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The Great HR Impressario

The Great HR Impressario
NS Rajan
The Human Resources function is infused with a nobility of purpose as the custodian of intellectual capital of an organization. The true practitioners' are real time alchemists, the masters of intangibles, committed to creating tangible value for the organization by investing in its most valuable asset. It is also an irony that the HR function attracts perhaps more brickbats than bouquets on account of its very character. The credit for performance is more easily attributed to the line managers when teams perform and the debits usually are vested with HR, when things do not pan out well.

HR remains a thankless function, and often not feted by even the beneficiaries. What is it then that drives the HR function forward, we may wonder. I would believe that the function attracts those who perhaps have a selfless side to them, ready to see their own growth by serving others and take pride in contributing to organizational wealth. Last year, I witnessed The World HRD Congress, which the irrepressible Dr Raju Bhatia founded the concept way back in 1995. It was a fascinating experience on many counts. More than a 1000 delegates, a bevy of international speakers, awards that embraced multiple facets, and a show that was truly captivating. In a function like HR that deserves more kudos than it gets, it is perhaps befitting that you recognize and admire those who contribute in the midst of their own fraternity.

As a strong votary of the HR fraternity, I do believe it deserves all the recognition it can get. World HRD Congress, in that spirit, has rendered yeoman service to the HR fraternity. In an event almost on the scale of film awards, without the attendant song and dance, it celebrates heroes who endeavour every day, to make a difference. The youngsters, in particular, who received awards, were truly delighted and I was glad to see it fuelling their resolve and desire to do so much more. The visits by international speakers, of the likes of Dave Ulrich, Lynda Gratton, Marshal Goldsmith, Noel Tichy, have created a wonderful platform where there is mutual learning even as it highlights the tremendous work done by the HR fraternity in India and showcases it to global thought leaders. It was also interesting that companies, big and small, sharing the limelight and basking in the warm sunshine of fraternity appreciation.

Raju Bhai, an inimitable persona, is an interesting amalgam of entrepreneurial fervor and fortitude, with the elan of a showman, the resolve of a convert, and the resilience of a winner. What he pioneered as a format in 1995 has today become an annual feature and attracts global attention towards the wonderful world of HR, and its immense contributions. Entrepreneurship has never ever been easy, and so is paying a tribute to those who deserve it. Let me make recompense. On behalf of all his friends and well wishers, who value what he ceaselessly pursues, it is my immense to joy to say a big, heartfelt thank you to Dr Raju Bhatia and honour him with a unique and befitting award for his contributions: "The Great HR Impressario".

(15 Minutes Eternal _Andy Warhol: It was way back in 1968 at his own exhibition that Andy Warhol, a leading artist of the visual arts movement called Pop Culture, had observed pithily in his pamphlet that "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes," highlighting the ephemeral nature of the celebrity of an individual or phenomenon. This bright picture above is a capture of the caption at a recent 2012 Warhol exhibition at Singapore on the 25th anniversary of his death. Interestingly, the title "15 Minutes Eternal" highlights the truth that a well deserved recognition and limelight, even so fleeting, can spur individuals towards greatness. When we learn to acknowledge and celebrate others, even in the most simple ways, that one gesture perhaps may hopefully endure and unlock future potential.)