HR Disrupted – It’s time for something different

HR Disrupted – It’s time for something different

Author: Lucy Adams
Review by: Gemma Dale

There can be no doubt that many of the HR practices that organisations hold dear are ready for change. Many of them continue despite evidence that they don’t work. In her book ‘HR Disrupted’, Lucy Adams attempts to provide a case for changing HR and provide practical solutions for our ‘disrupted world’

There are few truly new ideas in the text. That complicated policies don’t change behaviour, that performance reviews don’t improve performance, that engagement surveys shouldn’t just be something you do annually are long established. Also coming in for criticism (among others) are probation periods, employee handbooks, the nine box grid and traditional classroom training.

Adams draws on other writers including Simon Sinek, Lynda Gratton and Dan Pink, and references familiar models such as SCARF and VUCA.

There’s little to argue with in terms of the recommendations. The book dedicates a chapter to key areas of the employment life cycle like recruitment and induction, through to reward and learning and development. The ideas within are however, not especially unique or disruptive. The reward chapter for example suggests ensuring a fair pay structure and thinking about how reward will make people feel. So far so sensible, but stuff that any senior and competent HR professional should already know and already be doing.

If you want an easy to read round up of existing thinking about how HR needs to change and what the individual HR practitioner can personally do about it, HR Disrupted is a good starting point. But if you want genuinely disruptive thinking and all new ideas about work and organisations then this probably isn’t the text for you.

Gemma Dale, Founder, The Work Consultancy –

Published by Practical Inspiration Publishing