Thursday, June 21, 2007

Is HR strategic ?

Thomas Otter has launched a conversation on a subject that doesn't seem to evolve easily. No, HR is not strategic, even though Talent Management is a key strategic issue for any company today.

A few people have already acted on this proposal, as you will see on Thomas post.

My own position is as follows:

1 - For Talent Management to be a successful process within a corporation, we do not need HR anymore. Most managers already have talent management skills, and vendors all around are eager to help with annual reviews, succession planning or HR metrics;

2 - Now, if Talent Management is to become a key strategic issue, appart from a successful process, it needs a strong professional sponsor. I have read many posts about the new HR competencies (here is one) and I agree that HR skills have to evolve.

3 - But what really needs to be thought over carefully is the strategic nature of talent management. You need to design the metrics that will show the links between talent management and key assets of the corporation, as well as those between talent management and the bottom line.

This last point is the most difficult one. We still live in an "industrial accounting" environment, even though this is slowly evolving to take into account "tought to trade assets". You need to be able to say what kind of assets and what kind of profits you are going to generate when you speak about beefing up your corporate university or financing a new community of practice.

At Afplane, we have been working on that subject and plan to continue. Our idea is to find the steps that will take us to the next Talent Economy.

If HR is ever to be strategic it has to herald this movement. Human Capital valuation is HR next frontier.

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