Letters of the week

Irony in
advice on getting strategic

I found Rob
McLuhan’s article “Strategic Positioning” (Features, 14 November) ironic in the
extreme – an article on how to “get” strategic bursting at the seams with
fragmented tactics.

Having
assisted a number of senior HR teams to reposition themselves as business
partners in their organisations, I would draw attention to a few observations:

1.     
Don’t
be an HR professional trying to be an expert in your business – be a business
professional who uses HR expertise. If you are not sure of the difference,
leave your office, go home and stay there. You are probably doing your
organisation more harm than good.

2.     
Take
more time to examine and understand your own preferences and styles – the
Myers-Briggs Type Inventory and Bill Torbert’s Development Levels are useful
tools and models. You need to develop yourself to be a strategic thinker, not
pick things to say and do to seem more strategic – therein lies the very real
danger of being considered even more insubstantial.

3.     
Beware
of becoming so focused on impressing the board that you end up colluding with
the current epidemic of short-term “make the numbers” unsustainable so-called
“business strategies” that are leading to record levels of stress and
dissatisfaction in the workplace.

Steve
Phillips

Corporate
learning &

development
consultant

Gamlingay

 

Equal rights must mean what it says

Has the
country gone totally potty, or did I dream the last decade or so when everyone
has been banging on about equal rights for ethnic minorities?

Equal
rights mean exactly that – equal, not tipping the scales the other way. Linking
the size of someone’s bonus to how many black and ethnic minority individuals
they have recruited is outrageous. Every individual, black, coloured or white,
should be recruited on the basis that they were the best qualified person for
the job, not because someone will receive what can only amount to a backhander
to fudge statistics.

Ethnic
minorities in my company number 10 per cent – all recruited because they were
best for the position available.

Kerry
Hunt

IMG

Via
e-mail

 

CIPD should be speaking for us

Like most
members of CIPD, I do not involve myself in its affairs – I am quite happy to
stump up the subs and carry on with my day job.

I do,
however, believe that the CIPD should become politically active. It does not
figure on the radar of politicians, like the BMA, RCN or NSPCC. That is a pity
as most challenges in a service economy come back to people issues where we
have a valid input.

Whenever we
are faced with new employment legislation I hope the CIPD has an input – and I
would like to see our director general popping up on the box, like the BMA,
with a view.

Mike Bruton MCIPD

Via
e-mail

 

Awards insight makes us envious

The
Personnel Today Awards are a great way of recognising leading-edge achievement
in the profession. An added bonus for me is the company fact file associated
with each award, as it gives an insight to the level of resources that each
winning company gives to HR.

The HR
Manager of the Year is part of a team of 17 that supports 488 employees. Hmm.
I’m sure  many readers are, like me,
envious of that level of commitment, and struggle to provide a professional
service with limited resources.

Ian Crocker

Via
e-mail

 

We also have a woman on board

Re “Women
take only 5 per cent of board seats on FTSE 100” (News, 14 November).

In the
accompanying panel using figures from the FTSE Female Index, you list
ScottishPower as having no women directors. But I can report that Mair Barnes
remains very much an active and valued member of the ScottishPower board, and
has been since she joined more than two years ago.

Gordon
Laidlow

Press
office

ScottishPower

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