Jonathan Miller

Topics: Human resource management, Management, Change management Pages: 11 (3640 words) Published: December 1, 2012

The course Aligning People and Strategy has helped me to recognize the importance of including human resources in the strategic management process, whether it is with respect to hiring talent, retaining talent or managing talent during an organizational change. Through the cases and articles discussed in class, I have also learned that Human Resource Management (HRM) plays a vital role in a company’s success. For instance, Cirque de Soleil would not be able to pursue its mission, which is to invoke imagination and emotion through its performances, without being able to find and acquire the right talent. The following paper will reflect upon my key takeaways from the course, and relate some of my previous experiences to the three modules we covered in the course.

A holistic approach to Human Resource Management

In my previous workplace, I found that our human resources (HR) department was reactive instead of proactive. The company appeared to follow a one-way linkage model, whereby HR followed the directives of management without providing any input into the decision-making process. This was evident during the credit crisis, when the company became overwhelmed with applications from businesses requesting Credit Insurance policies. HR was given the directive to hire additional employees to assist with the increased workload. The hiring process took approximately four months to complete. However, soon after the new employees had been trained, it became apparent that the upswing in demand was temporary and that the company was now over-staffed.

If my former company taken a holistic approach to talent acquisition in the aforementioned scenario, they would have saved the company a lot of money and hassles. For example, had HR used an integrative model towards strategy formulation, they would have been able to share their insights with senior management regarding the external HR environment ex-ante. In conductingthis external analysis, HR would have realised that in an economic climate where the unemployment rate is rising, such as the one with which they were faced, employees are more inclined to accept contract positions, and therefore, do not need to be offered permanent jobs. Moreover, HR may have been more inclined to question whether the company’s recent growth would be temporary, or more permanent due to a shift in the industry. Thus, from my perspective, the integrative formulation model would have resulted in a more effective implementation of the organization’s strategy.

Unlike my former workplace, HRM plays a vital role in the strategy formulation and implementation of Google, Cirque de Soleil (Cirque) and Microsoft. These companies all follow a differentiation strategy, in which human capital is a key component to their success, thereby employing an integrative formulation model. For example, Cirque’sgrowth is dependent on their ability to scout an adequate number of performers to fill all of the positions for their shows. The fact that Cirque is unwilling to compromise on the quality oftheir performances indicates that talent acquisition and talent management are an integral part of their strategic management process. With respect to strategy formulation, it is clear that the casting directors understand the external opportunities and threats, as well as the internal strengths and weaknesses, of the available talent. These selection experts carefully follow the careers of top athletes, and they travel the world seeking new artists and manage the talent. Moreover, given that these casting directors have a good intuitive sense regarding the type of artists who will succeed, i.e. top athletes who are hard-workers, adaptable, and collaborative, it is extremely important to involve them in the strategic implementation process. By using an integrative HRM framework, Cirque has increased its ability to alignhiring processes and reward systems with corporation’s...
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