Friday, April 11, 2014

At what stage of strategy development does one integrate HR?

Talent is the most valuable asset, but the weakest link in strategy execution!

The Corporate Capital includes the strategy, the 'spirit' & style or culture, the systems of management, the structures of the organization, the shared competencies. The goals of the organization, all types of organizations, must involve human effort. But at what stage of strategy development does one integrate HR? 

In most of organizations, HR are usually excluded from the strategic planning process, when management requires information about the internal competencies of the organization, this is where HR are usually contacted to provide this insight, yet they are mostly not engaged when it comes to the later stage of formulating/adjusting the strategy. HR may be engaged after the strategy is agreed on to formulate to get their commitment on securing the human resources needed for the execution.

HR decisions are usually implicit in strategy and have already been made. To thinking loudly, one of the reasons for this exclusion could be that strategic planning is usually looked at as an outside oriented exercise that focuses more on the company market strategy, so some internal aspects such as HR could be overlooked. During strategy planning or acquisition, focus is on turnover, market-share, profits, new product etc. HR is often not considered because most people assume people can be recruited, poached if necessary. HR is often considered secondary, hence does not get the necessary attention. 

Talent strategy is integral component of corporate strategy. HR should be included during the strategic planning process. This required developing a pool of Human Capital "strategist" and making sure they were all steeped in the planning methodology. This role allows business to not only help facilitate the strategy outcomes, but to have a point of view on the HR implications of the initiatives for each strategic pillar. It also allows talent management to explain the importance of post-strategy development activities such as program governance, change management, cascading alignment and measurement so the strategy execution is tracked and sustained

Talent is still the most valuable asset in the modern business, but it could also be the weakest link in strategy execution. If people are delivering and executing in the strategy and vision, then HR should be in almost every strategic conversation, and talent management would have a high degree on input in terms of people that will be working to execute daily. If so, why do organizations only include HR after the strategy has been formulated at the executive level?  It is all very nice to say what organizations should do. It will be good to learn of specific cases what happened, why, and how things would have been different if a different strategy was followed. This may provide an insight into the mind sets of those making decisions.


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HR innovation

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