Defining Strategic HR Consulting, Organizational Development and Executive Coaching
The world of Human Resource consulting is quite broad. When someone says they are an HR consultant it can be shorthand for a wide variety of tasks. Many of those tasks fall under the heading of HR outsourcing and are purely transactional – hiring people, writing a handbook, creating a compensation survey. Many of the tasks an HR consultant undertakes are more in the OD field – training and coaching. We have particularly seen an explosion of coaches and coaching activities in the last few years. Often, these tasks are transactional also, coaching an executive to solve a specific interpersonal issue or providing a finite training program to a group of managers. A few of those tasks are strategic in nature – creating a process, then training relevant personnel in how to conduct that process and then coaching the executives involved in how to create an environment that will support the behaviors necessary to maintain and improve the process over time.
The words strategic, OD, and coaching are used a lot – even when the consulting is truly transactional. Everyone wants to appear that they are working at the strategic level, even when they are doing purely transactional work. Few people define, by word or example, what these terms mean.
Strategic vs. Transactional HR Consulting
To be strategic a project must have usefulness beyond the short term goal implicit. For example: hiring someone is transactional, developing a hiring process that ties job competencies expressed in the job description to both the hiring and review process is a more strategic project. Following the project with the development of a training program that includes follow-on coaching for all hiring managers, including the communications process necessary to insure a great hire is the beginning of OD work. Finally, adding coaching for top executives on how to support the process and when to meet with managers to ensure the effectiveness of the process and build in the reviews necessary to make certain the process is continually improved to meet the changing needs of the company completes the consultants work.
There are multiple other examples throughout the HR process where someone can take purely transactional work and combine it with process development, training, and coaching to insure that when you are spending finite consulting dollars on accessing external assistance, you are truly spending them wisely.
With over 25 years of experience in Human Resources, Executive Coaching, consulting, facilitation and teaching, Ronnie can help your organization plan for the road ahead.