A little under a year ago I read a working group summary from CAHRS titled “The Changing Role of the HR Business Partner”. At the time much of the summary resonated with me… while other components of it remained abstract. Ergo, I resolved to revisit the document at another time once I had more experience in my role.

…This morning I gave the piece another read (check it out here), and the following section jumped out:


…So a good Generalist is strong at execution. He or she can juggle the priorities of many (at times competing) stakeholders with their client group through strong project and relationship management, policy/process expertise, and excellent interpersonal skills. Be it recruiting, employee relations, workforce planning, guidance on labor law and compliance, compensation review, performance management, training and development or any other number of responsibilities that fall under their umbrella, Generalists are very good at executing on the items currently on their people agenda.

But being able to fill a job or roll out a training program is not the same thing as being able to design a talent strategy that allows one’s organization to attract, develop, engage and retain top people. And being able to do short-term workforce planning (e.g. outlining staffing needs for several lines and departments over the course of a year) is not the same as putting in place a succession planning process that allows an organization to identify and develop a talent pipeline with the skills to move from entry-level management roles to executive leadership positions over time. It’s more than generating reports – its prescriptive analytics. It isn’t just firefighting employee relations issues – it’s raising the water level around living a company’s values – rewarding those that do and taking corrective action with those that don’t.

I have a lot more that I want to say about this… but I am out of time today. I will add though that strategic HR is also about thinking in years (in addition) to weeks and months.

Let me know what I have wrong in the comments section below.