Too many HR managers are "lumbering along" doing a lot of best practice work but with no clarity of strategy. That was the alarming message given by Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School at the CIPD conference in Harrogate yesterday.
Professor Porter said there were big differences between a clear business strategy and best practice improvement and he claimed that the latter was too easy an option.
"Best practice is easy and comfortable for most organisations", he said. "It’s incremental, you can delegate it and measure your progress. A lot of what you do is operational effectiveness not strategy. Strategy is hard. It’s organisationally uncomfortable because you have to make choices. It can’t be delegated and it’s difficult to measure."
Porter added that lots of companies self destruct due to the pressures of getting the strategy right. He urged business leaders to be tough in enforcing strategy and encouraged them to reject 90 per cent of ideas from employees which do not meet with the organisation’s goals.