It is not customers first. It is not employees first. It is not shareholder or owners first.

It is people first. 

Take care of all the people and you are halfway to a successful business. 

You can have the most brilliant strategy on paper. You can invent a killer product or service. Without the right team you are dead in the water.

Are you waiting for lightning to strike or doing the hard work of building your team?

HR is Not A Function or Silo

First the term Human Resources (HR) is part of the problem. It was part of the idea that you could group all of the people related administration into a department so that managers and leaders would not have to get bogged down with the details and could focus on their job. It would save money.

Except that for a manager or leader, a good portion of the job is (or should be) developing people and all of the other related people work.

Don't get me wrong, the stuff that HR does is usually vital to an organization. The problem I have is treating people as if they are interchangeable resources like a lump of coal or gallon of fuel.

The second point is that everything to do with your people needs to be part and parcel of your business strategy.

Your People are Key To Your Strategy

Having a strategy means you are going from point A to point B intentionally. 

Part of this means having a strong core. Define and communicate your mission, your core values, your company culture and your vision. Your goals and your people strategy fall out of this.

  • Where do you want to go? 
  • What do you need to do to get there? 
  • What skills and talents do you need to get there? 
  • Do you have those people on board today? 
  • Do you need to train?
  • Do you need to hire?
  • Can you outsource or contract out non-core work?

You need to hire and train for where you are going, not where you've been.

Working on the Business

You need to build a business that enables the execution of your strategy. 

That means you need to put processes and systems in place that mesh your People Strategy with your Business Strategy; it is all one strategy. 

So your business needs to reinforce your culture, your core values, your mission and the execution of your vision. 

Your business can't just be efficient. Efficiently going the wrong way or preventing the execution of your strategy does not make sense.

Developing Your People

Once you know where you are going, you will be able to determine how your team will get you there.

You have many choices including developing your existing team or hiring. Even if you hire you will probably still need to develop those people to some degree.

The key is to ensure your team is aligned with your core strategy and has the training and experience to achieve the vision and goals. 

It Is All Tied Together

You can't talk strategy without talking about people. You can't develop your people in isolation from the strategy. Building a business that ignores people and strategy is equally foolish.

Business success requires considering all aspects of your business. This is why we don't separate these activities in Manifast.

Wake up, people are part of your strategy.

How are you incorporating your people strategy into your business strategy?