Putting It Together: Human Resource Strategy and Planning

The essence of management and strategy is making sense of reality: human, organizational, and situational. And, more critically, to be able to act on that insight. From both an executive management and human relations management standpoint, strategy is about alignment: alignment of the mission, core values, culture, competitive strategy and supporting infrastructure, including policies and practices.

As Jim Collins and Jerry Porras phrase it in Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies: “Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.” Alignment also requires an understanding of human motivation and how to inspire a belief in and commitment to that vision. To quote Simon Sinek: “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

The following table summarizes both the strategic planning process and the implications for human resource strategy:[1]

Strategic Analysis, Strategy Formulation, and Strategy Implementation
Strategic Analysis Strategy Formulation Strategy Implementation
Assess driving forces in the industry Formulate mission, vision, and values Develop organizational capabilities
Determine key success factors Define culture, management philosophy, and business practices Manage performance
Assess business and organizational capabilities Set business objectives and priorities
Define strategic issues Develop action plans
Identify competitive advantage and associated market positioning Allocate resources
Human Resources
Assess people and organizational implications [of business strategy] Develop people-related strategies in support of business strategy Enable effective change
Assess people-related organizational capabilities Align core people management processes to enable implementation
Determine future people and organizational requirements Align human resources function with changing requirements
Identify people-related capability gaps Establish and implement a business plan for the HR function


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  1. Bawany, Sattar. "The Role and Future of HR: Today's Challenges & Tomorrow's Vision." HR.com. January 6, 2015. Accessed July 30, 2019.