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HRís Contribution to Strategy Execution Published: Sunday, January 29, 2012 8:00 am By: Rafael RŪos, Executive Vice President

During the last twenty years we have 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. In these successful organizations the contribution of the organizationís Human Resources function has been critical in order to execute the organizationís strategy. By developing and executing a strategy to transform the mindset of its people, set cultural priorities and direction, identify leadership-workforce behaviors, and provide the organizationís key players with the necessary competencies to execute effectively, HR is setting the course.

HR has been successful creating 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 there has been an increase emphasis in the differentiation of employees. If we are to create differentiating value, our people have to create differentiating performance. Differentiating performance has not been achieved through off the shelf generic people strategies. By providing unique employees, unique jobs and unique performance expectations, HR has differentiated their culture, that was their challenge.

HRís challenge is to build and seek a strategy that creates, seeks, motivates and optimizes the return on their Employees of Choice (employees with high performance and high potentials). HR 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 co-architects of the organizations culture and mindset, successful HRís functions have put in place systems that help its people understand how they are expected to contribute to the execution of their organizations strategy. Systems have been 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.  This interesting since the astonishing reality is that most (companies) are as unprepared for the challenge of finding, motivating and retaining capable people as they were a decade ago

A paradigm shift is occurring in these successes stories; we see a move from performance management to performance optimization that should be the focus.  High performance stars must receive significant differentiating rewards.

Value creating HR functions have been able to identify the specific roles and behaviors required by the leadership team needed to execute the organizations strategy. Some of the most significant of these roles are:

1)Providing a persistent, consistent, and optimistic focus on strategy execution, making sure that everyone understands that failure is not an option, 2) Providing a compelling and credible message (story) about why achieving our strategic goals or transforming our cultural is important for the survival of the organization, 3) Communicating the need for strategy execution face to face, one on one, in small groups, 4) Using symbols, metaphors and short stories effectively in order to energize your organization,  5) Introducing the knowledge and concepts that will serve as the tools to implement the change process and execute the strategy, 6) Discussing strategy execution at every key meeting  and in every resource allocation decisions, 7) Creating a moderate and manageable level of constructive tension or generating a sense urgency to execute the strategy, 8) Only recruiting the best people and not accepting anything else. 9) Communicating and demonstrating that growth is the only option.

Specific metrics have been put in place to help translate expectations of roles, behaviors and results into clear actions and accountabilities.

HR has been able to  help organizations understand that the future sustainability of most companies, wherever they operate, will rely on the ability to develop a sharp innovation focused culture reflected in investment, both in appropriate infrastructure and, increasingly, in the thinking and innovation of a companyís people.

In successful cases HR has demonstrated that they have the knowledge to initiate and drive the process of developing of those competencies that have a significant impact on the execution of the organizations strategy.

Copyright 2012 QBS, Inc.
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