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November 2005

HR’s New Role


Becoming a Strategic Business Partner
ODN National Conference
Minneapolis

William Pasmore
New York
Overview

 Brief Description Of Mercer Delta Consulting (MDC)


 HR Transformation and the Evolution of the HR Business Partner
Concept
 What It Takes to Be An Effective HR Business Partner
 Using Diagnosis to Transform Relationships and Opportunities
 Staying Focused on Issues that Matter to the Business
 Delivering Changes That Make a Real Difference
 Some Examples of Doing It Well
 Next Steps

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Mercer Delta Clients

 Executive leadership at the


public-company/enterprise level
 Includes CEOs, COOs,
Executive Teams, and Boards
 Relationships extend out into
the organization
 $1 billion+ enterprises and
smaller high-growth companies
 Recognizing the need for
change
 Aware of own limitations
 Looking for assistance

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Illustrative Client Companies

s
Creating Knowledge

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HR Transformation and the Evolution of
the HR Business Partner Concept
The Promise of HR Transformation

 Substantial cost savings through the


automation and outsourcing of routine
transactional work and the creation of shared
services
 More complete, accurate, and useful
information management through the creation
of comprehensive, all-encompassing
databases and HRIS systems
 Enhanced accessibility and self-service
through 24/7 online and call center support
for routine operations
 Uniform policy application across locations
due to centralization of decision-making in
shared systems
 Enhanced capabilities through centers of
excellence for non-routine work
 Freed from the routine work, a new role for
HR generalists as strategic business partners

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From Personnel to Business Partner

Approximate Key Business


Dates Issues HR Role Title for Role
1920s-1930s  Organic Growth  Hiring, Training, and  Personnel
Caring for Employees
 New Technologies

1940s-1970s  Diversification  Productivity  Employee


 Competition  Negotiations Relations/Labor
Relations
1970s-1990s  International  Downsizing  Human
Competition Resources
 Leadership
 Survival  Change Programs
 Shift to Service  Performance
Management/Rewards

2000  Globalization  Talent Development  HR Business


 Innovation  Strategic Capabilities Partner/CCO
 Reinvention
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Evolution of Organization Development

Approximate Key Business


Dates Issues OD Role Title for Role
1940s-1960s  Coordination  Surveys  OD
 Productivity  STS/Work Design
 Motivation  Team-Building
1970s  International  Quality  Quality
Competition
1980s-1990s  Cost-Cutting  Work-Out  Change
 Survival  Reengineering Management
 Efficiency  Enterprise IT Systems  Reengineering
 Balanced Scorecard
2000  Globalization  Create New Capabilities  OE
 Innovation  Organization
Architecture
 Reinvention

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Ulrich’s Human Resource Champions (1997)

 Four Roles for HR


– Administrative Expert
– Employee Champion
– Change Agent
– Strategic Partner

“When HR professionals work as strategic partners, they work


with line managers to institute and manage a process that
creates an organization to meet business requirements.”

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Examples of Critical Capabilities
From Ulrich’s Human Resource Champions

 Align performance measures to strategic  Have dominant distribution channels


priorities  Have committed employees
 Attract and retain high-caliber people  Identify and develop the next generation
 Be the technology leader in the field of leaders
 Create a shared mindset  Improve speed, cash flow, profitability,
and productivity every year
 Create capacity for change
 Innovate and learn more quickly than
 Demonstrate cultural flexibility
competitors
 Ensure trust between leaders and  Maintain good investor relations
workers
 Manage financial management systems
 Form alliances with a variety of
organizations  Take risks
 Have a culturally diverse workforce  Work in a boundary-less way
 Think and act globally

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What It Takes to Be an Effective HR
Business Partner
Becoming a Strategic Business Partner

 Knowledge requirements
 Using diagnosis to transform
relationships and opportunities
 Staying focused on issues that
matter to the business
 Delivering capabilities that make
a real difference

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Business Partner Knowledge Requirements
Examples

Strategic
 Talent planning  Strategic alignment
 Talent development  Organization architecture
 Performance management  Globalization
 Executive succession  Enterprise integration
 Executive compensation  Acquisition planning
 HRIS  Organizational learning
 Shared services  Executive development
 Outsourcing/offshoring  Cultural integration
 International law  Change leadership
 Acquisition assessment  Capability creation
 Managing diversity  Board relations
HR Business
 Compensation/benefits  Quality
 Recruiting  Productivity/lean manufacturing
 Hiring/firing  Cost-reduction
 Data reporting  Process reengineering
 Performance assessment  Supply chain management
 Succession planning  Work redesign
 Relocation  Customer management
 Orientation and training  Product development
 Labor law  Change management
 Merger integration  Metrics/balanced scorecard
 Policy/fair treatment  Team effectiveness

Operational
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Using Diagnosis to Transform
Relationships and Opportunities
Diagnosis

 Provides a powerful way of working


with business leaders
 Involves a process and a set of
principles
 Repeats whenever new
opportunities emerge
 Helps transform relationships

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The Diagnostic Process

Implemented
Streams -
Examples
Data Organizational Data Streams
Contracting
Scouting Collection Diagnosis Feedback of Work 
Organization
and Architecture
Agenda

Culture Change

Executive Team
Setting Performance
Relationship Building 
Leadership
Development

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Data Collection and Analysis

 Dialogues - centerpiece of data-


collection strategy
 Input from business leaders on
organizational issues and concerns
 Confidential, one-on-one
discussions
 Structured process for interviewing,
recording, analyzing, and reporting
interviews with business leaders
 Results must feature powerful
findings captured in the
organization’s own words

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Collaborative Organizational Diagnosis

Action What do we do?


HR Business Partner

Business Leader
Knowledge What does it mean?

Information What does it say?

Data What do we see?

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Core Principles

Process Steps Core Principles

Getting Started
 
BL
 
Ownership
Data Collection

Organizational
Iterative   
Interpretive
Diagnosis Collaboration
Learning Diagnosis

Data Feedback

Change
Streams of Work  
Leadership
Skills
 

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Six Dimensions of Relationships That
Enable Change

Building
Trust
Personal
Advocacy
Investment

Collaboration Courage

Interpersonal
Agility

Source: Carucci and Pasmore. Relationships that


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Staying Focused on Issues That Matter
to the Business
Staying Focused on Business Issues

 What are the issues that matter?


– What’s keeping business
leaders up at night?
– What’s the “moose on the
table” regarding the future?
– What drives the bottom line?
 Changing how you spend your
time and attention
 Not getting pulled or pushed back
into the old HR box

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Delivering Changes That Make
a Real Difference
Congruence Model

Informal
Input Organization Output

Environment System

Formal
Resources Strategy Work Unit
Organization

History Individual

People

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Two Key Challenges

Informal
1. Creating a new strategy Input Organization Output

that seizes market Environment System

opportunities and makes Resources Strategy Work


Formal
Unit
Organization
full use of the
organization’s competitive
History Individual

advantages People

1. Designing an organization Input


Informal
Output
Organization
that supports the full and
Environment System
effective execution of the
Formal
new strategy Resources Strategy Work Organization Unit

History Individual

People

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Some Examples of Doing it Well
Strategic Business Partners Par Excellence

Noel Tichy/Steve Kerr

Richard Antoine

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Business Partner Career Paths
Examples

HR Strategic OE
Executive  Talent planning  Strategic alignment Executive
 Talent development  Organization architecture
 Performance management  Globalization
 Executive succession  Enterprise integration
 Executive compensation  Acquisition planning Strategic
 HRIS  Organizational learning Business
 Shared services  Executive development Partner
 Outsourcing/offshoring  Cultural integration
 International law  Change leadership
 Acquisition assessment  Capability creation
 Managing diversity  Board relations

HR Business
 Compensation/benefits  Quality
 Recruiting  Productivity/lean manufacturing
 Hiring/firing  Cost reduction
 Data reporting  Process reengineering
 Performance assessment  Supply chain management
Business
HR  Succession planning  Work redesign
Relocation Customer management Partner
Specialist  
 Orientation and training  Product development
 Labor law  Change management
 Merger integration  Metrics/balanced scorecard
HR
 Policy/fair treatment  Team effectiveness OE
Generalist Professional

Operational
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Next Steps
Next Steps: What You Can Do

 Make it personal
 Begin with conversations and
diagnosis
 Build stronger relationships
 Stay focused
 Measure impact of changes on
business results
 Commit to learning

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We Could All Stand to Learn More About…

 Developing extremely effective leaders


 Creating more flexible but still high-
performing organizations
 Working globally, virtually, horizontally,
and spontaneously
 Inventing and implementing new
business models in old companies
 Changing cultures: making customers,
values, and integrity real
 Organic growth
 Leveraging diversity for business results
 Strategic design
 China and India

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