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The purpose of this paper is to describe the evolution of Human Resources (HR) from its inception as the clerical personnel administration utility of a company to its current developmental role as the strategic partner that helps to grow firms into dynamic, high-performance organizations through the invocation of the next stage of HR conceptual growth, Human Resource Development (HRD). Further, it covers the evolution of HRD with both a theoretical lens as well as a practitioner’s viewpoint in mind. This paper will discuss this conceptual evolution as it has occurred over time, as well as how it mirrors the overall progression of the organizational paradigm from traditional to developmental. This paper will also address critical issues with respect to the current state of HRD, providing facts and details surrounding this topic in order to examine how HRD has affected and is affecting the current business environment. This paper will conclude with an examination regarding how HRD can be leveraged by the modern High Performance Organization (HPO) to meet the strategic challenges of the current competitive business landscape.