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Fred Lamster recently contributed an article entitled, “Human Resources: Still at a Crossroads” to

Stop talking about earning a seat and start proving that you’ve already earned it

I was on the phone with an HR colleague one morning talking about the “state of the function” and bemoaning the current crop of Human Resources bench talent. After all, it is the primary job of HR to build the talent base of an organization—shouldn’t that include the HR function as well?

My colleague is a well-respected CHRO in the energy sector, and I recently left HR after a number of years as a CHRO to go into executive search. We were coming at the issue from different perspectives, but we had no trouble aligning on the key question: Why do HR people boast about “earning a seat at the (proverbial) table” when any other function head on the leadership team – CFO, COO, CMO, CIO, CDO and any other “C” titles that exist based on the company or industry – just comes in and sits down? Why does Human Resources have to earn a seat when other functions simply assume their seat is already reserved? And why do HR people talk with so much pride about earning a seat that should be rightfully theirs?

“If HR needs to fight to be at the table, I would suggest you are working at the wrong company.” (Bill Higley, SVP Human Resources – Retail)

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