Retooling HR


Although my Operations Management course was one of the toughest yet (watch out for those of you who will be taking it in the future), it was possibly one of the most relevant to my current role. Coincidently, my Vice-President of HR had asked his team to read the book Retooling HR by John Boudreau. It is published by Harvard Business Review and focuses on using business tools and concepts to make better decisions about the talent in your organization. One can actually think about the supply and demand for talent using supply chain management concepts.

In HR, this not only provides credibility to programs that are often perceived as non-essential, but it allows HR Business Partners to have intelligent conversations with their relevant business groups. For those of you interested in strategic HR management, I highly recommend this book. I have copied the abstract from the book below:

HR professionals have made major strides toward becoming strategic partners. But they need to do more – by generating value through savvy decisions about talent. HR leaders typically assume that, to make such decisions, they must develop sophisticated analytical tools from scratch. Even then, the resulting tools often fail to engage their peers. In Retooling HR, John Boudreau shows how HR leaders can break this cycle – by adapting powerful analytical tools already used by other functions to the unique challenges of talent management. Drawing on his research and examples from companies including Google, Disney, IBM, and Microsoft, Boudreau explains six proven business tools leaders already use. And he shows how HR can apply these tools to talent management. Examples include: Using engineering tolerances to find pivot points that job descriptions miss Using inventory and supply-chain analytics to ensure a ready supply of the right talent Applying logistics tools to optimize succession planning and leadership development Adapting consumer research tools to find untapped value in total rewards Retooling HR builds on Boudreau’s bestselling book Beyond HR, which traces HR’s evolution as a decision science. For HR professionals seeking to sharpen their decision-making prowess, this provocative new book blazes an innovative new path.


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