Can HR Really Sit at the Strategy Table?

Every once in awhile a discussion starts around whether HR is “Booming” or “Busting.” In other words, is the trend:

  • To give HR a full role in the strategic leadership of companies; or
  • For HR to revert to its functional roots.

HR is a function that is very situationally sensitive. To discuss it in a general “Boom or Bust” fashion does it a bit of injustice. It minimizes the impact each of us as leaders can have.

HR should be a critical partner in any firm’s senior leadership. It requires a unique combination of talents, philosophy, and persistence to make that a reality.

There must be talent on both sides of the equation. The HR professional must have the general business capabilities to appreciate the business’ overall position and create a strategy for the HR function to support the business.

On the other side of the equation, the other functional leaders must have enough knowledge of the HR function to be able to integrate those issues into their approach. HR can only have a seat at the table if their peers can truly understand the value of the function.

Philosophy also plays a part in HR being able to rise to “full partner” status in the firm. The senior leadership team must approach their responsibilities as a team and not as heads of individual departments. That approach shares the responsibility for each member’s success and opens the door for HR to take a shared role in running the business.

Finally, it takes a bit of persistence to make any change a reality and making HR a full partner is one of the most difficult. Line managers have a difficult time incorporating HR concerns into their day-to-day operations. It seems hard enough to run the business without also including HR concerns. It takes a personal, visible stance by senior leadership over a period of time to make the organization incorporate the needed changes. That takes persistence.

The proper mix of talent, philosophy, and persistence will determine whether HR “Booms or Busts” in any given situation. This is one case where the overall trend depends on success in individual situations.

 For the full discussion visit: http://www.fourgroups.com/lists/lt.php?id=Yx8EBwUCVUQCUkpRDVME


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