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Center for Effective Organizations


Retooling HR - New Boudreau Book Coming June 2010


Retooling HR: Using Proven Business Tools to Make Better Decisions About Talent


by John Boudreau


Organizations have long sought ways to successfully compete on talent and HR competencies. But despite all the talk about the strategic importance of talent and HR gaining a seat at the table, HR leaders have struggled to demonstrate real value through the HR function. In Beyond HR, John Boudreau showed how HR leaders still lacked the sophisticated decision-making framework necessary to create real strategic impact as a discipline. Now, with Retooling HR, he reveals that the tools HR managers still need to create lasting strategic value don't have to be invented from scratch. Instead, Boudreau explains how the tools that marketing, operations, and finance have developed to solve key problems in their own fields can be successfully applied to HR.

Based on new research Boudreau conducted in 2008 as well as his input from HR leaders and organizations around the world, Retooling HR will outline eight tools for radically improving HR's capabilities. Each chapter details a tool, model, or technique that has been widely used in another field and then shows how it can be successfully applied to HR and talent management, such as:

  • From Operations - moving from managing turnover rates to complete talent inventory management
  • From Finance - applying portfolio theory and risk management to move beyond succession planning to create a risk-adjusted return on talent
  • From Marketing - transitioning from mass customization of employment to optimized value propositions

Full of examples of how companies such as American Airlines, Electronic Arts, General Mills, Northrop Grumman, Novartis, and Unilever have already begun to put these tools into practice, Retooling HR provides managers with the capability to finally transform HR into a true decision science.

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