Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners
In This Issue…
Exploring Senior Leadership in the Canadian Mental Health Association
Enhancing Your Strategic Value as a Human Resources Professional: Playing to Win in HR
Flashback Feature: Worker Cooperation and Technical Change
Exploring Senior Leadership in the Canadian Mental Health Association An Interview with Clark MacFarlane, Executive Director, CMHA – Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch Interviewed By Cathy Sheldrick, Queen's IRC
Clark MacFarlane has over twenty years of experience in the health care sector, and is currently the executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) – Cochrane-Timiskaming Branch, in northern Ontario. CMHA branches provide direct service to people who are experiencing mental illness, and to their families. They are in the process of implementing a new service delivery model, which shifts from traditional treatment methods to a recovery approach.
In this interview with Queen's IRC, Clark discusses the funding challenges of being an incorporated charitable organization almost completely dependent on government funding, the difficulty in building the talent pipeline in northern Ontario, and the struggles that come with leading an organization with multiple sites. He opens up about the rewards and challenges of managing in a unionized environment, the cultural shift that happened when the union came in, and the lessons learned in the first round of collective bargaining. Clark talks candidly about what they could have done better in change management, and the steps he takes to create a healthy work environment with happy and engaged employees.
Enhancing Your Strategic Value as a Human Resources Professional: Playing to Win in HR Kevin E. Yousie, Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and President of Crosswater Partners, 2014
The notion that human resource (HR) professionals need to be strategic and aligned with their organization's strategy is not by any means new. In their book The HR Scorecard published almost fifteen years ago, Professors Becker, Huselid and Ulrich noted that "traditional HR skills have not diminished in value, but simply are no longer adequate to satisfy the wider strategic demands of the HR function" (Becker, Huselid and Ulrich, 2001). Since then strategy frameworks and the language of strategic management have evolved. The question is, has HR kept up with these, especially in the past year or so?
This article is written for HR leaders and explores the HR-related implications of strategy work drawn from a variety of sources but in particular work that grew out of the strategy practice at Monitor Company and subsequently further developed by Roger Martin, former Dean of the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, and A. G. Lafley, former Chairman, President and CEO of Proctor & Gamble. Their work Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works (2013) was recently published by Harvard Business Review Press and won the prestigious Thinkers50 Best Book Award (Thinkers50 website, 2014). "Playing to Win" is a down-to-earth, simplified approach to thinking about strategy that is resonating very well with many business leaders. The "Playing to Win" framework is practical, effective and efficient.
Flashback Feature: Worker Cooperation and Technical Change H. Lorne Carmichael, Queen's University School of Business, 1995
This paper explores the relationship between worker cooperation with technical change and international competitiveness. It outlines the reasons why worker cooperation is important, how it is (and is not) obtained, and assesses the likelihood that Canadian companies can achieve it. The conclusions are not entirely pessimistic. While it is often very hard to create a cooperative attitude where there was none before, there have been some remarkable success stories. New companies are also in a position to get it right from the very beginning, and many are doing so. However, there are also some aspects of the Canadian labour market, in particular its high turnover rates, that will ultimately make worker cooperation more difficult to achieve here than in some other countries.
The paper will cover first of all some of the history and history of thought about worker cooperation. It then covers some economic concepts which are useful for the subsequent discussion. In particular, economics has a rather precise way of talking about 'trust', something that is clearly necessary for cooperation. We will then build some simple theoretical models to help understand the ways in which worker cooperation can be fostered. Finally, we will study some case histories and other data in an attempt to evaluate the models, and assess their relevance for the Canadian economy.