Selecting an HR strategy* 1. Introduction Like all of the other major business functions, human resources must accomplish a wide range of activities from basic transaction processing to strategic planning in order to be successful. The importance ascribed to each of those functional activities in large part represents your human resource strategy. Delivering a strategic impact requires development of a strategy that supports the corporate business objectives, aligning and prioritizing each of the various activities to support and help accomplish those objectives. While an infinite number of HR strategies can be formulated, most in use today fall under a relatively small number of models. While I don't recommend using a strategy just because of major firm uses it, it is helpful to know what the range of strategies available to HR are. This article highlights the various HR strategy models and provides some insights into the advantages and disadvantages of each. 2. What are the most widely used HR strategies? If you study successful organizations around the world, you'll find that there are a finite number of HR strategies in use. Although each of the strategies listed below is a distinct category, many firms use them in combination in order to arrive at an approach that best fits their situation. For example, stable business units that provide the core revenue base for an organization may operate under one strategy while a business unit that focuses on future development may operate under another. Widely admired firms like Intel, General Electric, Cisco, Nucor and Microsoft have found that a "performance culture" is the best approach to drive their success. While other excellent companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Dell Computer have adopted an e-HR strategy where technology permeates everything they do in HR. Other successful companies have achieved good results using the more traditional business partner or personnel strategy. Each category has its advantages, costs and disadvantages so be sure and compare and contrast them before deciding that any one is the overall best. 3. The 10 basic HR strategies The 10 basic most commonly used HR strategies or models are: A. Personnel B. Generalist C. Business partner D. Call centre E. Outsourced
Case: Leadership, Culture, and Transition at lululemon
Key takeaway: Figure out how to bring the founders into a strategy rather than alienating them.
What happened? In mid-2008 new CEO Christine Day took over from founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson. The decision came as the company wanted to expand and become more corporate. At the same time, Wilson was concerned about maintaining the culture and values of the company.
Day faced entrenched problems like outperforming stores, a poor real estate strategy, and barriers between various parts of the company. She used her experience from helping expand Starbucks worldwide to align the whole company with a strategic plan. She even convinced the founders to attend advanced management programs at Harvard and Stanford so they could better understand how the company must change. Worth around $350 million at the start of her tenure, Lululemon is now a $10.59 billion dollar company.
T hanks to Dr. Jennifer Chatman, the Paul J. Cortese Distinguished Professor of Management Chair at UC Berkeley's Haas Management of Organizations Group for her suggestion