Business growth & strategy: using people capital strategy for HR planning

A multi-generational workforce, trends in globalization and technology transformation are enough to keep any CEO up at night!

These changes in the workforce are disruptive and here to stay. Companies will be dealing with different demands and expectations from the talent marketplace. The companies that quickly define their human capital strategies to best align with their organizational mission, goals, and values will WIN the talent game. After all, having the right talent is a major competitive advantage.

I was fortunate to see a group of Navy Seals speak recently. They shared their process for measuring success. Success isn’t measured by P&L’s or stock dividends, it is measured in human lives and mission critical initiatives of national concerns. Their diligence in planning is unparalleled by any corporation that I have seen. The Seals plan their missions intricately. They use models when they can; they plan for adversity during their missions and have back-ups to back-ups for their equipment. And when their missions are complete, they collaborate to assess what went right, what went wrong, and how to implement those new scenarios in their future planning sessions.

As the talent pool shrinks over the next 10 years, now is the time for organizations to take planning action. Much like the Seals, organizations need to start planning for their “talent mission”. Having a strategic workforce plan allows organizations to be agile and ready, mitigate future risks and provides alignment for quick strategic decisions. I have to say this again because it’s worth repeating………having the right talent is a major competitive advantage!

The Human Capital Institute (HCI), leaders in best practices and innovation in strategic talent management, uses a circular central model for talent strategy: Plan-Acquire-Engage-Develop-Deploy-Lead-Retain. Each step challenges the status quo thinking of talent management. For example many organizations measure their turnover and retention by the numbers. But do they measure what departments, what managers, what business processes have the highest turnover, and for what reasons?

Do they measure the quality of hires and time for them to be proficient in their roles? While we are on the subject, let’s talk about strategic roles. When most people are asked what are the strategic roles in their organizations, many answer with high-level positions such as the CEO, CIO and CFO. They are strategic, I grant you that, but are they the only strategic roles in your organization? What about the data scientists that mines the big data that is used to make critical decisions for new products and services? Aren’t those positions strategic too?

The perfect storm is headed our way. With the shrinking talent pool and a lack of a strategic workforce plan most companies are not going to weather the storms as well as they think. Those that are proactively managing their human capital much like the Navy Seals will win the talent game. If your are interested in learning more about workforce planning and human capital strategies check out the Human Capital Institute at You will have access to many of the thought leaders in strategic talent management.