The greatest resource of an organization is said to be its people. And the discipline responsible for that resource is HR. A multiple of subjects concerning people are assigned to HR, and the picture above portrays some of its conventional functions.

But one very critical is missing. The strategic element is not there. The role of HR as matching the people dimension with strategy is absent.

Probably because it is not easy to apply, or because it requires expertise most HR people don’t show to have or because of internal politics or because tradition wants HR on the sides of the business. But whatever the reason it is in my opinion inexcusable.

It is not logical to leave out from strategy making the people experts who know the capabilities of every staff. Not utilize them, for example, to analyze contemplated new strategies and come up with what human resource is required where and when. Not to bring them in to look at prospective strategies and tell at an early stage what is involved in terms of people needs, training or the need to acquire new capabilities.

HR is a major division in most organizations; it has a significant share of costs, and it would be a pity to limit it to rituals and bureaucracies and for all to pretend a closed eye to its critical strategic function that would make it more than worth its cost.

You can read a very informative article on the subject in the HBR magazine July-August issue, titled: People Before Strategy: A New Role for the CHRO at