Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No Room for New Innovation in HR?

This is the statement I heard at the end of my day yesterday: “We've heard pitches from four HR Companies already this year and haven’t funded any of them. There just seems to be too many of them.”


I am in the process of raising seed capital for my company. Yes. A new HR company. And that is what I heard after my latest presentation to a funding group. They said they really don’t get HR (I don’t doubt that) and that there seems to be too many people in the space right now.

Right on.

I can’t think of a more fascinating space to be in right now. The changes that are going to happen in the way people work, find jobs, get paid, sign up for benefits, work mobilely, work remotely, live in Africa…. and the list goes on, is going to radically change what HR means, how it is managed and the tools we use to practice it.

HR is an extremely dynamic field and the lack of support from venture capital is short sighted. HR can compete with almost any other field in terms of dollars spent in the space, growth opportunity, and market dynamics. And the list of truly clever innovators competes with any field out there.

The problem is that most people who fund new ventures grew up in an age when HR was an administrative function that cost too much money. Yesterday’s senior executives saw HR as necessary but not strategic. Innovation in HR meant cutting costs.

That hasn’t changed much in the companies out there today, but it does not take much insight to see the change coming.

If you want to be one of the most dynamic and relevant enterprises of the future, HR advances happening in the basements and garages of innovative HR entrepreneurs will be a crucial element of your success. And the leaders in this space are going to make a lot of money.

Wake up people in the venture funding world; you are going to miss one of the next big things!