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In college part of my studies was organisation behaviour and there was a module l on manpower planning (politically incorrect title but it was a while ago..)   . Anyhow we learnt how organisations go about planning: what skills they will need, will they buy or build, what does it mean for succession planning and so on. This was just before the “job for life” bubble well and truly burst on the reengineering wave.

Since those days, I have rarely seen this in action although its name changed to workforce planning then added the strategic before it.  Sure, some companies do succession planning, even going beyond the leadership, and looking at critical roles as well.

In org design when looking at the org design implications of strategy business often have had to temper their enthusiasm for new strategies because they have not thought about where they will get the talent.

Surely now when they are facing waves of digital disruption strategic workforce planning time has come? Does your organisation even know what skills it will need in 3, 5 ,10 years?  What can you automate? What skills can you reduce with augmented reality tools? What about those digital skills? The cybersecurity ones? Those people who have a innovative thinking way of looking at the world? If you know what you may need can you afford them?

I suggest that data sources and tools are advanced enough now to make strategic workforce planning part of business as usual , as without it you may not have a business

Some links…

http://www.hrmguide.com/strategy/strategic-workforce-planning.htm

http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/how-to-get-strategic-workforce-planning-right/

https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/10/the-war-for-digital-talent/

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