The WIC Model: Business Model Innovation for HR Professionals

During the 2021 induction ceremony of the People Management Association of the Philippines held on January 27, I shared the details of a model that enhances the value proposition of the Human Resources department to an organization’s leadership.
 
Why do we need to enhance it? In a quick survey among my network, I found only 3% of CEOs had a Human Resources background. That means HR professionals were not chosen to be the successors of the CEO, and that the value of an HR background was not always clear in an organization. In fact, at first glance, HR’s role in a business model is not as clear as other professions like marketing (for value creation) operations (for value delivery), or finance (for value capture).
 
HR needs to position itself very clearly in an organization and declare “this is our role; this is where we are.” HR must understand it cannot be separated from the business model, just as operations, marketing, and finance cannot be.
 
HR can do that with what I call the WIC Model.
 
2 W’sWinning inside and Winning outside the organization. This addresses the first part of a value proposition, the Relevance. Addressing pain points and winning outside the organization in the target marketplace is equally as important as internal wins, which HR should stop limiting itself to. HR has to adopt the same mindset as the CEO.
 
2 I’s: Internal marketing and Innovation lead. This addresses the Uniqueness aspect of a value proposition. HR does a lot of internal marketing already, but innovation needs to be included on any HR professional’s plate. It is the job of everyone—and HR must be responsible for building and shaping that culture as innovation officers themselves.
 
2 C’s: Commercial acumen and Connections. This addresses Believability. HR professionals would be more credible if they have commercial experience in sales and marketing under their belt to be more well-rounded, have relationship with key customers and understand key business issues better. HR must not just concern themselves with people and company culture, but other issues affecting the entire organization. Additionally, connections bring extra value as well by helping things get done much faster and cheaper.

This way, HR professionals can prove their value to their target market (the CEO and stakeholders) as true “triple treats,” moving away from unnecessary administrative tasks (that can be outsourced) and repositioning themselves as key persons for organizational issues, internal marketing, and innovation. 

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