For over 20 years we have worked with business owners, senior managers
and human resource leaders in the fields of strategic planning, executive
coaching, training and organizational development.
During this time, we have learned a lot about what works and what does not
work when it comes to building winning teams, people and companies.
We have had the unique opportunity to work with some amazing HR leaders,
who all agree that the traditional organizational role of human resource
managers has changed significantly in the past few years.
Trigger Strategies has made a commitment to share what we have learned
along the way. Our goal is to help you and your team to better position your
organization to compete and win in an ever-changing business landscape.
A key trend we have observed is that business structure and success today
has changed. Gone are the days of competing on price and so-called
service excellence. Everyone has great service today, that is a given. It is
now your people who make the difference; and these same people are
dealing with intelligent, web savvy customers who demand more and can
broadcast their experience out to thousands of people instantly.
Your people must be growing and learning faster than the market demands,
or you are in deep trouble.
Today’s human resource leader now plays a major role in strategic direction,
execution, team leadership and planning for future success.
We have studied and worked with every type of HR
professional ranging from junior administrators to senior
executive VP’s and directors.
This report is not about theoretical principles, but what we
have observed great companies can accomplish with
strong, and courageous leadership from the HR office
Most businesses we have worked with used the recession
to eliminate low producers and dead wood. They are
now positioning themselves to regain market share and
grow business development. They understand that the
same old skill sets will produce the same old results….and
that is not good enough.
Einstein was quoted as saying, “You can not solve a
problem with the same mind that created it.” The same
ideal is true for your business. You will not grow the way
you want with the same skill sets that got you here today.
You MUST raise the bar on your skills, knowledge and
attitudes. It is no longer an option to wait on the sidelines.
Business success today means ‘everyone’ increases
performance and contribution as real business thinkers. If
HR isn’t building these people, who is?
5. Executive Summary
This report is intended to be a checklist for you, your business and team players.
Whether you are looking for development in leadership influence, acumen growth, management effectiveness or
culture and morale improvements, we will share with you in this report the key strategies to take into consideration
to not only ensure you drive strategies where people are contributing and learning, but also applying what they
have been given to impact the performance of the company.
We have seen far too many executive, director and board meetings where human resource strategies are given
little to no attention. Unfortunately traditional thinkers believe that the ‘soft and fuzzy’ people side of business has
no role in the serious side of corporate planning, business development, sales, marketing and financial indicators.
This outdated thinking has to change for any organization to move into the new reality of business future.
So what role can you play to change traditional
impressions of your influence in HR?
The leading environments and teams we have worked in,
see HR managers challenging the status quo, setting
clear business goals, calling people out on failed
commitments and taking stands for business growth and
contribution by ‘every’ player.
The days of motivational and enthusiastic HR people
cheering from the sidelines are long gone. As well, the
administrators buried in payroll and paperwork is no
longer effective. That type of work is easily outsourced.
New HR requires new leadership.
Our goal of this report is to give you, the Human Resource professional proven ideas and
1. Position yourself not just as a HR professional, but as a strategic asset that can help shape
the future of the company.
2. Learn a handful of best practices from other HR leaders driving change.
3. Start to develop the skills needed to be memorable and looked at as a vital member of the
4. Learn how to become a thought leader within your company and industry.
5. Develop your role so it becomes vital to the long term success of the company.
6. Build on your individual plan that you can implement to accelerate your career.
7. What we have observed:
Over the years we have observed and worked with many companies that have seen
exponential growth in their markets. Each of these companies have a number, if not all of the
following factors in place:
1. They realize the importance of finding and keeping the right people to contribute to the
future of the organization. Employee paradigms are being replaced by entrepreneurial
thinkers wanting to contribute more than just a paycheck relationship.
2. Everyone in the organization considers themselves as part of the business development and
sales team. Everyone is always thinking about growing the business through existing and
3. Business thinkers dominate the desk space. People have stakes in the outcome and realize
new business realities today. They are rewarded for efforts ‘beyond’ their job description.
3. Everyone understands the impact they have on customer interactions and retention.
4. Change efforts have a clear sense of urgency and leadership. Strategic goals are
exceeded by everyone. A winning culture and sustainability exists.
5. People are accountable to each other through aligned expectations and open, honest,
direct and robust conversations and communication.
6. Everyone and anyone can describe a clear picture of the organizational vision, mission and
Are you seeing now the important role human resources is playing in the new business
environment and markets?
8. Questions to consider:
Before we provide ideas and best practices, here are some initial
questions to think about:
What are you known for? What is your brand?
What do you want to be known for?
What is it you are known for?
How do you know?
Are your actions and language consistent with your personal brand?
What are your plans to position yourself for advancement?
Do you have a clear vision?
Is it written out?
Have you shared it with others?
How would you describe your presence? Are you memorable?
How do you walk into a room?
How would other describe your leadership?
What patterns and opportunities exist in your language?
Do you know what your body language is saying to others?
Are you completely confident in most situations?
How do you make an impact?
What influence are you creating and leaving with others?
How are you unique in the eyes of others?
Are you considered a thought leader?
How effective are you at leading upwards, downwards and across?
How influential is your network of colleagues and associates?
Only through an honest
and open approach to
these questions will you
be able to build upon
your contribution and
influence within any
“Ego and awareness can
9. Recommendations for HR - Action Steps
Some insights and action steps you can take to today:
1. Have a strategy, policy and procedures in place to attract the best people. Besides yourself,
anyone can follow these policies.
When you become known as ‘the place’ to work for, your reputation in the market reflects your
leadership and excellent team dynamic.
Is your hiring process unique and advanced; allowing candidates to admire you and are eager
to join your team?
What is your company known for in the market? How can you find out?
2. Everyone in the organization has clear strategic goals and business plans.
Individual plans and visions support an overall organizational vision, and people have a sense of
ownership and inclusion to the bigger picture.
All plans include personal and professional learning goals. All development is by design, not
3. Don’t avoid robust and honest conversations. There is no conflict in reality.
People may not like honest, fact driven dialogue at first, but will always have respect for you in
the long haul.
Remember to always back up your discussion with facts and real life specifics.
4. Strong coaching is critical.
Management, leadership and coaching skills are each different and distinct skills sets.
Most managers we work with agree they have never received formal coaching skills training;
make sure your skills sets are relevant and up-to-date.
10. Recommendations for HR - Action Steps
Some insights and action steps you can take to today: (con’t)
5. People have clear understanding of the health and opportunities in the business. They have a
stake in the outcome and rewards and recognition are abundant.
People will contribute at higher levels when they feel they play key roles in the health of the
They must understand changing market and customer demands, and new business realities.
Please ensure your people are not being isolated from this reality and working in a vacuum.
We must also remember the number one human need in business is ‘recognition for a job well
6. Yearly performance appraisals are abolished. Everyone hates these annual brow-beats, so stop
Of course performance and results should always be discussed, but great companies now see
the value of creating ‘future-based’ and ‘agreed upon’ goals and coaching for success.
For more on this sensitive HR subject please visit www.triggerstrategies.ca and download our
report, “The Paper Lion”.
7. Aligned expectations exist.
In every organization we have ever worked with we have observed gaps in expectations
between colleagues and managers.
We ask a manager to articulate what they expect of individuals; then after interviewing that
individual and asking them what they feel is expected of them, we have never recorded a
Without alignment you are similar to a team of rowers in a boat, each rowing in slightly different
directions. Of course, resistance and misdirection will occur. Remember there is nothing wrong
with the boat, oars or rowers……just the alignment. It is easily corrected once observed.
11. Building your network:
Building your network is also key to your establishing yourself as a
strategic asset to the company.
1. Are you connected to the key people in your organization at all
2. How are you viewed by the senior management team – are you
the bubbly cheerleader or the strong strategic thinker?
3. Are you connected outside of your company and viewed as
someone who is in a leadership position?
4. Are you viewed as an innovative thinker in the field of HR? Do you
push traditional thinking and ask the tough questions?
5. Do you engage the members of your senior management team
in strategic discussions beyond your expected area of focus?
6. Do the people you work with know what’s important to you and
what you stand for?
7. Are you viewed as a connector and someone that brings people
If you don’t build
Someone will hire
you to build
12. About the authors
We get approached by business owners because they are not happy with sales,
development, team performance and growth. After our first conversation we usually
find out they have trouble getting things done because of one or two things. They
simply do not have the right people in the right places or the systems and processes
that used to work no longer do. Because of this, they are unsure about what to do
We can help you achieve four strategic objectives:
1. Make sure you have the right people in the right roles
2. Ensure you have a clear and committed corporate vision and strategy
3. Work with you and your team to better communicate with and service your market
4. And lastly put everything into action with dates, commitments, resources and
accountability. We measure results and help you drive change
These owners tell us they do not want theories, they want us to get results.
If that sounds like something you need, call us.
Direct: (905) 321-2663
Direct: (905) 401-1434
13. The new book from Trigger Strategies
“What we've learned so far...”
An owners manual for today's entrepreneurs