Time and time again this silent mantra, this fatal assumption that there is safety in numbers, has been HR and Learning’s undoing. While you are all comparing management competence models no one will be stupid enough to break ranks and admit that they don’t work.
Using 360° feedback might mean you all end up disappearing up your own orifices but hey, while you are all up there together, you can pretend that there is some illumination in the darkness.
You can all keep your bosses happy by sending them on expensive leadership programmes that help them to feel good about themselves while masking their inadequacies.
You dare anyone to challenge your diversity policies and ignore the very obvious evidence that there can be a serious and problematic downside.
Well, maybe your dirty little secrets were OK once, while everyone kept their mouths shut, but you were bound to be outed by evidence in the end weren’t you? Now what do you do?
You could plead ignorance perhaps; although that is no defence in the eyes of the law. Be a bit difficult to now say you did not realise that training without identified business needs is nonsense. You could throw yourself on the mercy of your ‘customers’ when they realise you have made a fool out of them as well? I don’t fancy your chances though, do you?
I suppose you could use the same tactic again of jumping on any passing bandwagon (HR analytics?) in the forlorn hope that it might either bamboozle people further or at least buy you a bit of time? You haven’t learned have you? That new fad is bound to suffer the same fate as all the others eventually.
Old HR habits die hard don’t they? If you are only comfortable being part of the crowd then at least recognise that the numbers game is going in the opposite direction now. The façade of HR convention has finally crumbled and no one will be rushing to join your shrinking minority. Also, you are up against much more powerful competition than ever before. The evidence-based can prick every one of your non-evidence-based bubbles with absolute ease and impunity; one at a time. That can be a very painful process.
There is only one way out. Come clean. Get it off your chest. Start working from evidence. It’s a lot simpler and much less painful than what you are doing now. The real beauty is that you don’t even have to explain yourself to your customers after all – they are no more evidence-based than you are – why do you think it’s called evidence-based management? – and you will be one page ahead.
Whatever criticism they might want to hurl at you is really just self-criticism. They always knew your competence dictionary was unadulterated gibberish so why did they pretend to support it? They know they still have serious problems with managing performance (that’s their dirty little secret) so they will welcome anything that makes their lives easier: evidence-based performance management will certainly do that.
Go on – you know you don’t like feeling naked – go and get some clothes on. Get some evidence.