US management guru Michael Porter told delegates at the CIPD annual conference yesterday that common HR approaches such as adopting best practice or core competencies usually do nothing to improve competitiveness.
Giving the keynote speech, Porter said many managers had wasted their time using such techniques because they had failed to align them with business strategy.
He argued that companies should stop trying to do things better than competitors and concentrate on differentiating themselves and gave five points for aligning HR with strategy.
- Good HR alone makes no difference unless it is integrated with business strategy.
- HR managers should learn best practice but focus only on what will drive competitiveness.
- HR should choose practices that are based on strategy.
- HR must elbow its way into the boardroom.
- HR must adapt to new labour markets over the next 20 years where the balance of power will shirt to skilled employees.
By Noel O’Reilly