If you want to lead or run a business, you should have a People Strategy.

Taking your business strategy as a baseline, a basic People Strategy will look at the work to be done, and give you a clear focus on required capabilities (skills), culture, structure, and leadership. You look at where you are now, where you’d like to be and how the gap is best filled.

A cooler version of a People Strategy looks at how people (i.e., your team or partners) can be a genuine competitive advantage. It looks at capabilities, culture, and leadership as important components of a winning business strategy.

Many businesses, even some quite big ones, run on “then I needed another person, so I got them” way of working. This is both limiting and risky. As soon as you have to compete against a business that takes the people side of the business seriously, you’ll probably lose. They will be clearer on the work to be done, the people they need to do it, the way they’re going to treat people, and the way they’ll sustain their team. Charm and a good LinkedIn Leadership quote will only get you so far. People deserve their working life in better hands than that.

It’s always baffling when so many people say “people are my business’s greatest asset” and then run that “greatest asset” with no real plan.

You wouldn’t run your finances like that, so why run your people like this?