I was called upon to review the syllabus for Strategic HR of a new management institute in Pune. The institute is affiliated to a University. I’d like to share some of my thoughts.
My main observation was that almost all the topics prescribed in the
curriculum were not very different from any HRM program. The attempts made to link HR processes to strategy the approach relied considerably on the functional HR theory. The core and reference books on Strategic HR had strategy and HRM as distinct chapters – not integrated seamlessly. I was surprised why some great books on Strategic HR by Dave Ulrich and Wayne Brockbank and a few others were missed out.
The main issues that arise are how can HR add strategic value to the business? And how can HR professionals who have not experienced the pulls and pressures of the core business be expected to fulfill this role successfully?
HR does attract good talent but unless they are exposed to business realities of the external environment a real transformation will always pose a challenge. Please read a brilliant article by Keith Hammond on “Why We Hate HR” at http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/97/open_hr.html.
The challenge therefore is how HR can be exposed to the external business environment. The traditional positioning of HR has always been in a staff role and therefore a ‘change’ to the role of a business decision maker and a leader with the responsibilities of ‘line’ will need a bold and innovative approach. In other words HR professionals will need to develop a CEO mindset and think like CEOs.
A fairly clear concept of strategic HR emerges in the article ‘The New Mandate of HR’ by Dave Ulrich that had appeared in the HBR read http://www.hrequations.co.nz/SHRQ/downloads/ulrich%20new%20mandate.pdf
Like we have an intra-specialization in Finance and Accounting, Marketing and Sales do you have Strategic HR and Core HR in your organizations or there is no classical differentiation? What are the issues and challenges that emerge in your organizations?
I request you to share your experience and insights and enrich this debate. Thank you.