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7 Lessons for HR Professionals from Hamilton

August 22, 2020

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

2020 has been a year of learning and re-imagining for the HR Community. So why not go back to 1776 and see what we can learn. The play Hamilton has set box office records and received widespread critical acclaim since it opened in 2015. Earlier this summer the play debuted on Disney+ and sparked a renewed interest.

A recent LinkedIn Talent Blog reveals how a play with hip-hop infused lyrics creates practical lessons for this centuries’ HR professionals. 

Here are seven takeaways from Hamilton:

  1. Recruit for potential, not pedigree – Embrace the notion of skills not schools. Train your talent for the jobs you need to fill.
  2. You need to stand for something – A company vision is an enormous selling point for prospective employees.
  3. Pick teammates that complement rather than mirror one another –Varied backgrounds and shared purpose makes for a great team.
  4. Invite differing points of view onto your team to avoid unproductive groupthink – It’s critical that companies have decision-making that is informed by many life experiences and points of view.
  5. Executive sponsorship can be critical for the advancement of people with a nontraditional resume – Having a senior person in a company who advocates for an up-and-coming employee and therefore helps them build stronger networks and locate opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be accessible can help women and employees from underrepresented groups move up the corporate ladder.
  6. Offer paternity leave, and create a culture where dads are comfortable taking it – Taking the leave has proven to improve health outcomes for the entire family. Offer it, and make sure it is being used.
  7. Succession planning can drive long-term effectiveness – President Washington understood that he should not be in office for a lifetime – neither should an executive at a company.

Final Act:  Embrace some nontraditional talent

The implicit challenge the play lays out for companies everywhere is to think about what would happen if you recast your team players so that it includes talent that is as diverse as your customers.  Add this point and the seven lessons to your next talent management goals list.

Perhaps some nontraditional talent would bring about the revolutionary moment your company has been looking for.

HR professionals please take your bow, your performance so far in 2020 has been award winning.

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