Thursday, May 12, 2005

3 Books about Goals, Objectives, Strategy, Results

Favorite Books
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

HARDBALL: Are you playing to play or playing to win?
By George Stalk and Rob Lachenauer
(Harvard Business School Press)

MILLION DOLLAR HABITS: Proven power practices to double and triple your income
By Brian Tracy
(Entrepreneur Press)

THE WORKFORCE SCORECARD: managing human capital to execute strategy
By Mark A. Huselid, Brian E. becker and Richard W. bEatty
(Harvard Business School Press)

So your organization has determined what you want to be (visioning) against which you assessed your internal capability and external opportunities. Now is the time to determine your strategy. You have to set your goals and the corresponding objectives to achieve them.

Authors Stalk and Lachenauer explains how winners in business have always played hardball: They engage in the virtual cycle of using every legitimate resource and strategy available to them to gain advantage over their competitors. With this competitive advantage attract more customers, gain market share, boost profits, reward their employees, and weaken their competitor’s position. Then they reinvest their gains in their businesses to improve product quality, expand their offerings and improve their processes, to further strengthen their competitive advantage. After a prolonged period of time, they achieve decisive advantage which gives them the decisive advantage to bring fundamental change to an entire industry, put their competitors in a reactive position, cause their partners and suppliers to make adjustments, and deliver so much value to their customers that their market share grows larger still.

If you want to play hardball and gain decisive advantage, your goals and objectives should focus on some strategies the authors suggest: unleash massive and overwhelming force, exploit anomalies, threaten your competitor’s sanctuaries, take it and make it your own, entice your competitor to retreat and break compromises.

As a strategic partner, how does HR enable your company to play hardball? The book Hardball gives you a glimpse of how people at the top play the business game to win.

Author Brian Tracy recommends that you think like an entrepreneur, i.e. with speed and flexibility. And he recommends this seven step formula for goal and objective setting and taking action. Step one is to decide exactly what you want in a specific area and write it down clearly in detail. Step two, set a deadline for the achievement of the goal. If it is a large goal, break it down into smaller parts and set sub-deadlines.

Step three, set your objectives or make a list of everything that you will have to do to achieve this goal. Four, Prioritize your objectives. Use the 80/20 Rule. Five, identify obstacles and limitations that is holding you back from achieving your goals. Six, take action. Do something immediately to start the process of goal attainment moving forward. Finally, seven, execute your objects and do something everyday that moves you toward your most important goals.

Million Dollar Habits gives you an idea how an entrepreneur thinks which you can very well apply to running your HR business and aligning to your corporate business.

For each goal and objective, you need to determine metrics to show HR’s contribution to the achievement of corporate goals. You can not use the traditional measures e.g. number of training programs conducted, number of new employees hired, number of people with 5, 10, 15, etc, years of service. Huselid, Becker and Beatty advocates for critical measures that really matter or that show the maximization of workforce potential. Examples for Right HR Practices: percent of non-entry-level jobs that have been filled from within in recent and over the last five years; percent regrettable turnover; proportion of absenteeism; retention rate of “A” players in key and non-core positions; percent of employees making suggestions; performance of newly hired applicants; and so forth.

They identified the link between the workforce and HR scorecards and how to collect and interpret workforce scorecard data. They suggest hundreds of measures that tie up to the achievement of the corporate vision. The Workforce Scorecard is a very useful tabletop reference for HR people.

WHY CAN’T WE GET ANYTHING DONE AROUND HERE?: the smart manager’s guide to executing the work that delivers results.
By Robert E. Lefton and Jerome T. Loeb