Editor’s Note: Dr. John Sullivan has been a provocateur and strategist in the field of human resources and talent management for over 30 years. His specialty is HR strategy and designing world class HR systems and tools for Fortune 200 firms, and he’s never been shy about telling it like it is.
That’s why TLNT asked him to share his thinking in a video series titled “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” Look for these videos twice a week here at TLNT.
Today’s topic: Crafting an HR strategy
When HR people say they want to be strategic, it is important that they know just what that entails. Dr. John has a four-point definition of what it is to be strategic, and he says it is:
- Impacts one of the major business goals or initiatives; and,
- Looks at competitors and the external environment.
Although it is good to be strategic, he says, you also need to be tactical and focused on day-to-day activities, too. Good HR is usually a combination of both.
Most HR organizations, Dr. John points out, don’t have a written HR strategy that includes forecasts, what should be done, and what shouldn’t be done. Strategy is about focus, he says, and not about creating a document but rather, in creating a new way of thinking because you want all managers in HR to be thinking ahead.
You also need to look at the best strategies you can find, but focus on business and NOT other HR strategies so you can identify world-class characteristics you can add to yours.
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But, be careful of the word “align,” Dr. John says, because you really can’t measure in HR if your organization is “aligned” in a business context.
Overall, it is important that the creation of an HR strategy be done in conjunction with the organization’s business plan, but in Dr. John’s view, 98 percent of them aren’t — and that’s a mistake if you want to develop an HR strategy that is truly meaningful and works.
Did you miss the last segment of “$#*!@ Dr. John Sullivan Says!” on “The Six Critical Factors HR Professionals Need to be Successful.” You can see it here.