When the elephants fight….

I recently took to the stage at the HRD Summit in Birmingham at a great event with a diverse speaking agenda and a discerning audience.  A core message I wanted to share was my belief that

HR is accountable for strategy execution.

Sam Walton coined it half a century ago. Give me a good strategy and great execution. All to often businesses have strategies that are more than fit for purpose, but fail in the execution.

Who executes strategy? Last time we looked it was people. How often does a big strategic programme fail and we see the programme leader exit stage left? Frankly could he ever have succeeded? Nevertheless we all sit around and tutt, and gossip and engage in our pity parties.

“When the elephants fight, it’s the grass that gets trampled”

More often than not programme failure has its genesis in the boardroom. Directors nodding agreement with no intention of supporting; or frankly disagreeing with the programme. Too few resources allocated, poor relationships with external providers, lack of clarity in programmes teams on what’s required, poor management, inadequate funding. The list goes on. What great ground for HR.

Force the debate in the boardroom. Deploy your best people. Innovate communication. Coach for performance. Softer skills to build strong relationships.

If strategy execution fails it’s because the “People practices weren’t up to scratch”.

If you have success in your business, take a bow HR, even it it’s from the shadows.

When did you last ‘take a bow’?  Do you agree that strategy execution is in the hands of HR? I’d love to debate this with you.