The British Army has always been technologically forward looking, investing in research and technology to develop better equipment.
However, British Doctrine recognises that:
‘It is manpower that must provide the military’s decisive edge as western technological and equipment superiority can no longer be guaranteed.’
Yet there is a perception that many of the British Army’s manpower systems are dated and that while there is significant ongoing change in the field of personnel policy, it is suggested that much of this change is driven by a desire to reduce the personnel budget (always an easy target for budgeteers) and adopt ‘leaner civilian’ practices, rather than a desire to invest in human capital.
In civilian practice, greater risk may be taken in their Human Resource Management (HRM), where there is an ability to quickly re-generate lost talent through lateral recruitment from the market place; and while the other Services ‘man the equipment’, the British Army ‘equips the man’, so it should not be surprising that the management of Army’s weapon system should be ‘gold standard’.
This series of articles over the next four weeks will ‘horizon scan’ global HR trends and will challenge these views by reviewing how the British Army is performing. The trends will be grouped into four imperatives: analyse, simplify, invest and lead.