In recent times, issues of knowledge and learning are often reduced to what can be discovered by a swift search on Google.
As a regular beneficiary of Google myself, I don’t want to downplay the astonishing power of that search engine, but I don’t believe it is a substitute for the exploration of bodies of knowledge in specialised disciplines and fields of intellectual pursuit.
The substantial body of knowledge that has come to make up the field of human resource management (HRM) is relatively new by historical standards, but it is a field that has touched the lives of a great many people in workplaces around the world.
Like many other bodies of knowledge, physics for example, the theories and practices that constitute HRM have involved wrong turns and misuse, but have also provided an intellectual foundation by which leaders can think through how best to employ their people for the mutual benefit of the organisation and the people themselves.
These thoughts are especially front of mind for me because this month we are putting in place a considerable investment in the means by which AHRI communicates with our members and the wider profession.
AHRI doesn’t have anything like the wherewithal to rival Google, of course, but what we have is a critical mass of people hungry for specialist knowledge and keen to maintain currency of that knowledge in a fast changing world.
I see AHRI’s role as that of a curator. Curators are caretakers of heritage. In Australia, the word includes the idea of a cricket groundsman, the person who is steeped in the traditions of cricket and prepares the pitch for play.
Perhaps the most universally shared meaning is that of an art curator, the professional who knows a field of art deeply and can showcase it expertly to the world.
AHRI’s role as curator can be seen from this month in a dynamic digital site that we are calling Human Resources Media, or HRM for short. HRM will enable AHRI to communicate at home and overseas with our specialised audiences of practitioners in big business and the public sector, as well as our stakeholders in academia, the law, and increasingly those within small businesses.
Most critically it will enable you, as an AHRI member, to engage more fully in interaction with your professional peers. I will be actively participating in HRM and look forward to hearing from you on the new site.