“I kept saying “He’s rigid, he’s rigid, he’s rigid,” not knowing how rigid I was over his rigidity.” — J M Sampath

HR challenges in consciousness era

It is no small matter that we are standing on the threshold of the knowledge era, and we can already see the consciousness era emerging in the horizon. Then, what perspective does the future hold in terms of people development for HR professionals?

The GenY and Z are not the same as GenX. The values and beliefs of these two generations suggest different ideals in the workplace. The Gen X expects relationships to be given to them and they prefer work-life balance and meritocracy. Generation X believes, "work is a thing you do to have a life (work doesn't define their life)," (Nagle, 1999). Gen Y on the other hand seems to want a work-life balance with flexibility to define who they are in their job. Gen Z is showing a shift in looking at life as their own and no divide between work life and personal life .

J. M. Sampath, a Leadership and Management guru and coach who has done originalwork on organizational and personal excellence says, “As the level of consciousness enhances it will no longer be the survival of the fittest, but the survival of the wisest.”

Wisdom is the ruling and the HR managers therefore cannot be running with modified systems and processes of the industrial and information era into the now emerging consciousness era. The era of consciousness has 'transformation' and 'evolution' as the buzzwords. The movement is to being 'essence centered'. This new era intends to work on holistic paradigms where relationships and interconnectedness become important.

In the new consciousness era employees are not merely employees but would wish to be entrepreneurs within the organization. They are driven by passion and purpose with a strong intent to fulfill that purpose. They do not like to be dictated but to be treated with trust and given the space and freedom to perform. They will stay only as long as their needs are met and not due to compulsions. There is an air of raw confidence around them with a hunger to grow very fast. Long drawn systems and processes do not excite them much. They choose to be self driven. Agile is the pathway of life now. They expect to be treated as equals irrespective of age or number of years of experience.

The business paradigm of the future would thrive less on mere competition. Globe is the playground and while China and Japan are showing expertise in manufacturing, India is specializing in service and support. Alignment of vision and values would determine the long-term sustainability of the organization. The organizational climate dimension (Kalpana Sampath, 2005) is determined by CORDS, which stands for Convergence and connectivity; Openness to new ideas/ innovation; Relatedness and Receptivity; Development and speed of knowledge updation; Sensitivity.

Change is the mantra and no doubt for change to be lasting and transformational it has to be from within. The latest emergent transformational leadership is not able to indicate a progressive geometric growth for the already accelerated Gen Y. The average age of the leadership is continuing to come down in organizations. The most challenging issue revolves around the leadership maturity and ability to walk their talk. Therefore, any leadership development should focus on building the capacity of leaders through a maturity process. It has to be evolutionary in nature. J.M. Sampath's 'Evolutionary Excellence Model' with vision – values and learning as cornerstones has radiated a new pathway. Processes of deeper reflection, clarification and self–focus would have to become an essential part of leadership development.

It’s time to say Arise, Awake organizational HR and stop not till the future perspectives of the organizations and people are not well integrated into the new avatar.

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