We sat down with Disrupt HR NYC Speaker, Goshow Architects Director of Human Resources, Joel Peterson to get his thoughts on disruptive HR.

Joel is an H.R. Generalist and Business Partner with progressive human resources experience focused on change management, organizational development, talent management, and retention strategy.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you plan on speaking about at Disrupt HR?

How well do you know your HR person?  If you’re like the employees at my firm, you know your HR person or team almost too well. But elsewhere it’s likely you see them only at hiring, benefits enrollment, holiday parties, or during a much less fun event in employee relations which shall go unnamed at this time. 

For good or bad, your impression of a person is colored just as keenly by what you don’t know about them as what you do know.

In my DisruptHR NYC presentation, “20 Not-So-Random Things You Always Wanted to Know About HR People (But Were Afraid to Ask)” I will explore what makes HR people unique and fascinating. Be ready to have what you think you know about HR people challenged by what you don’t. 

If you think that the field of Human Resources is being or will be truly disrupted, what’s driving the change?

To disrupt is to prevent it (a system, process, or event) from continuing as usual or as expected. To interrupt it by causing a disturbance or problem. To drastically alter the structure of something.

The act of disrupting something is nothing more than a dramatic way of describing change. For anything to grow, strengthen, or develop there has to be change. That is, what has become familiar and perhaps stagnant has to be questioned, challenged, interrupted, altered…disrupted. That’s the natural flow of evolution.  

Every generation–past, present and future–strives to disrupt the status quo, to exact change to better their world. I hope the present generation of HR professionals is doing that now. 

What’s driving that change? The humans we resource are driving it. Their (our) needs are changing on all levels: personal, professional, social, political, spiritual. The world around us does what it can to meet the call for change. So does technology. HR must evolve as well. What worked “back then” has never been enough for the present. And it’s not good enough for the future. It never will be. After all, the only constant is change. Resist it and you’ll be altered in spite of your resistance.

Or you can embrace the disruptive nature of the world and let it change you for the better. 

What are some outdated aspects of HR that need to be revised? 

HR as simply a transactional, operational role is no longer good enough. That work still needs to be done, but HR professionals cannot stop there if they are to evolve with the rest of the world. HR professionals who embrace change will stop thinking of themselves as passive, responsible only for reacting to the needs of their employees and businesses. 

Instead, we will disrupt that notion and replace it with one in which we not only react to needs but also anticipate them and guide the interactions of the business in a forward-thinking manner. Thus the idea of HR as a one-way transaction is replaced by a progressive round-trip experience in which we are a hub of knowledge.

From your experience, where does the shift in HR need to occur?

It starts with us. If we shift our perceptions and behaviors, we can help our businesses shift the way they perceive and interact with us. We are not just transactional; we are partners with the businesses we support.

If you could assign any book to everyone in attendance, what would it be?

Act Like A Leader, Think Like A Leader by Herminia Ibarra

If this whet your appetite for more HR talks, buy your tickets to the first-ever Disrupt HR NYC for tomorrow night! We only have a few spots left!