Call it an HR strategy, a people plan, a road map. Call it whatever you like, but one thing is certain it will mostly be a waste of your time and energy.
Because being more strategic, doesn’t mean writing about it on paper. It doesn’t mean going on an away day and it certainly doesn’t mean focussing on your HR brand.
There is only one strategy that really matters and that’s your business.
Yet my experience of HR professionals is that they spend more time working on their own strategy than that of the business.
Well firstly because most businesses don’t build the people implications into their strategy in any fundamental sense (I’m not talking about the nominal “Talent” column which the board include to show that people are their greatest asset…).
Secondly, because HR Directors then try to demonstrate their commercial acumen and business value, by taking their team away to focus on the people strategy.
But the problem with doing this is that you automatically create the first degree of separation between the two. And that can then only get worse.
Instead of wasting everyone’s time and money, invest it in understanding your organisational strategy, reflect on the people requirements now and in the future and then realign your HR activities to support it.
It may not sound as big and clever, it may not be something you can have designed and put on the wall and it may not get you a day out a venue where you can indulge in your favourite ice breaker or personality profiling tool.
But it will make your business more successful, it will create meaning in what you do and it will, most likely, get you noticed by the people who really matter as they start to see you genuinely add value.