It’s always interesting to read predictions from the past to see how they are playing out. Likewise, it is fascinating to see what experts are predicting for the future in the business world.
While reviewing a 2012 survey published by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) titled Challenges Facing HR Over the Next 10 Years, one particular question caught my eye. The question posed was, “Ten years from now, which [competency] do you see being most critical for the HR professional?”
The #1 answer was Business Acumen, with important sub-competencies of business knowledge, knowledge of business operations and organizational metrics. So, according to the survey, in order to prosper 10 years from now, an HR professionals should:
- Understand the fundamentals of the business and key business metrics
- Understand business processes and in-process measures
- Understand HR processes and how they align with business goals
These three learning items are essential for individuals who wish to make correct and competent business decisions regarding which functional business processes to improve and how to improve them. Business acumen is also needed for executing strategy, understanding the financial issues of a company, and maintaining a big-picture perspective on business relationships in order to positively affect business metrics.
The prediction put forth by SHRM certainly seems to be spot-on, but not just for the year 2022; these very competencies are needed now, in 2015, for those seeking success. Further, these are competencies that don’t just apply to the HR industry. Business acumen, and all of its components, is a critical competency that is needed in every function of the business world.
If you are lacking in some of these skills or know that your team is, work now to fill in any gaps. Seek the mentoring, training, education and experience you need to be an asset to your company now and for many years to come.