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The Baseball Team Model vs. The Development Model

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HR as a Business Partner

  • Format: Self-paced
  • Course Duration: 1 hr 5 mins
  • SHRM Professional Development Credits: 1.0
  • HRCI Business Recertification Credits: 1.0
  • Certificate of Completion (after passing quiz)

You’ve likely heard that YOU, the HR professional, are a strategic business partner. But what does that really mean? When your fellow team members mention the strategic direction of the company, where do you fit in?

Human Resources brings a great deal of value to an organization. The profession has changed significantly over the past 20 years. Today’s HR Pro is expected to not only wear multiple hats associated to an employee’s life cycle, but also act as a business leader, one who can guide an organization through and around a continually changing economic landscape.

The primary goal of this course is to help you understand what business strategy is and how you, the HR pro, can act as a mighty force multiplier in its implementation. After setting the foundation with key terms, the focus will turn to the importance of communication and explain what expertise you provide in People Development, Organization Structure and Change Management.

Take this course to better understand your value and role as a strategic business partner. As a result, you will lead your team and workforce to the successful implementation of its business plan and achievement of its key performance objectives.

HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

This activity, has been approved for 1.0 HR (Business) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at
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Title: The Baseball Team Model vs. The Development Model
Module: Organization Structure
Duration: 2:36

In addition to People Development, HR Pros also bring another expertise to the workplace, that of “Organization Structure”.

This is the second key area associated to strategic planning. Often a redesign of the way people are organized is needed to achieve the strategic plan. An evaluation of job descriptions, organizational structure, and leadership all fall under your expertise.

One area to consider would be the competencies and behaviors needed for the long-term strategic plan. Skills can be trained, but as we mentioned earlier, often times the long-term plan for your organization might require abilities that you currently do not possess. There are two primary approaches to ensuring your organization has the right structure in place. First, let's consider the Baseball Team.

Organization Development practitioners use the “Baseball Team” approach to staffing. It’s a great analogy. Consider your favorite baseball team.

How often during the MLB season do you find yourself saying, “We need better pitching!” or “If we just had one slugger.” Or, “You know what really need is a great short-stop.”

These all may be the case, and hopefully the General Manager of your favorite baseball team will go out and get a pitcher, or a slugger, or a short-stop.

This is very similar to what happens in organizations as well. We need XYZ competencies or skills and we don’t have them. Recruiting is an HR function…and a great way to show your value by helping the organization achieve its future strategic state.

The second primary approach is the Development Model. You may have the right human capital to obtain your desired competencies or skills, you may just need to develop the employees you already have. This is the development model, and it's another tool in your toolbox as you consider your organizational structure.

While “training” is learning provided for employees in their current job, development is learning that you provide your employees for jobs they will have in the future. A robust development plan is a great proactive way to ensure you have the talent you need for the future.

The first step of course would be to determine what those competencies and skills are that you need. Think Job Analysis.

What jobs are necessary to fulfill your organization’s mission and vision?

The next step would be to determine which model you will need to leverage to obtain these competencies and skills…the Baseball Team model or the Development model.

Instructor: Scott Pitts

Scott has spent nearly two decades in the human resources, learning and organization development professions. Scott has led multiple organizations and has taught hundreds of students on effectively creating and implementing business strategy, managing change, and designing effective learning solutions.

Scott is also an Associate Adjunct Professor of Training & Development, as well...

Scott's Full Bio

SHRM Recertification

HR Jetpack® is an official SHRM Education Partner recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

HRCI Recertification

HR Jetpack® is recognized by HRCI as an approved provider to offer credit hours towards aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification.

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