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HR and leadership for achieving business excellence


Developing leadership within organization is one of the recognized key issues for HR professions today, according to the report, Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st century workforce, published by Deloitte which brings together the main trends in the human capital management field. The report results are clear on leadership, while other trends vary depending on the industry—leadership remains a priority issue across all sectors and a top priority in developed and emerging economies.

Aware of this, I listened with deep interest to the talk given by the leadership expert, Luis Miravitlles at the conference organized by Madrid Excelente 'Excellence in management as competitive advantage'. In his talk titled 'Global vision, leadership and excellence for success', Miravitlles, professor at the IE business school, analyzed the elements required for leading the excellent company in the 21st century.

Even though he was tackling leadership from the perspective of business management, Miravitlles’s talk was of particular interest to me as the keys given may be useful for HR departments. It is common knowledge—no need for details—that the corporate HR director has to work closely with the leaders of the organization. The HR director’s job is tightly linked with the company’s line of business and it is a cornerstone for achieving business objectives and success. However building leadership and talent is the job of the HR department. HR policies must be designed to recognize the talent within workers and potential leaders, encouraging and retaining it within the company.

That’s why understanding the basis for a company’s success today and knowing what challenges the leaders of our organizations face in the current climate is fundamental for the HR professional to do his job.

For Miravitlles, there are three principles for success: engagement, leadership and a robust system "capable of working with people able to undertake tasks with excellence without being extraordinary". The combination of the three points sets the ground for "a company of excellence in today’s world". A company must have “an authentic identity, be value-oriented and incite passion among all involved stakeholders, especially employees", according to the expert.

To achieve this added value, Miravitlles identifies a series of factors to optimize:

  1. End customer focus
  2. Corporate Social Responsibility, based on reputation and transparency.
  3. Strategic alliances in a competitive global territory
  4. Knowledge management to find out what’s happening around us and in our sectors
  5. Flawless execution where there is no room for errors in quality
  6. Constant innovation based on the intelligent use of ITC
  7. Innovation in the value chain

The attainment of this added value happens to involve every member of the organization and this is accomplished by fostering employee engagement. To Miratvilles, the key to achieving an engaged workforce is leadership built on three core abilities:

  1. Long-term vision: how to act in different scenarios and different climates that may occur in the future.
  2. Global vision: to look beyond the short term and possess abstract thought. To be good speakers; even though we are not experts in the subject matters under discussion.
  3. Make things happen: to get the team to do things well enough.

Based on the specific ideas Miratvilles shares, we can profile the ideal leader who can drive the company to success in the 21st century: an inclusive leader who is able to engage every member of the organization rendering them as contributors to the company’s identity and who inspires the search for this added value. The job of HR professionals is to work on all aspects of this leadership.

By Irene Giménez, Content Management Specialist

Editorial HR

Meta4, with 1,300 customers in 100 countries, manages more than 18 million people worldwide. The company’s R&D&I center located in Spain (Madrid) develops HR applications capable of meeting local and global needs of all types of organizations. The editorial team is made up of professionals with over 15 years of experience in the HR technology field.

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