Monday, 11 February 2008

Competencies for strategic HR capability development

In the last really major HR development programme I ran (7 conducts of 5 day workshops delivered in different venues throughout Europe), I used Michigan's 2002 competency framework which was superseded last year (this came out before I started blogging so I've not referred to it myself, but plenty of other blogs did, for example Taleo).

But I still prefer a version I and a few colleagues (Peter, Geoff and Roberta) developed a few years ago and that in high-level form is shown here.

At the top is Strategic Partnering which refers to the abilities to develop an HCM strategy which supports an organisation's vision and values, and aligns with, and informs, its business strategy. (This is Michigan's Strategy Architect).

This is supported by:

  • Business Know-How: understanding the fundamentals of business and finance - for business in general, and particularly for this business (Business Ally).
  • People Management Leadership: this sounds awful, but refers to the leadership of people management activities. All of the HR stuff we know and love, and its more strategic aspects too (Michigan's Cultural Steward, Talent Manager / Organisation Designer).
  • Personal Credibility: earning permission to influence (Credible Activist).

The reason I prefer this to Michigan's framework is that business know-how, people management leadership and personal credibility all clearly underpin strategic partnering, and out of the three, it is people management that it as the centre, which I believe is appropriate.

This central competency is then underpinned by HR Implementation: the ability to execute (Operational Executor).

I wouldn't advise running a programme in the same way today (very few clients would stomach 5 day workshops, although this did send a clear signal about the importance of this training across the HR team). But I'd still base it on this set of competencies.