This leads us onto the second reason too. Despite claims that people are our most important asset etc, HR still walls in the backwaters of many organisations, and the endless stream of ‘I Hate HR’ type articles shows no signs of slowing (Ram Charan’s diatribe being the most recent example at the point of writing.) This shouldn’t be the case - particularly as organisational capabilities are the primary basis for competitive advantage, and we provide the bulk of what is contained within the capabilities.
Organisational capabilities gives us a key role. No longer are we a support function limited to the secondary activities of Porter’s business value chain. Today we are not just a, but THE, provider of most business’ most important source of competitive success.
(By the way even if your business thinks it is competing on positioning, you can still focus on capabilities as well. Firstly, your business colleagues are probably wrong, and you can offer them the required capabilities even if they don’t realise how important they are. And secondly, even if the business really does need a differentiated competitive positioning, it will still benefit from supporting capabilities as well, i.e the arrow works both ways around. If you compete on capabilities, this will help you develop existing and new core competencies and positions. If you compete on positioning, this will be enabled by aligned core competencies and capabilities as well.
Picture credit - BotMultichillT