Human Resources Strategy First

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Sometimes, when companies are in turmoil, they seem to miss the most obvious elements that would provide strategic solutions to calm turbulent corporate waters.

Uber Technologies Inc. (Uber) is a prime example of an organization facing critical leadership gaps resulting in a lack of an overall strategic vision. Uber, the ride-hailing company, has been in the news recently due to the high profile ‘resignation’ of its co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick. Mr. Kalanick’s resignation came as a result of serious business errors and leadership mis-steps leaving the organization to face numerous crises and on-going internal chaos. A new CEO (Dara Khosrowshahi) has been appointed, who faces multiple challenges to get the organization on to a cohesive and clear strategic path.

An analysis of the key issues that must be addressed has been highlighted in a recent article through HRD Canada.

Click here to read the article.

Of the items that must be addressed by Uber’s new CEO, establishing a new executive team with experienced leaders is the number one suggestion.  However, of the executive positions to be filled, there is no mention of a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Of the seven immediate crises facing the organization, on the face of it, five of them are clearly human resources issues. Each requires an integrated, comprehensive and strategic human resources management approach that should be enveloped within the overall organizational strategy.

Without the key strategic pillar of human resources strategy in place, it is difficult to see how the organization will be able to move forward successfully. Perhaps the plan is to have the CEO fully responsible for human resources strategies and decisions. That plan was, apparently, already in place under the former CEO, providing us with evidence of the negative consequences and unfortunate results.

In order for organizations to change, they must try something different and new. Perhaps it is time to create a seat for Human Resources at this particular corporate table.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Of the list of issues outlined in the article, which one do you think is the most important to implement from a Human Resources perspective? Explain your rationale.
  2. What types of Human Resources strategies need to be in place in order to have successful implementation for each of the items listed in the article?
  3. As a consumer, does the current state of crisis at Uber impact your purchasing (use of Uber) decisions? Explain your rationale.

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