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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Strategic HR Review, Volume 8, Issue 5
The theme of this issue of Strategic HR Review is next generation HR and it addresses two of the key challenges that will continue to face HR practitioners in the short to long term. These are the ability to approach change with agility and creativity, and the need to do this within a global perspective – without compromising the quality of the relationships with the people in the organization.
The first of our papers, “Inspiring a global workforce in an era of change and consolidation: introducing the Luvata way,” by Justin Roux, encompasses both these challenges. It details how global manufacturer Luvata has brought its people on a journey of significant change, requiring everyone in the organization to adopt a problem solving culture in order to meet the strategy of offering higher value services. The story involves the development of a new global brand based on the management of a mainly blue-collar workforce in multiple locations around the world, resulting from the acquisition of 65 companies. The main challenge for HR was getting everyone to act as one company without losing their individual sense of identify. The approach taken was to detail what the company wanted to be and to combine this with its key values in order to define the key characteristics for Luvata people to live up to. This people-focused approach is showing positive and incremental results.
In “Transforming HR in partnership with the business at QBE insurance,” Jenni Smith and Claire Davies describe how a small group HR team successfully implemented a HR transformation strategy across an international business spanning 45 countries by engaging with and gaining buy in from business and HR leaders. Key to achieving change across autonomous business divisions with no direct reporting line into group HR, and across cultural and geographical boundaries, was the consistency of the ONEHR strategy, and the processes within the human capital model it encompasses. This strategy, which continues to be updated, aligns HR to the needs of the business and ensures the transformation has and continues to bring about positive business results, and therefore continues to receive the internal sponsorship required.
“How we transformed our culture in 100 days: the story behind an intensive culture change program at HSBC Argentina,” by Antonio Losada and Dr Javier Bajer, describes how the organization achieved a major culture change in just three months. An innovative change program focused on individual actions and encouraged everyone in the organization to embrace change on a personal and a business level. This action-driven approach purposefully avoided traditional communication campaigns and rewards strategies, in favor of a personal development journey that connected each individual’s growth with that of clients and the business – everyone became a leader. The key was to motivate everyone to make changes in a coherent way in order to create a tipping point that would make a rapid impact on the collective culture.
Christopher Jereb, Dr Ruth Kuchem and Dr Werner Sohn discuss the challenges of HR management across a global organization in the case study feature, “Shed light on the black box: how Deutsche Post DHL achieved global transparency over payroll processes.” Specifically they look at the issue of process measurement and attaining global transparency that will allow for improvement and cost cutting. The authors describe how in a pilot focusing on the payroll function, a benchmark project using KPIs and a calculation model attained global transparency, while a resource allocation approach delved deeper to highlight areas of cost inefficiency in order to achieve improvement potential. They also share the critical aspects of benchmarking that they have identified following their experience of this initiative, which is being rolled out to other functions in the organization.
Professor Ashley Braganza addresses the realities of change management in his paper, “Changing behaviors: an activities-based approach.” He looks at the challenges of moving from the theoretical design stage of change to implementation, and highlights the assumptions out of which these challenges stem. It is the human element of change that hampers its implementation. For example, people realizing the impact it will have on their own status in the organization, different individual perspectives resulting in isolation rather than a unified change management team, or the difficulties of putting in place a program to deal with an organizational culture that is perceived to be adverse to change. He proposes an alternative three-stage process – defining the activities an organization should be doing, identifying the behaviours required and looking at the actions needed – and demonstrates how this process was effective for managing change in the case organization.
Sara NolanE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org