Sleep time. Dream time.

Her message is simple and powerful – Get some sleep.

Click Here to Watch a Video

After viewing this clip, you may be thinking, “What has this got to do with HR professionals and strategic planning?”  The answer lies in the power of giving organizations time for dreaming.  Especially when those organizations invest in the creative processes of shaping their own mission and vision.  Strategic planning should not be the production of a management checklist.  Rather, it should arise from the power of creative thinking.

When are our thoughts the most creative?  When we are given time to rest and to dream.

As Ms. Huffington states, we are in a society that seems to value the sleep-deprived state of one-upmanship.  Organizations, reflective of this society, seem to be caught up in the busy-ness of the business.  How much time is spent resting instead of doing, in order to allow for big picture thinking, planning and looking out for the future?  There seems to be far too much emphasis on a frenetic goal oriented checklist that narrows our work-life focus into the minutia and drains us of organizational life.  Getting ‘stuff’ done becomes critical so that we can prove our busy-ness worth in comparison to each other.

What gets lost in all of this frantic detail driven activity?  The ability to see and create mission, vision, and values, which come from, and enable, big picture clarity.

Organizations are living creations, made up of valuable human energy that ebbs and flows in natural rhythms.  All living things need to rest so that they can be re-filled and re-charged in order to meet new challenges in positive ways.   At the very least, let’s give ourselves a break and start building in some ‘organizational dream time’ on that checklist.

Maybe, we should sleep on it first.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How much time in your workday is devoted to thinking and not doing?
  2. When you are tired, how would you rate your ability to be creative?
  3. When are you most creative and productive within your workday?
  4. What is the value in being sleep deprived?

Good News, Bad News

Reading Between the Lines

In 2014, Tim Horton’s was acquired by 3G Capital Partners LP.  Since then, it seems that the acquisition is destined for success as the parent company (3G Capital) and its shareholders are reaping profitable rewards.   These profits did not come from an unplanned, accidental approach.  Instead, there have been and will continue to be, specific and tangible HR business strategies implemented as the company continues through the transition phase of the acquisition process.

Two intertwined arrows graphic
Source: maxuser/Shutterstock

Click Here to Read the Article 

Where do the profits come from?  The article speaks to the streamlining of services, cost efficiency and a new zero based approach to budgeting.  What does this mean?  Job loss, restructuring, outsourcing, downsizing, changes to infrastructure, and culture shift.  The acquisition and merger of Tim Horton’s into an international parent company provides us with evidence of what the theory looks like in actual practice.  Each of these elements has been part of the theoretical Strategic HR Planning discussions that have been included in course of study.

The ‘real life’ end result provides for a good news story about a successful acquisition and merger based on a profitable reward.  What is not included in the story, so far, is the reality of this profitable success and its impact on the hundreds of employees who have lost their jobs.

This too should be included in the tangible HR business strategy, as this particular story continues to unfold.

 Discussion Questions:

  1. Identify three HR business strategies that, when implemented, will result in increased efficiency for 3G Capital Partners LP.
  2. What are the back office functions that could and should be outsourced when two companies merge?
  3. What types of HR programs would help employees as they move through the transition phase of an acquisition or merger?
  4. In your opinion, is this a good news story? Why or why not?

If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?

IT and technological changes are not the wave of the future, they are the drivers of our current, present state and will continue to influence how we all work on a day-to-day basis.  This is most evident in the re-shaping of tactical Human Resource functions that can (and should be!) done more efficiently and effectively by automated systems.  Tactical functions include things like payroll processes and attendance tracking which are typically reliant on high volume effort but have very low value result.  It does not mean that these types of functions are not necessary; It does mean that a human person does not necessarily need to do them.

C3PO and R2D2 with caption "Don't technical with me"

Source: Tumblr. The above content constitutes a link to the source website

 

Does this mean we, as HR Professionals, should be concerned about our careers?

Click here to read the article

If the only value an HR department brings to an organization is one that is based on pushing processes then, of course, our positions will disappear.  However, HR should be, and is, much more than just the process pushers or the compliance police.

We need to move out of tactics and into ensuring organizational transformation through strategic leadership and people management.  The value that HR brings to any organization must be measured through strategic outcomes and big picture deliverables.  HR is the wave of the future that must lead organizations by focusing on ethical stewardship and corporate social responsibility.

So let’s not worry about losing those low value tactical functions.  This will gives us, as HR Professionals, more opportunity to build valuable organizational strength through powerful creativity and passion for the Human Resources profession.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Identify the differences in value between tactical and strategic HR functions.
  2. What does Corporate Social Responsibility mean to you?
  3. In your current work environment, identify three processes that should be automated through the use of technology and the resulting impact of those changes.
  4. Identify three specific strategic functions that HR should be doing in order to be perceived as bringing value to the organization.