Human Capital Trends: Growth is Job #1

Human Capital Trends: Growth is Job #1Posted by Barbara Adachi on March 9, 2012

After the last few years of weathering tough economic times with a cautious strategy of “stabilize and survive,” many CEOs are again placing growth at the top of their agendas. As they look to capitalize on opportunities in emerging markets, expand through merger and acquisition (M&A) and reinvigorate their organizations through innovation, their HR team can be a valuable ally.

As noted in Deloitte’s latest report, Human Capital Trends 2012: Leap Ahead, HR leaders can do more than simply support the CEO’s growth agenda. In many cases, HR can actively inform that agenda and help to drive growth.

Consider, for example, one of the prime vehicles for growth: M&A. M&A can be one of the fastest ways to grow revenue and market share, expand technological capabilities, or enter new markets. But realizing M&A potential hinges in large part on being able to meld two entities into a cohesive whole, including creating the desired culture and strategically assimilating and managing talent at all levels. Today, more companies are using M&A to obtain specific talent and capabilities to gain a competitive edge, which places greater importance on effective integration to identify, position and retain this acquired top talent. This is HR’s bread and butter and it’s often the difference between value creation and value erosion in M&A deals.

In fact, we see these same themes of talent, leadership and culture development at play in many organizational strategies. A supply chain business leader speaking at a conference I attended recently put it aptly when he noted, “Culture ate strategy for lunch.” Meaning that even the best laid strategic plans will go nowhere if the talent isn’t there to execute it and the culture can’t support it. Our experience in the field and our interviews with clients, vendors, academics and analysts in creating the Human Capital Trends report bear this out. In the trend toward growth as well as in seven other trends we cover ranging from globalization to analytics to social media to cloud computing, HR has a significant opportunity to drive business value. And that’s something all of us in HR can sink our teeth into.

Barbara Adachi Barbara Adachi is the national managing director for Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice. In this role, she is responsible for overall strategy, P&L / financial performance and operations, talent recruitment, and development and delivery of human capital consulting services across the country.

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