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Why isn’t HR a strategic function?
How can HR make a more strategic contribution to business success?

Why isn’t HR a strategic function?


Over the years, we have had numerous conversations with HR executives who have told how they make a strategic contribution. Yet, when you ask them what that contribution is, they mostly tell you operational things. Probing further, we have found that they rarely know the basic ideas behind alternative HR strategies, let along knowledge of wider business strategy models that might enable them to fit the two together.


It is therefore perhaps not surprising that other business executives adopt sceptical and sometimes cynical attitudes towards HR and frame their role in a purely instrumental manner. Many HR people do recognise that their shortage of knowledge around strategy and value creation is limiting them and their organisations. However, many are trapped in a paradoxical situation where the business leader is demanding solutions to strategic problems, but are unwilling to invest in developing HR, because it is not perceived as a strategic function. Chicken and egg time! This contrasts heavily with functions like finance, where attendance at courses like ACCA are compulsory and the firm is simply expected to support the cost, as an investment.


There do exist professional development courses for the HR community. However, they have two main issues. First, having taught on them, the most well-known is very British centric, with quite dated content, and very operationally focused. Second, the quality of delivery is often politely described as patchy at best.


In response to what most HR executives and business leaders agree is a clear need, we have developed, in partnership with the University of Suffolk, the Talent Academy. Designed at 2 levels, Foundation and Advanced, each level contains six modules of one day each, delivered one day per month. The modules are case study driven and specifically designed to learn practical analytical tools to immediately improve individual and collective performance.

  • Instead of reacting to events you will be able to identify patterns, diagnose their underlying causes and develop solutions that address the causes and not just their symptoms.

  • Make a meaningful strategic contribution by learning how to apply global best practices and developing your critical thinking.

An advanced level class will start in Cluj on 1st July, led by Dr. Andrew Taylor. Participants will complete 6 modules, followed by a short assignment, demonstrating their ability to apply learning to their own workplace.

This course is designed for more experienced employees (Mid- or Senior-level specialists, HR managers) to be able to make a more strategic contribution to the organization.

Check our website and apply today for the first class starting on the 1st of July! More details on the delivery programme and costs are available on the website.

Andy Taylor, 17.06.2021