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Human Resources Contribution to Strategy Execution Published: Sunday, July 2, 2006 By: Dr. Manuel Ńngel Morales

Most organizations have developed explicit strategies to optimize resources such as capital, technologies, brands and process capabilities. Yet today, many of these companies come to us to help them to articulate effectively their strategies for the optimization of their most costly resource, their human capital.

During the last fifteen years QBS has been helping organizations create a clear compelling cultural transformation strategy as the key component necessary for the organization to execute its business strategy. We have seen how they have developed highly differentiating cultures that support their unique value adding propositions to their clients and stockholders. The contribution of the organizationís Human Resources function is critical for the execution of the organizationís strategy through its people. By developing and executing a strategy to transform the mindset of its people, set cultural priorities and direction, identify leadership and workforce behaviors, and provide the organizationís key players with the necessary competencies to execute effectively, Human Resources can set the course.

Human Resources provide the leadership and share co-accountability in the strategy execution of its Human Capital. Human Resources creates value by developing jointly with management a roadmap for cultural transformation that optimizes the worth of its workforce and positions it as a key strategic asset. At the base is an increase emphasis in the differentiation of employees. If we are to create differentiating value, our people have to create differentiating performance. Differentiating performance will not be achieved though off the shelf generic people strategies. Unique employees, unique jobs and unique performance expectations that is how Human Resources differentiates itís culture, thatís their challenge.

Gone are the times of being the employer of choice, or the best place to work. Danger, Danger, Danger. A great place to work with job security and pay, low turnover, hundreds of job applicants that blur the ability of the organization to identify good talent, can lead to a culture that is a safe haven for marginal employees and worse, marginal performance.

Human Resources challenge is to build and seek a strategy that creates, seeks, motivates and optimizes the Execution of the Employee of Choice. Human Resources achieves differentiation creating a demanding, high performance execution discipline where high achievers are highly rewarded, failure is not an option and marginal performance is exterminated. The unacceptable accounting cost of maintaining marginal performance is far exceeded by its intangible cost. It can be a deadly cancer.

As architects of the organizations culture and mindset, Human Resources must put in place systems that help its people understand how they are expected to contribute to the execution of their organizations strategy. Systems must be put in place to identify high performance individuals and team members internally and externally and ensure that they understand that theirs is a demanding high performance organization where failure in not an option.

A paradigm shift must occur, from performance management to Performance Optimization that should be the focus. High performance stars must receive significant differentiating rewards.

Human Resources need to identify the specific roles and behaviors required by the leadership team and the workforce needed to execute the organizationís strategy. Specific metrics should be put in place to help translate expectations of roles, behaviors and results into clear actions and accountabilities.

Finally, Human Resources has to initiate and drive the process for the development of those competencies that have a significant impact on the execution of the organizations strategy.

 


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