Archives for April 2012

Practitioner Perspectives on Talent Management: Opinion Poll Results

February 2012 marked the launch of the IRC’s new research initiative, Opinion Polls, that address hot topics facing Canadian human resources (HR), labour relations (LR), and organizational development (OD) practitioners. The IRC’s inaugural opinion poll addressed talent management, and the ways in which Canadian organizations recruit, retain, and develop their talent. This article summarizes some of our findings. All reporting is based on aggregated data.

Demographics

We received a total of 47 complete responses. Of these, 63.8% are female, and 36.2% are male. Our respondents represent diverse sectors: public (46.8%), private (29.8%), non-profit (12.8%), and quasi-profit (10.6%). The majority (42.6%) of respondents is in the human resources profession, while labour relations (17%) and organizational development (17%) professions are equally represented. The remainder of the respondents, 23.4%, listed their profession as “other.”

Recruitment

Our survey data reveal that internal hiring/promotion remains the most popular recruitment strategy. A staggering 89.4% of respondents indicated that they preferred hiring internally and promoting from within. Literature (e.g., Datta & Guthrie, 1994) suggests that internal hiring may stem from the fact that managers and supervisors are well aware of employees’ work ethics, knowledge, and skills, and can accurately predict their success in the new role. Print media is a recruitment technique relied on by 70% of respondents, while recruitment agencies are used by 48.9% of our respondents, and social media is a recruitment method for 46.8% of respondents. Figure 1 lists the recruitment strategies identified in our survey.

Figure 1

Figure 1 - Talent Management Opinion Poll

According to the literature, social media is, indeed, emerging as an effective recruitment tool. For example, research conducted by Emerging Workforce Study (2010a) identified that 44% of companies are using social media to attract talent. Of these, 23% use LinkedIn, followed by a corporate blog (16%), a company Facebook profile (14%), viral video marketing/recruitment (7%), corporate MySpace profile (6%), and second life presence (1%).

Employee Turnover

We provided our respondents with a list of nine factors and asked them to rate the extent to which each of these factors contributes to employee turnover in an organization. Respondents were provided with a five-point scale (1=strongly disagree; 5=strongly agree). Based on average ratings, the data reveal that the top three factors contributing to employee turnover are: employee/management personality differences (3.89), amount of work/heavy workload (3.74), and low employee engagement (3.72).

As seen in Figure 2, the six remaining factors are also perceived as contributing to employee turnover: lack of employee recognition/appreciation (3.64), lack of role clarity (3.55), lack of talent development initiatives (3.28), employee/organizational value conflicts (3.28), lack of talent retention strategies (3.26), and insufficient compensation (3.21).

Figure 2

Figure 2 - Talent Management opinion poll

The theory of organizational equilibrium (Allen, 2008) can be used to explain employee turnover. According to Allen, this theory suggests that an employee remains with an organization as long as the contributions made by the employee equal inducements offered by the organization (such as, professional development opportunities, salary incentives, working conditions, etc.). Thus, if an employee perceives a low return on personal investment to an organization, he or she may be more inclined to leave the organization.

Our data confirms this theory. For example, when asked to identify the most significant obstacle to retaining talent, 14.9% of respondents indicated that it becomes difficult to retain employees in an organization where management does not take an interest in staff development. Similarly, 19.1% of respondents pointed to failing to adequately recognize or appreciate talent as the primary reason for losing employees. Other obstacles to retaining talent in an organization include lack of resources/financial constraints (31.9%), and conflicting organization priorities (12.8%).

Turnover comes at a high price. Not only is it costly and time consuming to replace an employee, the void created by such a transition can adversely impact customer relationships, business performance, and success (Jacobs, 2011).

Employee Retention

In addition to analyzing employee turnover, we also investigated employee retention. We provided our respondents with a list of eight factors and asked them to rate the importance of each factor in retaining talent in an organization on a five-point scale (1=least effective; 5=most effective). We then calculated the average ratings to determine the top three factors that contribute to talent retention in an organization. The top three retention factors are: employee engagement (4.51), work-life balance (4.19), and learning and development opportunities (4.15). The other five factors also remain significantly important to retaining talented employees: role clarity (4.13), employee/organizational value alignment (4.04), career advancement opportunities (4.02), employee recognition/appreciation (3.96), and compensation (3.68). Figure 3 rank orders the factors that contribute to employee retention.

Figure 3

Figure 3 - Talent Managment Opinion Poll

Interestingly, compensation ranked last in the list of factors contributing to employee retention. This data leads this author to conclude that for employees it is more important to be actively engaged, and receive intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, rewards. Intrinsic rewards include feelings of accomplishment, and sense of meaningfulness, whereas extrinsic rewards are tangible, such bonuses, pay raises, and benefits (Thomas, 2009).

The literature supports this finding. For example, in his article, Thomas (2009) argued that there is a direct correlation between employee engagement and the intrinsic rewards employees receive. He commented that intrinsic rewards are easily sustainable, act as motivators for employees, and offer less likelihood of burnout.

Talent Development

We provided our participants with a five-point scale (1=not at all; 5=frequently), and asked them to indicate the extent to which their organization is currently implementing talent development strategies. Our analysis reveals that performance reviews (including stretch goals) are “frequently” implemented (38.3%), followed by formalized training (28.3%), and sponsoring professional development opportunities (26.1%). Interestingly, only 13.3% of our respondents indicated that action learning is implemented “frequently.”

We next provided our participants with five areas and asked them to indicate how their organization’s talent development strategies rate in each of the areas on a five-point scale (1=ineffective/requires development; 5=effective/fully developed). Data reveal that, in general, respondents do not perceive the talent development strategies currently employed by organizations as “effective/fully developed.” All talent development strategies have an average effectiveness rating of less than 3.25 (see Figure 4).

Figure 4

Figure 4 - Talent Management Opinion Poll

Summary

Talent management encapsulates talent acquisition, retention, and development. IRC research indicates that talent management is both an immediate and long-range priority for Canadian organizations (Juniper & Hill, 2011). In this section we summarize some of the ways in which organizations can effectively recruit and manage talent, such as hiring the right employees, providing employees with work-life balance and opportunities for professional development, and measuring employee retention and turnover.

First and foremost, it is important that the right employees are hired. That is, selecting qualified employees who fit the organization’s culture, vision, and mission. Our Talent Management survey results indicate that employees, whose core values are aligned with those of the organization, are more likely to remain employed with the organization.

It is clear that work-life balance contributes to employee satisfaction (Deery, 2008). Many organizations have programs and policies in place to support healthy workplace practices. In 2011, the IRC conducted a survey, An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada (Juniper & Hill, 2011). Data revealed the top three programs in place to promote work-life balance include: employee benefits packages (94.9%), employee assistance programs (87.8%), and support for workplace learning (e.g., tuition reimbursement/educational leave of absence) (80.0%). Other programs cited include: pension plan arrangements (79.8%), flexible work arrangement (65.4%), workplace health and safety initiatives (64.9%), employee recognition programs and events (69.1%), organization-sponsored wellness workshops or programs (49.2%), fitness subsidy (45.6%), and on-site child care (10.1%). Healthy workplace practices may help organizations to retain talent, while providing a balanced work-life environment. Consequently, these intrinsically rewarding incentives may serve to maintain employee performance and productivity.

Providing cost-effective learning and development opportunities, such as relying on online learning tools, or incorporating podcasts, webinars, discussion forums, or MP3s into professional development plans may also help to retain organizational talent (Emerging Workforce Study, 2010b). In addition, opportunities such as, job rotations, coaching, and mentoring can also be combined with other development and learning opportunities (CIPD, 2010).

It is beneficial for organizations to measure their retention strategies, and observe turnover rate within the organization. Doing so may help to determine root-causes behind turnover and enable organizations to implement corrective actions to mitigate turnover. Exit interviews are an effective strategy to determine why employees are leaving. To ensure confidentiality, these interviews should be conducted by HR, rather than a direct supervisor (CIPD, 2011).

In conclusion, our survey indicates that intrinsic rewards facilitate employee retention and may reduce employee turnover. Based on our data, employee engagement, work-life balance, and learning and development opportunities are the top three factors contributing to employee retention. The top three factors contributing to employee turnover include employee/management personality differences, amount of work/heavy workload, and low employee engagement. While social media is emerging as a popular recruitment strategy, data reveal that traditional forms of recruitment (internal/promote from within, print advertising, and recruitment agency) remain relied upon. Respondents also perceive that there is room for improvement with regard to the development and effectiveness of talent development strategies. As talent management continues to remain a priority, challenge, and opportunity for organizations, this author suggests that companies consider developing and implementing assessment and measurement tools to assist with effectively evaluating the success of their talent management programs and practices.

References

Allen, David. Retaining Talent: A Guide to Analyzing and Managing Employee Turnover. Alexandria: Society of Human Resource Management, 2008. http://www.shrm.org/about/foundation/research/Documents/Retaining%20Talent-%20Final.pdf

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Factsheet: Employee Turnover and Retention. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2011. http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/employee-turnover-retention.aspx

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). The Talent Perspective: What Does it Feel Like to be Talent-Managed? London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2010. http://www.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/95D2D604-36C6-450A-996A-01F45F0B17C5/0/5262_Talent_Perspective.pdf

Datta, K. Deepak, James P. Guthrie. “Executive Succession: Organizational Antecedents of CEO Characteristics.” Strategic Management Journal 15, no. 7 (1994): 569-577.

Deery, Margaret. “Talent Management, Work-Life Balance and Retention Strategies.” International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management 20, no. 7 (2008): 792-806.

Jacobs, Elizabeth. Executive Brief: Differences in Employee Turnover Across Key Industries. Alexandria: Society of Human Resource Management, 2011.

Juniper, Paul, and Alison Hill. An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada: Executive Summary. Kingston: Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre, 2011.

Thomas, Kenneth. “The Four Intrinsic Rewards That Drive Employee Engagement.” Ivey Business Journal (2009).

Emerging Workforce Study. How Attracting Talent Has Changed. Emerging Workforce Study, 2010a.

Emerging Workforce Study. Maximize Social Media throughout the Employment Lifecycle. Emerging Workforce Study, 2010b. http://www.sfngroup.com/emergingworkforce/SFNGroup_socialmedia_POV.pdf

Recommended Resources

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Factsheet: Talent Management: An Overview. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2011. http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/factsheets/talent-management-overview.aspx

Chartered Management Institute. Talent Management: Maximising Talent for Business Performance. Ashridge School of Business, 2007.

Corporate Leadership Council. Attracting and Retaining Critical Talent Segments: Identifying Drivers of Attraction and Commitment in the Global Labor Market. Corporate Leadership Council, 2006.

Holland, Peter, Cathy Sheehan, and Helen De Ceiri. “Attracting and Retaining Talent: Exploring Human Resources Development Trends in Australia.” Human Resource Development International 10, no. 3 (2007).

Olaniyan, D.A., and Lucas. B. Ojo. “Staff Training and Development: A Vital Tool for Organisational Effectiveness.” European Journal of Scientific Research 24, no.3 (2008): 326-331.

Morton, Lynne. Talent Management Value Imperatives: Strategies for Successful Execution. New York: The Conference Board, 2005.

Ray, Rebecca L. CEO Challenge Reflections: Talent Matters. New York: The Conference Board, 2011.

Williamson, Doug. Talent Management in the New Business World. Human Resource Management International Digest 19, no. 6 (2011).

An Inquiry Into the State of Labour Relations in Canada: Executive Summary

In November 2011, Queen’s IRC launched a 37-question survey, “An Inquiry into the State of LR in Canada.” The purpose of this survey was to describe the state of the labour relations (LR) profession in Canada, based on the perspectives of practitioners. When the survey closed on December 16, 2011, a total of 184 responses were collected.

This practitioner-focused research complements our 2011 exploration of the state of the human resources profession in Canada, and builds on the our 2009 labour relations survey.

This survey was comprised of two sections. In the first section, we explored the varied roles, responsibilities, and credentials of LR professionals. We also probed some of the characteristics of the organizations in which LR professionals are employed. In the second section, we inquired about the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities required for a successful LR professional. We also sought perspectives on the future of the LR profession, including the challenges and opportunities facing the profession and changes that have, and are anticipated to occur, to jobs held by LR professionals. The survey included both closed- and open-ended questions.

This Executive Summary presents an overview of the aggregated survey data.

Download Executive Summary

York Region Strategic Plan: Putting Theory into Practice

When I was tasked with leading the development of York Region’s 2011 to 2015 Strategic Plan, I sought out the Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre’s (IRC) Essentials of Organizational Strategy program. While I had completed components of organizational strategy process in the past – namely, organizational assessment and environmental scanning – I had no experience in the entire process and was interested to have some sense of theory and practice to rely on, as I undertook this project on behalf of the organization, Regional Council, and the residents of York Region. York Region is a confederation of nine municipalities, each having their own strategic plan. It was extremely important that the Region’s strategic plan aligned with our local municipalities; therefore, confidence in a thorough planning process was essential.

This article describes my experience with the IRC’s Organizational Strategy programming and the ways in which the theoretical and practical tools acquired in the programming helped to guide the development of York Region’s 2011 to 2015 Strategic Plan. I am hoping that my experience with formulating a strategic plan, with direction from the IRC’s programming, and Carol Beatty’s expertise, may prove to be a resource for other practitioners embarking on similar work. I begin by describing the four phases that guided the development of the Region’s strategic plan. Then, I describe some of the obstacles and challenges we encountered and my key learning. I close with a commentary on the IRC’s programming.

Four-Phase Development of the York Region’s 2011-2015 Strategic Plan

As part of my role in the Region’s 2011 to 2015 strategic plan, I led the business case for the plan. Successful approval of the plan was obtained from our Senior Management Team in late 2010, including the process and timelines to develop and complete the plan. The process approved by Senior Management included four-phases: Data Gathering, Strategic Direction Setting, Activity Planning, and Monitoring and Reporting.

Our first outing on a strategic plan was in 2009, with a two-year interim plan. That plan was strictly administrative in nature and used internally by staff to focus their performance planning to stay in line with our Council’s priorities. It was termed an “Administrative Plan” and served to incorporate certain fundamentals, such as sustainability, into our everyday language and practice across the organization, and began the collaboration necessary to tackle cross-cutting issues. We considered it a strong foundation for the 2011 to 2015 plan, a test for organizational readiness for this type of planning. Initially, the 2011 to 2015 plan was again to be inward-facing, but as the process gained momentum, that changed and we developed a fulsome, Council-engaged, and endorsed plan. I now describe the four-phase development of the strategic plan.

Phase I: Data Gathering

Our development phase included external and internal scanning. We looked at what was happening around and within the Region, how the findings might affect us positively and negatively over the coming years, and where we should concentrate our efforts. From the scans and Council feedback, we were able to identify quite clearly the areas of priority for the plan’s four-year timeframe. I am not sure if future years will be as easy to determine, but the scans this term were consistent across the board, and showed early internal and external alignment. Analysis from the scanning process set out six key areas that are in our final plan today; polished up and well-defined, they remain true to the initial analysis. This phase launched in February 2011 and was completed in mid-June 2011.

Phase II: Strategic Direction

Our Strategic Direction phase was settled fairly quickly with the addition of a seventh priority targeting Regional staff – a direct response to the findings of the internal organizational assessment in which staff voluntarily participated. We presented the findings to the Steering Committee at the end of June 2011 and targeted mid-July to bring the draft priority areas and objectives to Senior Management Team for their input. It was at this meeting that work began for the Activity Planning phase.

Phase III: Activity Planning

We entered the Activity Planning phase as a means of developing our “Indicators of Success” – how we intended to measure progress in each of the strategic areas. We assessed each of the strategic priority areas and determined what needed to take place in order to make progress. This helped to not only determine the actions required, but to also identify the “hubs” of activities that supported more than one area. Those “hubs” were looked at closely and, in turn, helped further focus and polish the strategic priority areas. From there, the Senior Management Team ratified the indicators of success they were willing to be measured against. By end of August 2011, we had a fully developed plan – structured, defined, and accountable; that solidly responded to the results of the environmental scanning done at the beginning of the process. The plan was approved by Regional Council on October 20, 2011.

Phase IV: Monitoring and Reporting

Upon endorsing the plan, Council also approved an annual reporting cycle. Each June, Council will receive a progress report. During these meetings, we will report on the plan’s progress and outlook, including any required amendments to the plan. We built the plan as a living document, so our monitoring and reporting process allows for adjustments, as required. Quarterly strategy review sessions have been set up with the Senior Management Team to monitor the in-year activities to ensure progress.

Obstacles and Challenges

The obstacles were minimal in developing this strategic plan. The benefit of having stuck our toe in the water in 2009 on a strategic plan helped. We also did a year’s worth of work with our Leaders group in 2010 that let us know that we had the organizational readiness for this type of collaborative planning process. Our Chief Administrative Officer encouraged us to build a wave of interest behind us to have the desired effect. Throughout 2010, we explored the concept of “integrated planning and budgeting” using the 4D process facilitated by Brenda Barker Scott. Together, we determined the three criteria necessary for us to be successful in integrated planning and budgeting: having strategic direction set in advance of the budget process (as opposed to during); having measures and targets to know where we’re going and whether we’re making progress; and, having decision-making ability along all lines of the organization. These criteria mesh completely with the concept and practice of strategic planning. With the support of the larger senior management group behind us, we moved forward to incorporate strategic planning into our organization, fitting it between our long-range planning (our draft vision, Vision2051, spans forty years) and our annual department and operational planning and budgeting.

While there were not, as noted, many obstacles to developing the strategic plan, some challenges did, however, arise regarding terminology. The Region has an established and award-winning reputation for long-range planning. Initially, it was a challenge to differentiate and include the long-range vision in the short-term plan. Many municipalities function with twenty to forty year plans, not unlike the Region. Strategic planning can, and does, cover a wide timeframe; a three to five year plan is included in the broader definition of strategic planning. We discovered the two can live in harmony. We chose to look at the desired state proposed in our long-range plan, and use it to help determine the course of action for this term of Council that would take us closer to that vision. We asked ourselves some fundamental questions: Are we doing today what we need to do to get there? What is happening today that is keeping us from getting there? What can, and should, we do about it? Thus, the initial challenge was quickly turned into a benefit, as it provided us the “big picture” to map the current day trends and issues and therefore determine a short-term focus.

Personal Learning

My first key learning point was the deeper understanding that the Region is a conglomerate. We have lines of business that most people wouldn’t put together: transit and public health, nurses and inspections, sewers and road systems, early childhood intervention and immigrant settlement programs, just to name a few. I learned a lot about the businesses we’re in.

As an organization, however, we learned that we need to work together on these very complex issues. We did an exercise with the Steering Committee that had them drawing lines of interrelation between the priority areas. Each of the seven priority areas is strongly linked to at least one of the other priority areas. There is a tight weave between all of the areas, and therefore a tight weave in how we will respond to the issues. The interplay between our areas is actually where our work lies. What had been typically been viewed as disparate lines of business, is now seen from an “interdisciplinary” approach to solve problems. This approach is new and refreshing for the Region, a powerful outcome of the strategic planning process.

My second key learning point is that the implementation of the plan is probably the trickiest part. The inner workings of the organization are changing and adapting to the new plan, the new way of thinking and working together. Our systems that have traditionally been separate and apart from one another are now moving and fusing at the right points. Using the facilitative and supportive nature of our Council, we’ve aligned the corporation with the goals expressed by our Regional Chair and Council. This alignment is captured through the Senior Management annual goals process, and that is now cascading down and across the organization. We’ve amended our performance management system to include mention and communication of the plan as a means of ensuring linkages are made between all levels of the organization in delivering on the priorities of our Council.

We are using, for the first time, a digital dashboard to house and track the plan. The “dash” requires a great deal of front-end work to delineate the milestones and load the dashboard so that we can accurately account for our progress on the plan and intervene on issues in a timely manner. We continue to have strong buy-in across the organization, and are spending the majority of our time in this phase, as we touch enshrined systems and processes, and create together the new way of working. A great deal of change management principles and practices are being employed, along with a high degree of face-to-face communications and assistance. Our next steps are to complete the data call for the dashboard to monitor 2012 actions. We are also preparing to deliver our first progress report to Council in June 2012.

Advice/Guidance for Practitioners

Based on my experience with developing the York Region’s strategic plan, I offer the following advice to any individuals in a similar role:

  • Strategic planning is a process. Everyone wants to see their issues highlighted and profiled; a strategic plan doesn’t work that way. A strategic plan tells you the areas that require dedicated and unwavering focus toward a particular end. It can be a challenge not to include everything in the plan. The organizational strategy process is not meant to focus on everything, but rather reveal where departments should put their focus.
  • Be inclusive and build support. Not every organization can take the time we did to determine organizational readiness; however, I strongly suggest having some investigation of this area before you embark on the process. And from there, choose your degree of collaboration. By the time we had the final plan before Council for approval, well over 800 staff had participated in one way or other in the development of the plan. We are an organization of approximately 2,800. That degree of staff participation gave both Senior Management and Council a high degree of confidence in what was in the plan and our ability to execute on the plan.

The IRC Experience

Prior to joining the IRC’s Essentials of Organizational Strategy program, I really didn’t know what to expect from the course; my learning objectives were fairly wide open. I was hoping for either theory or practice that I could take back and apply to the project. As well, I was looking for a bit of validation of what I had been doing thus far. By the time I came to the course, I was already three months into the project and was quite nervous that I might have to backtrack considerably.

The tools, resources, and learning that I took away from the IRC’s Essentials of Organizational Strategy program contributed significantly to the development of our plan. For example, the Five Question Process taught in the course is the backbone of our plan. When you can provide simplicity to the process, people will better engage. There are basic questions that need to be answered when developing a strategic plan: What’s happening around us? What business are we in and how are we doing? What is the deliberate path we need to take? How will we get there? How will we know we’ve arrived? Answering these questions will provide you with a solid, executable strategic plan. There were a couple of Steering Committee meetings where we had to remind the group that our role was to work the process, to ask the questions, whether people liked the answers or not. The book provided in the course, The Strategy Wall, was a wonderful resource. In general, the course and its takeaways ensured we left no stone unturned in the development of the plan, such as industry and customer focus. All the learning provided tremendous value and insight. I used the templates provided in the course as the practical means of executing the process.

Our plan also benefited from the program theory. The underlying purpose of a strategic plan is to differentiate yourself in some way from others like you and to leverage that difference to increase your value. By learning and understanding the concept of “value proposition” through the academic foundation portion of the course and the program’s simulation exercise, we were able to answer that fundamental question for our organization. We now have a better understanding of our value proposition, and our customer focus. York Region is one of many municipalities mandated by the province to absorb large amounts of population growth over the next ten, fifteen, twenty years. To grow communities, you have to build and that requires relying on third-party deliverers to get the infrastructure and services in place, as well as attracting businesses and industries to employ the population and contribute to the overall economic vitality of the Region. These growth municipalities are vying for many of the same contractors, services, businesses, and industries. It is good to understand those you are contending with, determine what sets you apart, and give those companies and investors confidence that they are doing business with a focused and aligned partner. All of this essential information is baked right into our plan.

The entire IRC program was relevant to me and our organization. The timing couldn’t have been better – right in the middle of developing the plan. The theory and the practical exercises both served their purpose, and having the real-life project on my hands helped transfer the learning. The simple and highly-relatable way in which the course is designed and taught helped me, and subsequently York Region, tremendously. In a time where government is coming further under the microscope to find and prove efficiencies and effectiveness, a strategic plan, its process and outcome, more than responds to that analysis, internally and externally. Our strategic plan is a commitment from our Council to our residents that we are doing the right things, at the right time.

Learning from the IRC’s programming will continue to be applicable and a solid resource for my work. For example, I will once again turn to The Strategy Wall in 2014, when we ramp up to develop the 2015 to 2019 strategic plan for the Region.

In closing, I thank you for the opportunity for me to relay my experience in developing York Region’s strategic plan. The IRC’s program helped York Region tremendously. The Five Question Process kept my team focused as we dealt with competing interests and issues. Understanding strategic planning as a process, and I think having learned this from a qualified and well-regarded institution’s programming, enabled the development team to sit in the process and accept whatever results were coming our way.

To read York Region’s 2011 to 2015 Strategic Plan and learn more about The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca. For more information regarding organizational strategy, please consult Carol Beatty’s (2011) article, Demystifying Organizational Strategy.

About the Author

Heather Beairsto

Heather Beairsto is the Program Manager of Corporate Initiatives in the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer at the Regional Municipality of York in Newmarket, Ontario. Her main portfolio is strategic planning. She is responsible for leading the development, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of the strategic plan for the Region. She is also responsible for the Leaders program – an annual program that addresses leadership issues for approximately 100 of the Region’s senior-level staff. In addition to that work, Heather takes on special projects that deal with organizational performance and effectiveness. Heather has served with York Region since May 2005, after nearly seven years with the Ontario Public Service.

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