Building a Strategic HR Organization

Business Challenge

A leading energy company wanted its HR organization to play a greater role in ensuring market leadership in a constantly changing industry. To do this well, the company realized that its HR professionals needed to adopt a more strategic approach to driving capabilities.

Part of this shift required assessing current strengths and opportunities for development and capitalizing on those opportunities by helping HR professionals across the organization build the competencies they needed to think and act strategically.

The company intentionally wanted to accelerate the development of high potential talent through a differentiated learning experience while also offering strategic partner capability development to the entire HR function in order to holistically address the desired HR transformation. 


After interviewing over 80 key leaders about future business priorities and the current state of the HR organization's ability to deliver against those, RBL and the HR Leadership team identified four areas of opportunity to drive capabilities: metrics and analytics that measure impact instead of output, enhanced talent acquisition, building a robust leadership pipeline, and an increased strategic mindset for the entire HR team.

RBL then worked with the company to develop and deliver an HR Academy to three cohorts that focused specifically on increasing their capabilities and contributions as strategic HR professionals. The Academy consisted of 360 assessments, individual and team coaching, action learning projects, workshops, additional webinars, and follow-up assessments.

The workshops covered materials on strategic HR, consulting skills, building capabilities, leading change, organization diagnosis and design, talent and leadership, coaching and influencing from the middle, and a business solutions lab dedicated to driving the action learning project towards implementable solutions.

The broader HR population experienced key components of the strategic business partner frameworks and content through targeted workshops and webinars, consistent with key components of the HR Academy. 


Participating in the Academy enabled HR professionals from the different businesses come together and learn about the issues and challenges facing other areas of the company. Out of this collaboration emerged a common way of thinking and talking about HR's role across the company and helped align HR with the leadership team and the direction of the business.

The action learning projects targeted the biggest opportunities for the company's future and leveraged an outside-in mindset to position HR solutions in ways not typically experienced by the business leaders.

Those not yet in the HR Academy have been able to apply many of the frameworks and tools to their own work and are being actively coached by HR Academy participants to drive the sustainability of the learning.

Using RBL's tools and frameworks, participants have been able to change their engagement with business leaders and come together as a strategic team to help the company meet current and future challenges.