According to Francis .J.Gouillart, in his article “Approach to competitive advantage” the human resource managers of today’s business organizations understands the implications of knowledge-driven and information based economy. For companies to acquire an edge over their rivals’ competitors, they require flexibility, speed and self-renewal. In this ultra-competitive environment, skills and motivation of the employees are central to the productivity of companies that want to flourish in the information age.
Despite the awareness of target achievements in restructuring and reengineering of the companies, organizational changes have continued to produce employees who are cynical than self-renewing. Worse still, there is only minimal managerial attention towards solving the issues of worker’s motivations and capability.
Francis supports his opinion by pointing out that the process of transformation studies in more than twenty companies indicates that although the structure is an impediment, an even bigger barrier is managers’ archaic understanding of strategy(7). Although the past three decades have brought dramatic adjustments in both external strategic imperatives and internal strategic resources, companies continue to have obsolete strategic perspectives’.
The role of the executives in the battle for talent era have left senior managers gasping for air at the rapidity of transformation during the past three decades. Networks have replaced Hierarchy bureaucracy has been transformed into flexible processes and control management roles are evolving to empowerment and coaching. As companies go through a transformation phase, it is hard to change the mid-set of their senior managers and hence the some executives are trying to effect the transformational strategies with first generation management.
Only a few top executives have been able to transform themselves from being analytical directors to people oriented framers. For any business to make the transition from traditional to the new economy that transformation of its executives is vital.
The toughest mind-set to alter is the belief that finance is a critical resource to be managed and that senior managers key responsibilities should involve its management. Though the sound use of financial resources is critical to productivity, capital might not be the resource that limits growth in most companies today.
Recognizing the company’s scarce resource as knowledgeable employees means a transference in the whole concept of value management within the business. One of the most basic issues is the distribution of the value that the company creates. Many traditional companies operate under the assumption that contributors of the capital have the primary claim of the companies’ value. This has led to the eroding sense of loyalty and cynicism of the employees over the gap between the compensation of the shareholders and the workers on the frontlines.
Unlike capital, expertise and skills cannot be accumulate at the top or be spread to those programs that yield the greatest strategic advantage. It remains in the brains of individuals at all levels, and it is dependent in the relationship of teamwork, technology, the competitors and those that are in direct contact with customers.
In many companies, the transformation is becoming an important proving ground for the human resources function with many old school HR managers failing in their leading strategic responsibility. Ultimately Francis argues that, as the companies’ transit to the war of talent and persons with a unique experience, expertise, skills recognized as a strategic resource the HR professionals must in the designing, development and implementation of the company’s strategies(5). The arrival of the knowledge intensive and service driven economy has forced massive changes on businesses worldwide. The war for talent has led to the shift of the battle front the traditional strategic imperatives to the competition for the hearts and minds of capable individuals.
Gouillart, Francis J. "The race to implement co-creation of value with stakeholders: five approaches to competitive advantage." Strategy & Leadership 42.1 (2014): 2-8