The HRA Editorial - Mar 2011: Of HR and HPO

  • 02 Mar 2011 12:34
    Message # 535877
    Deleted user

    by Mr. Yoshiharu Matsui, President, HPO Creation, Inc.

    HR and what it stands for, of course, needs no further elaboration. But what is an HPO? And why should HR professionals even care about it?

    An HPO or a high performance organization, according to the Center for Creative Leadership, is an organizational system that continually aligns its strategy, goals, objectives and internal operations with the demands of the external environment to maximize organizational performance.

    HPO might sound like a fairly new concept, but it has actually long been a buzzword among OD practitioners and members of academia. The concept becomes more relevant considering that bankruptcy has of late been less discriminating of companies big or small, especially in the light of economic crunches, stiff global competitions and rapid technological advancements.

    BusinessWeek sums up today’s corporate reality: “The average life expectancy of a multinational corporation - Fortune 500 or its equivalent-is between 40 and 50 years. In fact, only half of the Fortune 500 companies in the 1980’s are able to stay as Fortune 500 companies at present.

    Many companies resort to business and organizational improvement programs to survive in this fast-moving, competitive global market. This strategy, however, demands not only an increase in the capability of human resources, but the commitment to improve performance and manage changes effectively.

    In an HPO, everyone (that is, both managers and members) are highly competent and committed to achieve common objectives; work collaboratively across functions and physical or geographical boundaries; and share knowledge and ideas that not only increase organizational capability and performance but inspire innovation. Ownership, trust, collaboration, commitment and accomplishment comprise its corporate culture. Managers serve as energetic catalysts of empowerment. Members on the other hand rarely have complaints or grievances. There is also minimal turnover.

    So how should we, as HR professionals, help achieve this important goal of increasing both people and organizational capacity? How should we go beyond merely improving the recruitment system, the learning and development program, or the performance management system?  

    The bad news is that there is no quick fix to building an HPO culture and achieving a holistic and long term organizational capability entails a long and continuous journey. The good news, however, is that once such culture or competency becomes ingrained, continuous improvement and innovation will become a norm. By then, strategic change would be easier as people are more capable and committed to achieve excellence in a common goal.

    As an HPO requires competent and committed members throughout an organization, Human Resources organization plays a central role in laying the groundwork for HPO culture. HR can start by aligning both management and people to the organization’s vision and strategy. Then it should strengthen existing HR programs that support this strategy and orchestrate other elements where necessary. Finally, HR must enable leaders and managers to consciously build HPO culture and capability. Once all these are established, the rest are easy.

    Sounds pretty simple isn’t it? Yet all these require a disciplined approach and OD skills to ensure success. Please join the next JHRS seminar on HPO to learn more about how to build an HPO culture and competency!--YM

    Last modified: 02 Mar 2011 12:34 | Jun (Administrator)

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