The notion that Human Resource (HR) professionals need to be strategic and aligned with their organization’s strategy is not by any means new. In their book The HR Scorecard published almost fifteen years ago, Professors Becker, Huselid and Ulrich noted that “traditional HR skills have not diminished in value, but simply are no longer adequate to satisfy the wider strategic demands of the HR function” (Becker, Huselid and Ulrich, 2001). Since then strategy frameworks and the language of strategic management have evolved. The question is has HR kept up with these, especially in the past year or so?
This article is written for HR leaders and explores the HR-related implications of strategy work drawn from a variety of sources but in particular work that grew out of the strategy practice at Monitor Company and subsequently further developed by Roger Martin, former Dean of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, and A. G. Lafley, former Chairman, President and CEO of Proctor & Gamble. Their work Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works (2013) was recently published by Harvard Business Review Press and won the prestigious Thinkers50 Best Book Award (Thinkers50 website, 2014). “Playing to Win” is a down-to-earth, simplified approach to thinking about strategy that is resonating very well with many business leaders. The “Playing to Win” framework is practical, effective and efficient.