Garza’s debut work presents a new doctrine to help bring human resources departments into the modern era.
At its core, the concept of the HR department hasn’t changed much since it first arose during the Industrial Revolution. Its purpose is to administer the needs of a company’s employees, but it struggles with many handicaps in its efforts to meet that crucial need, including downsizing as a cost-management tool, which weakens the contract between employers and employees; the necessity for specialization in various aspects of HR; and frontline employees’ hostility towards management. The book’s first section digs into these and other issues as it explores why HR departments simply aren’t performing up to par. The second part lays out a new doctrine that innovative HR leaders may use to rebuild their departments to fit new business realities. Garza divides his plan into “ethos” (theory) and “praxis” (practice); the ethos chapters lay out the mindset that he says HR needs to adopt in order to evolve, and the praxis chapters offer a system to develop new practices to fit a company’s specific needs. HR departments, he writes, need to change from a “push” system, in which they come up with products and push them into practice, to a “pull” system, in which the company states its needs and HR designs products to meet them. The author also briefly covers basic business theory and suggests strategic tools that companies can use to build the new systems he recommends. Garza’s prose style is dense and occasionally technical, but he leavens it with lighter vignettes at the beginning of each chapter. Persistent readers will be rewarded with a detailed road map for redesigning HR policies to suit any company’s specific circumstances.
An intriguing, if rather dry, book about possibilities for the future of HR.