1. Transformation to Strategic HRM: Role Play Activity
CASE INTRODUCTION: The CEO of Mighty Telecommunications, Sharon Wentworth, meets with the new VP of HR, Thomas Brody. Sharon points out to Thomas that many administrative HR functions at Mighty have been automated or outsourced in the last two years. She wants HR to bring more value to the business and asks Thomas to transform the HR department. She asks Thomas to work with the sales department, which is struggling to meet its revenue targets. After the meeting, Thomas decides to develop a highly skilled team of strategic partners (SPs) to build strategic business partnerships with the company’s leaders. He realizes he’ll have to coach this team to success, and begins by instructing them on the first steps in building a strategic client relationship. One of Thomas’s new SPs, Karen Johnson, catches on quickly and is selected as the first person to practice the techniques she’s learned by building a partnership with the sales department.
Her ultimate goal is to consult with sales leaders to uncover ways she can help them increase sales revenue. Eager to begin, Karen arranges a meeting with a high-performing sales operations manager, Jacob Reynolds, who was referred to her by a friend in sales. She begins by asking questions about the department’s business goals, but he isn’t able to articulate what those are. His discussion is mostly tactical in nature. Karen quickly realizes that she’s made a major mistake. She has not identified the true client, someone who can articulate the department’s business goals and with whom she can build a long-term partnership. She consults with Thomas, who identifies Wendy Harris, the VP of sales, as her true client. Thomas talks with Wendy about Karen’s role and the HR department’s new focus, and arranges a meeting between Karen and Wendy.
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2. Part II: Strategic Engagement
CASE INTRODUCTION Karen successfully builds a trusted partnership with the sales department, and her techniques are replicated by other SPs with the VP of customer service, VP of IT, VP of procurement and VP of marketing. The CEO’s executive team begins telling the CEO how impressed they are with the “new HR” and the value the SPs have brought to their divisions. As a result, the CEO asks Thomas to attend the next planning meeting to determine the business model and strategy for the organization over the next several years. Thomas prepares for and attends the CEO’s executive staff meeting. The executive team decides that the best course of action for the company is to expand its market share to Asia. They’d also like to offer new business consulting services, instead of limiting themselves to transactional sales of telecommunication devices and low-end solutions. The goal is to be
fully operational in Asia in three years. The CEO asks Thomas to prepare a high-level roadmap of how he’ll align the company’s HR processes and policies to meet this business goal. He’ll present his roadmap at next month’s executive staff meeting. Refer to Appendix
3. Part III: The Future SP
CASE INTRODUCTION Over the next year, Thomas will work with the executive team to further define the problems and opportunities and the corresponding people initiatives. He’ll help create a vision, mission and goals for the company’s new business model. This time period will be ambiguous, but in the end, he will have partnered with the executive team to devise a set of people initiatives that support the business plan. Each initiative will directly link to the business strategy. At that time, he will delegate the initiatives to his SP team. They will be in charge of overseeing and monitoring each initiative. They will create a change management plan, evaluate their initiative’s effectiveness and be held accountable for its success. Thomas wonders if his new team is ready. He wonders what skills and competencies they must have before assigning them these tasks; if they successfully complete these tasks, they will earn strategic business partner status. He needs to make sure that over the next year, they are developed into high-performing SPs who are up to the task. What should he do to make sure his team is ready? What skills and competencies do they need?
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References: 1. Jones, S. F., 2009. Beyond Tactical – Transformation to Strategic HR. Society for Human Resource Management Case Study Publications 2. Christensen, R. (2006).
Roadmap to strategic HR: Turning a great idea into a business reality. New York: AMACOM. 3. Robinson, D. G., & Robinson, J. C. (2005).
Strategic business partner: Aligning people strategies with business goals. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 4. Ulrich, D., & Brockbank, W. (2005).
The HR value proposition. Boston: Harvard Business School Pres
APPENDIX 1: Sample of High Level Road Map
Communicate the business plan to HR colleagues
•List your plans for this step
Conduct organization-wide audits to determine readiness
•List your plans for this step
Propose initiatives and solutions that ensure alignment of people with business requirements •List your plans for workforce planning and staffing, learning and development, organization development, performance management, and employee relations
Provide the business case for HR solutions that are proposed •List your plans for this step
Know the HR staff’s capability so you don’t over-commit and under-deliver •List your plans for this step
•List your plans for this step
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