Business strategy dictates the kinds of talent, skills and behaviors that will drive success. The Columbia University Human Capital Management students in our Integrated Talent Management Strategies class were treated to a guest lecture about this topic by Howard Tiegel, Chief Human Resources Officer of the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Americas Division.
SMBC and its group companies offer a broad range of financial services centered on banking. It has offered services in the Americas since 1918, with origins in Japan that stretch back over 400 years. The company's vision for the next decade is to be “a trusted global solution provider committed to the growth of our customers and advancement of society," and deliver on our Five Values: Integrity, Customer First, Proactive & Innovative, Speed & Quality, and Team "SMBC Group." That worthy vision demands a careful attention to people - the skills and talent they possess, what they do and how they do it.
As Howard described, SMBC enjoyed a noteworthy reputation of service excellence since its founding over 140 years ago. This reputation served it well during the Financial crisis of 2008-2009 as the Bank continued to deliver its broad range of financial services while other financial institutions suffered by having taken on too much risk. In fact, Howard said, SMBC's positioning and reliability created a "virtual cycle" - because it had earned the trust of its customers it was able to deepen relationships as it also expanded into new markets, products and services.
Consequently, SMBC's strategy and execution created the opportunity to add new talent and to engage that talent to take the Bank in new directions. This called for different skills and competencies and multiple, integrated Talent Management processes, such as talent acquisition, performance management, learning and development and pay, to support the behaviors and results that the Bank values.
As Howard emphasized, no one HR program will create the culture and conditions that are necessary for business success. Rather, HCM professionals must intimately understand their businesses, including the particular strategy of their organizations, and work together - across HR teams - to develop, execute, measure and improve an integrated set of processes that will communicate consistent messages and reinforce success.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of any other person or entity.