Triumpha article one of the most popular in Strategic HR Review

The article, ‘Mapping a Strategic Approach to HR Leadership’ is amongst the most frequently downloaded in Strategic HR Review. Receiving over 700 downloads since publication in 2012.


How pleased am I? Thrilled actually, and wanted to share this news.


I started to write when I founded Triumpha. There were things to say about what matters in organisations and what works in practice, and I was ready to fuel my ambition. Namely, helping others develop extraordinary leadership, leadership teams and breakthrough organisation performance led by people.


I believe that strategic HR has significant potential for modernising management practice, bringing it into line with the needs of the twenty first century organisation. The strategic HR role is typically understood, but there is a difference between this understanding and what happens in practice – the ‘knowing-doing gap. Unfortunately, this means that the potential for HR leaders to make an impactful difference is often never realised.


Mapping a Strategic Approach to HR Leadership uses a case study about our work with a leading retailer and shows:

  • How we closed the ‘knowing-doing’ gap.
  • Five crucial conversations that strategic human resources leaders must catalyse within their organisations.
  • How human resources leaders can build their confidence and strategic capability by working through a planned change process.
  • How to build appetite and expectation for a strategic Human Resources contribution among line colleagues.
  • A staged approach for developing and embedding strategic human resources capability in an HR team.


To read more, download a copy of the full article below.

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Strategic Talent Management

Few CEOs today question the importance of talent to their business. But how many genuinely align the organisation’s strategy with its talent needs? They may say that human capital is their primary concern but too often, ‘talent management’ is relegated to the HR department. This allows vital decisions about the organisation’s future to evolve in siloes – and it’s an outdated approach to organisational transformation.

”Work in the human capital dimension underpins many of the company’s most important decisions about where and how to compete,” according to a recent article by Accenture consultancy.

Selection firm Heidrick & Struggles even notes the emergence of a new discipline, ‘strategic talent management’, among FTSE companies. However, it is a role that has yet to find its place among senior executives.

This is perhaps the only consistent thing about talent management in organisations: there is little direct connection between big-picture strategy and human capital requirements. A KPMG report found that while 81 per cent of business leaders claimed to regard talent as key, only 17 per cent believed HR did a good job in leading that strategy.

This does both HR and the organisation a disservice: “The only route to improved performance is by placing your human resource at the centre of your strategic decision-making,” according to author and London Business School professor Lynda Gratton.

What is needed is a more strategic approach to talent that moves the discussion beyond HR and into the boardroom. It means hardwiring ‘strategic talent management’ into the overarching business plan, and placing it under the leadership of the CEO.

Thinking and acting strategically about talent gives strategy
focus. It’s about getting the right people in the right places at the right time. It is outdated to relegate concepts such as ‘culture’ or engagement to any single division within business: as the recent banking scandals have amply demonstrated, corporate culture is at the heart of any organisation that employs people.

“Talent sits with all parties on the board. It doesn’t matter what role you have: you cannot ignore what is going on in other parts of the business,” says Jon Coverdale, UK HR director at Inchcape former group HR director (CS&S) at BAE Systems. “If only the HR person is interested in talent, that’s a worry – it indicates a degree of myopia on the board.”

There is absolutely a role for talent at the boardroom table and good CEOs will have an HR director there, but it’s a collective responsibility. This, argues Harvard Business School’s John Kotter, is what separates leaders from managers: leadership, he says, is about “taking an organisation into the future, finding opportunities that are coming at it faster and faster” and successfully exploiting them. But it is also “about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, about producing useful change.”

Traditional views of strategic talent management have one thing in common: they relegate it to the domain of Human Resources or organisational development (OD) practitioners. CEOs may well acknowledge the importance of talent, but many still see it less in terms of strategy and more in terms of tactics and role filling.

We believe it is essential to hardwire strategic talent management into business planning processes and place it under the direct leadership of the CEO and the senior team.


  • A CEO’s Guide
  • An HR Leader’s Guide
  • White Paper

If you would like a copy of these materials, please email quoting ‘STM’ and we will send you the download links.

Talent Management in the Downturn

For organisations to be fit for the future they need to be fit for human beings according to Gary Hamel. We agree with his statement and in this article we consider some of the most pressing talent management challenges facing senior leaders and HR professionals as we emerge from the downturn.

Key points include:

  • The down turn is not just economic its psychological and emotional. Employees are tired and need help to reignite their passion, productivity and creativity.
  • Talent management approaches must help employees to find meaning at work. Leaders need to be able to convey the true spirit of their organisation and how its purpose goes beyond making money to also making a difference.
  • Translating external customer expectations into internal behaviours attunes the workforce to the needs of the market and leads to an informed employee voice.
  • To future proof their organisation leaders need to embrace what it means to be human and balance this with the needs of the business.

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