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Are you running a HR Strategy or a HR Plan?

Created on 2023-05-09 09:14

Published on 2023-05-09 09:20

Strategy is defined by many scholars and the common thing they agree is that it is about selection of choices that will give the organization a competitive advantage in the industry it is in and sets it up for earning favorable returns than the others in the same industry .

Competitive advantage is not what it used to be, the key change is that it now days doesn’t last as long as it used to in the past. With the speed of technology, the speed of replication and raise in smartness of employees. Today the smartest people in an organization are not necessarily mangers as it used to be in the past.

So what in this strategy period was an competitive advantage , may not be in the next cycle , it might even stopped being a competitive advantage a few years into the strategy.

How do you know whether you are running a plan or a strategy? What are the tell tale signs?

One: If you are allocating and  managing resources  towards People related activities , that you have full control of the outcome based on how well you allocate the resources , then you are most likely running a plan.

Two: you are certain of the outcome if you coordinate and execute the items on your task list.

Three : The items in the to achieve lists have been the same over the last two to three strategy cycles.

This means you not doing anything new, no initiatives for the future renewal of the orgaisation. All initiatives post the strategy cycle become operational items.

Four: You have no hypothesis about the things you need to do to achieve your desired outcomes. Here organisations tend to do what they have been always doing. Avoiding the items they would call not useful for now .

Strategy is not about certainty, its about having a theory, that if we do abcd… we will have such desired outcomes, based on the customers reactivity on your actions. The customer may like what you have done and thus start buying, buy more. Most strategy in organisations are inwardly focused, that if we are have operational excellence, then our customer will be satisfied and thus stay or buy more. If the product/service doesn’t solve the customers problem, no amount of operational excellence will provide more satisfaction. Satisfaction of how as client we are served is very different from the satisfaction derived by solving a problem with a service or product.

There would be ideally two types of organizations.

Operational plan focused- getting things more efficient, focus on improving those operational shortfalls existing

Strategy focused – looks at the future survival and renewal of the organization. Have new initiatives that have been identified as those that can lead to sustain the organization and give it a long life in terms of the human capital, the ways of doing things and hope that the customers love the final product.

The Author is a Balanced scorecard Palladium certified (XXP Execution premium process ) and also a Instruction designer. Martins goal is to help organisations achieve strategy execution success through Learning and by translating and cascading the strategy organisation wide. The end point being improved performance .

Martin can be reached martin@iperformanceafrica.com

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