(11/01/10) Sullivan, John

It is vital that companies’ HR function address agility, especially amid today’s unpredictable conditions. An agile company is one this flexible, responsive, nimble, and able to shift direction as needed. One aspect of having an agile management strategy is being able to shift the focus of talent management to boost business results, HR effectiveness, productivity, and innovation. An effective talent management strategy should include the prediction of and planning for a variety of situations. These can include economic fluctuations, new business goals, labor market conditions, actions of talent competitors, and revisions of operating budgets and plans. It is also crucial to research how expanding and innovative companies prepare for each situation without harming productivity and innovation. Tactical plans also need to be developed via programs and processes that enable the organization to move faster or speed up product and service delivery, improve the quality of output, boost the volume of output, respond aggressively to competitors, integrate functional interdependencies, reduce budgets, and generate new resources. One of the most potent agility solutions is the use of contingent employees–temporary, contract, or service providers–so an agility plan must ensure the rapid addition of skills. Every agility plan should also undergo if/then testing using scenarios.

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EDSI Commentary

The Human Resource function must operate with the flexibility to change the focus of talent development to address the ever changing business results needs.