Getting the right results for the business, on budget

To build Focus, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What else do I need to know in order to truly understand my business and how HR drives value for us or for the customer?
  2. How can I take a fresh look at how my function, or my activities, are directed and how we allocate our time and resources?
  3. What options do I have in re-scoping, re-shaping and re-directing what we do in human resources?

Building Focus strategically

Creating clarity and leadership to ensure that your resources are deployed in line with business priorities

This involves taking a real step back so that you can get the full picture.  Take a deep breath from daily pressures and book time in your diary to scope out three key areas:

  • Context – what are the priorities and issues that are critical to your organization right now, and into the future?  What drives success in your market or community?
  • People – how can you open up new conversations that take you to a deeper level of insight and collaboration with key stakeholders?  How can they help you ensure that your focus is in the right areas?
  • Process – how well represented is HR in strategic discussions?  How can you evolve your planning processes so they’re even more closely integrated with the business?

Building Focus tactically

Making realistic and pragmatic decisions about how you spend your time and energy, and justifying them

Creating a situation where you’re clear about your overall direction and priorities is the first step.  Then you can make effective choices from day to day, hour to hour, about what you actually do.  Focus involves making this a conscious, proactive process, continually challenging how closely you establish the links between your effort, right now, and results.

As James Cracknell, Olympic rower, asks: ‘will this make the boat go faster?’.  When you make practical and pragmatic decisions about how you spend your time and energy, it becomes much easier to justify them to the business.  ‘We do x because it leads to more of y, and y contributes to the bottom line.  Take a look at these numbers to see the relationship between the two’.

Creating an appetite for your solutions

Focus is about successful implementation, and reaping the rewards of your intervention in a way that’s valued by the organization.  Ensuring this happens needs to be at the front of our minds from the very beginning.  Consulting and collaborating are key – asking the right people the right questions about their needs.  What are the required business outcomes as well as HR outcomes?  As we consult, we learn about the business and also we build relationships.  Because we have invested in two-way dialogue about what’s practical and fit-for purpose, the door will be already open when we’re ready to implement.  Stakeholders will be willing and eager to play an active role and evaluate the benefit with us.

Identifying and adapting best practice

There are some wonderful technical, specialist HR solutions available today that can have a real appeal to us as professionals: eg. in talent management, reward, HR software, or performance management.  Being ‘context savvy’ and ‘business savvy’ means that we have to start from the inside of the organization.  Often the simplest solutions are the most effective.  It is certainly easier to ‘internally market’ solutions that are in the language of your stakeholders, rather than use HR jargon.  Focus keeps your feet on the ground. With our tight resources and increasing demands, we can only afford to invest in projects that will work.

Upcoming workshops & webinars

HR business partnering for a new era

Date: 20th June 2023

Strategic influencing skills for HR leaders

Date: Wednesday 28th June 2023

How to build a business-led HR strategy

Date: 6th July 2023
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