Marcus Buckingham: Nine lies that HR should stop believing

Marcus Buckingham has told delegates to the HR Tech Conference and Exposition to stop fooling themselves around nine long-held myths.
By: | October 7, 2019

At Thursday morning’s opening keynote at HR Tech Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, talent expert and author Marcus Buckingham (pictured) encouraged attendees to take everything they thought they knew about HR and throw it straight out the window!

With the tight labor market and demand for enhancing the employee experience at all-time highs, HR leaders need to stop relying on tried and true methods to drive engagement, strategies that, he said, are all too often fueled by faulty research.

“There’s a lot of noise out there. There’s a white paper there, a content maker here, a thought leader there—it’s hard to cut through it and go, ‘What’s real? What’s true?’ ”

Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall’s book tackles some difficult truths about human resources.

To get to those answers, Buckingham suggested, HR leaders should stop believing nine lies, which he also recently laid out in his new book, Nine Lies About Work.

They are that:

  1. People care which company they work for;
  2. The best plan wins;
  3. The best companies cascade goals;
  4. The best people are well-rounded;
  5. People need feedback;
  6. People can reliably rate other people;
  7. People have potential;
  8. Work/life balance matters most; and
  9. “Leadership” is a thing.

“If you want to study something,” he said, “put your theories and your dogma aside, and just study it as it actually is in the world.”

That concept, Buckingham said, extends to HR-technology tools, which he said should be configured around real-world workplaces—and not those traditional HR textbooks showcase.

“Build tools on the way the world actually is,” he said. “We’re moving into a world of big data, so we better make sure it’s good data in and good data out, not garbage in and garbage out. Just make good tools that help humans at work.”

Marcus Buckingham was the keynote presenter on the third day of HR Tech Conference and Exposition, being held in Las Vegas, US, last week. For all the best global insights right here in this part of the world, be sure to be part of HR Tech Festival Asia over May 12 and 13 in 2020.