Strategic career move: Think your way to the C-Suite

Abstract strategic thinking could be the missing link for HR leaders keen to take their career to the next level. HRM investigates.

HR executives need to focus on their organization’s competitive edge, profitability and growth strategy for both the near- and long-term, if they want to be taken seriously as leaders.
They should also focus more on the lifecycle of the business models they operate and their company’s capital management strategy, according to Steve Johnson, managing director, Transfirmation Partners.
“All capable executives – particularly those who sit on the top team – are required to operate with three concurrent strategic paradigms: the longer term 5-10 years plus, the medium term of 2-5 years, and the immediate term of 1-2 years,” Steve said.
“This is no less true for HR executives. However, this requires a level of abstract strategic thinking for which HR, in many organizations, does not have the reputation.”
To transition into this strategic mindset, you must gain an understanding of “the macro and disruptive changes occurring in the industries and sectors in which your company operates”, he advised.
One way to achieve this is to use your functional expertise to partner with the business more effectively, thereby supporting current and future business or enterprise objectives.
“This means combining technical expertise and business knowledge to ensure all services, whether they are offered in-house, outsourced, or through partnerships, meet current and future business needs,” Johnson said.
“Such HR leaders are impatient with low-value initiatives and weed out consultants and providers who are not strategically aligned and who do not add value.”
Those HR Leaders who possess these facilitative capabilities seek not just value for money, “but strategic alignment and business impact”, he added. 

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