Resource Champions: The Next Agenda for Adding Value
and Delivering Results
by Dave Ulrich
Review courtesy of opm.gov
"How can human resources (HR) create value and deliver
results?" Turning traditional thinking about HR management upside down,
Dave Ulrich challenges HR professionals to define the value they create
for customers and employees. Delivering results means focusing on the
outcomes and results of human resources work.
Capabilities. Ulrich notes that the pace of change
required by technology, globalization, profitable growth, and customer
demands places workforce competence and organizational capabilities at
center stage. Organizational capabilities are things an organization
does better than its competition, a source of competitive advantage
(such as streamlining order-to-remittance process, learning more
quickly than competitors, organizing around customer requirements). He
challenges readers to redefine organizational capabilities to sustain
and integrate individual competencies. He insists that HR professionals
need to frame what they do in terms of the organizational capabilities
they must create.
Multiple Role Model.
Most books on human resources are organized around human resources
practices. This book is organized differently; it is organized around
the deliverables or outcomes of human resources work and the activities
required to accomplish these outcomes. Ulrich presents a framework that
clearly shows four key roles that human resources professionals must
fulfill in order to add the greatest value to the organization. The two
axes represent focus and activities. HR professionals must focus on
both the strategic and the operational, both long-term and short-term.
Activities range from managing processes to managing people. These two
axes delineate four principal roles.
Strategic partners translate business
strategy into action. They systematically assess and align HR practices
with business strategy. Organizations have numerous systems. The
ability to design, integrate, and operate these systems is the essence
of effective organizations. Building new organizational capabilities
call for performance management programs aligned with the desired
outcomes. Deliverable/outcome: executing strategy.
Administrative experts improve processes,
apply the principles of reengineering business processes to human
resources processes, rethink value creation, rethink how work is
performed, and measure human resources results in terms of efficiency
(cost) and effectiveness (quality). Deliverable/outcome: building an
Employee champions listen and respond to
employees and find the right balance between demands on employees and
resources available to employees. They promote employee contributions.
Deliverable/outcome: increasing employee commitment and capability.
Change agents understand the theory and
apply the tools of change. They lead transformation by doing it first
within the human resources function. They serve as catalysts for
change, facilitators of change, and designers of systems for change.
Deliverable/outcome: creating a renewed organization.
Ulrich devotes an entire chapter to each role. He provides
numerous surveys and assessment tools. Actual business applications and
outcomes permeate the book. His bottom line is that human resources
champions master, align, and leverage these practices so that
employees, customers, and investors receive value.
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