CEO’s get the HR Team they deserve!

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HR has always had critics but over the past year or so there have been some rather interesting “pops” at the HR profession.

First we had Ram Charan who appeared to be making a career out of saying that the HR department should go – be split in to two – Admin and HR-LO!  

Apparently. in Ram Charan’s world, HR-LO stands for Learning and Organisation as opposed to some sort of song and dance act and what a surprise……Charan says HR-LO should be led by Operations or Finance. ​That’s a novel idea isn’t it!   Full article by Charan, click here.

My response: Well, I am all for outsourcing HR Admin, whether that is to the Finance Director as Ram suggests or to an expert Outsourcer…………as I would personally advise.  Mainly because this leaves HR available to concentrate efforts on the things that Brave HR people do best – People and Performance!!

On to the next critic – In November 2014, the former managing director of Zara (Inditex Group) Jesús Vega said that HR had lost credibility and was much less prominent than in the past because it was ‘not brave enough’ during the global financial crisis. He reckons that we spent too much time concentrating on cost and job cutting.  

My response: Fair Enough Mr. Vega, HR do need to be brave in putting forward new and innovative solutions but in a financial crisis we’d be horribly criticised if we didn’t reign in the costs too.

So here is my prediction:

In 2015, Brave HR will take their seat at the decision making table. 

So here is my prediction……in 2015, Brave HR will take their seat at the top table.  That’s because the very best CEO’s truly want Brave HR there supporting them

​”CEOs tend to get the HR Team they deserve.  The quality of their HR Team will generally refelct the quality of their leadership”

I have come across the odd CEO who says HR doesnt drive the business – it’s a support function but, you know, the best CEOs recognise the strengths and weakenesses of the whole of their tope team and plays to them, whatever their function.  Mediocre CEO’s dont!

What does Brave HR look like?  

Brave HR professionals know the business.  Not just things like the numbers,  finance, how to read a company balance sheet and so on, but what unique features, skills and knowledge count towards business success.  HR obviously need to understand HR practices thoroughly, but Brave HR know how to improve on and transform those practices.

Brave HR have the ability to manage change. They understand how to drive revenues and growth through people.  Brave HR see a way of building great talent pipelines and how best to tap into the skills of employees.  They build reward systems that drive productivity and are courageous enough to change terms and conditions, policy and processes when necessary. They know how to inspire and motivate and have the savvy to build performance management systems that actually work. 

Sometimes HR Pro’s have to be brave enough to prevent the non-conformists in the Leadership Team doing their own thing and, more importantly, if the non-conformists way is more effective, they are brave enough and ready to change the procedure. 

But it is not just about bravery!

It is also about having the ingenuity to come up with realistic alternatives; well thought through solutions that are practical enough to work.  It’s also about persuading the other functional leaders to be brave enough to implement such solutions. A good dose of key stakeholder management doesn’t go amiss for Brave HR.

Brave HR is prepared for the high speed and a constantly changing atmosphere that business demands these days.  It has a long term view of the organisation but realises that the business also has to hit its targets today and that the loyalty of customers has to be earned by your Employees virtually everyday. That’s why recruitment and retention are still strategic heavyweights in the eyes of the Brave HR professional.  Most importantly, Brave HR knows how to secure the trust, hearts and minds of your workforce.

As Renee West, from the Luxor and Excalibur Hotel points out, “You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.”

Do yourself a favour, get some Brave HR on your Board. 

Written by Ruth Gawthorpe of The Change Directors. Ruth is an expert in Change Management and the development of high performing HR Teams. She is passionate about sharing the lessons that she has learned with your business.

If you liked this post, drop me a line at and we’ll put you on or Newslettter list so that Ruth can share ideas with you on a variety of people and business topics.​ Or call us on 07976509551 if you want to know more about developing your HR Team to be BRAVE!

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