Carolyn Clark: Business strategy starts with people

By Ryan Langlois
|CHRR, Guide to Strategic HR|Last Updated: 07/21/2003

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t was 1988 and CP Hotels had just invested $750 million in the bricks-and-mortar side of the business, updating its hotels nationwide. Management was confident that the newly renovated hotels would attract guests for a first stay, but bringing them back again would be the real ROI challenge.

To meet that challenge, CP management looked to its human capital and Carolyn Clark, the newly appointed vice-president, human resources. Human resources had become a strategic player at the boardroom level and now it was time to help the company achieve its overall goals. Clark knew that in the service-intensive hotel industry, people can provide a critical competitive advantage, so her strategic HR plan focused on the development of human capital.