You have raised a million dolor question on the participation of HR people in business strategy. I was in Textile/ Garment business where I was actually part of core team. Core team had reposed trust in me for not only facilitating such initiative in the company but also accepted me as a steering person on given occasions.
In Aditya Birla Group, the financial concept had been very popular in the name of PARTA. I had been an active part of such group meetings where the machine capacities, volumes, revenues etc. are compared with the trend analysis of three to five years. The futuristic targets are discussed in thread bare manner and also benchmarked across the group. This also includes the vendor rating, prices etc. and very significantly the manpower ratios per MT, Cost, Sales Revenues and benchmarked. Skill level is also major part of such meetings.
At unit level, our core team use to decide the annual business targets with periodic reviews. Vulnerabilities, and environmental issues – internal or external also use to be part of process. Gradually I became part of corporate team and use to monitor these ventures and support the group business head from corporate office.
There are many HR interventions too, where one can evolve such strategies in non-existence environment. Non-existence is not un-favorable. One can get definite support in such initiatives from core team and other functional heads shall start supporting instead of dreaming such an attempt by an external resource or corporate affairs.
In my present organization, we are into a paradigm shift, a total turnaround situation; i.e. moving form un-favorable to non-existence to favorable environment. Although, it is a gradual process; however we could create such an environment with rigorous efforts within three month’s time. This was certainly backed by diagnostic studies, and data analysis.
To sustain & strengthen this environment to strategy formulation and that too where HR could be on core platform shall be another attempt through hardcore HR initiatives.
I feel good to be part of such change.
There would be many examples with HR fraternity in many other organizations in such paradigm shift.
One reason why you are not getting enough responses may be that many senior HR persons are quite busy in formulating strategies in their companies along with their strategy teams.
I am sure that many companies involve their senior HR persons as any business strategy would invlove HR aspects in one way or the other.
If you consider business/product/market expansion, then that would mean increase in headcount, skill development etc.
If you consider merger or acquistion, then you have culture related issues, firing few people, transfering employees, commonising the HR policies and Pay structures, etc.
If you consider new technology introduction, then it may involve downsizing, finding new skills, overcoming resistance to change etc.
If you consider closure of a part of business or some business units, then HR will be very much invloved as the consequent retrenchments or permission from labor dept. for closure are the unpleasant jobs that no other dept. would be willing to even share.
But, it remains a question in many organizations whether HR is invloved in strategy formulation at the right time.
All through my career I was with manufacturing sector where HR plays a multifaceted role catering to various needs and expectations. Here more importance is given to Participative Management where the role of HR is to involve all the people whenever a strategic decision is to be taken. Otherwise it is like translating the business strategies into action and make the employees down the level understand about the same and its implications.
In my present organization which is an FMCG company the role of HR is given more significance. We have recently formed a Core Management Committee which is headed by HR. Under the guidance and direction of this committee, SBUs (Strategic Business Unit) have been constituted across the organization. We have decided not only on the roles and responsibilities of employees there but lot of strategic planning has gone into the whole exercise circumventing all aspects of a profit centre including budget, profit and loss and everything from top to bottom has been designed by this Core Management Committee which consists of functional heads from operations and finance and presented to each SBU - we are having four SBUs altogether and all are different from each other - area wise, profits wise, revenues wise and sales wise. So this is the most significant contribution made by HR in Strategic Planning. We have already started implementing this concept successfully and groomed each SBU as per the aspirations of the Management.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts.
Strategic HR is still in teething stage in India, we all can make a difference with the introduction of such startegies in our organisations.
I would be delighted to have more inputs on this subject.
i was working with a growing Construction company and here i was invoved and my opinion are taken very well in the corporate strategy
hr people role is very much felt in our organization for the corporate strategy .
i was invoved in all the business plans and all other important deals which lay apath for the future expansion plans or new ventures
so these always help me in keeping veiw of the company strategy for the future and plan the hr practices and define new policies and procedures for the employees
so from me or the hr department the flow of company targets and expectation from various departments goes to the bottom levels of employees and these helps in each employee contributing to the strategy of the company
these help every one to know the role of each department and contribution to the growth of the company
so as far as my experience is concerned i feel hr should definitely invove in the corporate statergy so that this helps in defining various departments responsibility and flow of information without communication gap and direct to the point to all the people
these i how i contribute in corporate statergy