What is the one thing you can do to really connect your strategy to your workforce, the ones who will help you execute it?
In the third part of the interview, Chris Bates, founder and managing director of Checkside, answers this question. Checkside is an HR and recruitment consultancy business that helps companies connect people to business strategy.
This blog post is part of a 5-episode series. To watch the other episodes, click on the links below.
The text that follows is an edited transcript of the interview.
JC: Fair enough. So for people who are sitting there in the blogosphere watching this and they want to get a better connection between strategy and people — what are the things they can do right now to make that happen?
CB: What they ideally need to do is understand up-front the workforce plan, the workforce strategy, and how that links to the business model.
Quite often, strategy starts in isolation, and the people stuff kind of gets sorted out later. But you really need to bring it to the fore and go, “Okay, do we actually have the right workforce to execute the strategy we just came up with? And let’s talk about this now.” Because in reality, some people need to stay, and some people need to go. People who got you to this point in business may or may not be the people to get you to the next point in your business.
So having a really honest conversation about that, rather than “Let’s see how we go with the existing structure that we’ve got or existing workforce”, having that conversation up-front is really, really important because you will get wheel-slip if you try to change your strategy but maintain the status quo on your people.
Chris Bates is the Founder and Managing Director of Checkside. He’s responsible for setting the vision and driving the strategy of the business. He guides clients through operational succession planning, business structuring, remuneration design, and the management of senior executive recruitment projects.
Jeff Cooper is Step Change’s Founding Partner. Jeff learnt his most valuable lessons in strategic thinking by spending his own money. His entrepreneurial pursuits began back in 2004 when he started his first business, designing exhibition spaces and running events, eventually giving birth to an interactive event concept later adopted by the likes of Big Day Out and other major festival organisers. A decade later, in 2014–2015, startups Jeff was involved in raised over $1m in investment, and Step Change — which he co-founded — became a multimillion-dollar strategy consultancy, serving clients across five continents. He’s a true generalist, with ownership and Board interests in businesses from retail solar to beauty and beyond, at life stages from startup to over $150m revenue annually.