business consultant John Silver


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Why HRs in Mauritius should develop the ‘entrepreneur’ mindset?


Upon speaking to a crowd of human resource managers in my last HR summit in Tanzania, I realised that I had a different approach to HR from what I had five years ago. 

It struck me that since I launched my start up four years ago, I had a different perspective on how to make the bridge between employees and the management team.

When before, I was more convinced of the ‘Robin Sharma leadership style’ to be applied at all levels in a company, I felt a disconnect between what the management was trying to achieve and always felt aloof and not being able to understand the realities, complexities and difficulties faced by the management team.

However, now I realize that managing my own business, dealing with product development, marketing and sales, administration and finance, customer service, operations and on top managing your own employees, I automatically blended into the real HR business partner that I feel that some HRs are lacking.

While I am not asking everyone to struggle with their business, I came across an article on Linkedin by Katie Jones which might help existing HR in Mauritius in how to develop the entrepreneur mindset.

This is not a concept that would suit every business or individual. But whether or not it goes mainstream, even a few shining examples of HR directors who have spotted a commercial opportunity and jumped on it could go some way to overriding that age-old accusation that ‘HR lacks commercial acumen’. 

This comment that HR people aren’t commercially savvy enough often comes from CEOs and other leaders who find they cannot have a conversation with HR about anything (business-related) but HR. It’s why, as two CEOs I recently spoke with have done, they deliberately choose non-HR people to run their HR functions. 

You could argue that business leaders need to understand the language of HR as much as HR needs to understand the language of business. To some extent that is true, but the greater problem remains the lack of commercial awareness in HR. 

We have recently been running a careers survey and a# sneak peek at the results to date shows HRDs are struggling to recruit commercially-savvy people into their teams. Our cover story in November will explore the data in full and suggest some ideas for bridging HR skills gaps, but spending time in other business functions is a sure-fire way for HR people to increase their business acumen.