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What is the Future of HR?

What is the Future of HR?

Jay Jamrog | i4cp

September 15, 2010

To answer that question we interviewed dozens of CHROs in high market performing organizations. When we asked about the goal of becoming a strategic business partner and getting a seat at the table, their responses were almost unanimous: They are tired of the subject. Indeed, they believe that trying to achieve the role of strategic business partner and complaining about not having a seat at the table is doing more harm than good because it sets up unnecessary expectations for the HR function that may be unachievable.

Instead, they point out that they are gaining respect and adding value by having a laser focus on the execution of the business strategy. And, at first glance, the data seems to support this approach. When asked about HR’s role with respect to the business strategy, the top three responses were all related to implementing the strategy:

1. HR helps plan and implement the strategy

2. HR helps design the organizations structure to implement the strategy

3. HR help assess the organization’s readiness to implement the strategy

Over half of the respondents in high market performing companies indicated that those three implementation roles were the most important for HR with respect to strategy to a high or very high extent. One of the interviewees suggested that HR holds a unique position in organizations today, a position that allows them to see all the various points of view (marketing, financial, operations and IT) and can play the role of consolidator of the perspectives. At that point they can facilitate the strategic discussion to find common ground.

So, what is the future of HR with respect to the business strategy? Is it as a strategic business partner? Or an implementer of the strategy after it is developed? Or is the future of HR to be a consolidator and facilitator?

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