huge issue with 'talent third'. Goes against every bone in my body I'm afraid, not just as a HR professional, but as someone who actually cares about people on a personal level."


…read this report from SHRM (the very organization Netflix doesn't want a certificate from) that argues that strategic HR leaders are the future of their industry:

  • They drive and are driven by the business.

  • They regularly partner with line executives in developing and implementing business and HR strategies.

  • They are focused on the key levers that determine competitive advantage and performance.

  • They set and stick to a few critical priorities.

  • They regularly measure progress and impact and use the data to stay on course.

  • They develop and work toward a coherent and integrated HR system.

  • They ultimately create a situation in which their organizations’ executives cannot imagine running the business without paying careful attention to HR.

Sound like Netflix and SHRM have more in common than one would think.

Here's the bottom line, it's important. We've been preaching for years that professional excellence is not enough, and that your most valuable employees are great business people first and great HR leaders, great engineers, great sales people, great _________ (fill in the blank) - second.

If you really want to build your career and your credibility, you need to get "it" (the business of your business). Or in other words you need to develop your business acumen.


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