Getting a Seat at the Table

man at whiteboard with back to empty conference table

Opportunities for the HR Leader

YOU WANT a seat at the table but are not invited to be involved in strategic decisions for the organization. You help many parts of the business to function, yet when budgets are cut, parts of your department are first on the list. You often don’t have enough resources to do the work that you would like to do, nor the support from senior leaders to sponsor that work. You become disappointed when your hard work goes unnoticed or unappreciated. You become frustrated when “operations” tells you that you don’t understand the business – when you do—perhaps better than most. You would like to spend more time developing teams, leaders, and culture.

You know your role is vital to the success of the company. You’re an overachiever. You want to contribute to people’s growth and development while ensuring that the organization follows important procedures and practices. You know you’re a multitasking guru because of the number of tasks you complete and the number of roles you assume. You enjoy a high degree of complexity yet know that it wears you out. You privately wonder, “How can I be in Human Resources when I’m not taking care of myself the way I would want others to take care of themselves?”

The challenge.
You have an opportunity to craft the narrative about what HR really means. You can create your own brand instead of reacting to others’ opinions. You have an opportunity to take a seat at the table by voicing your beliefs. You have the chance to help HR become a strategic partner in leadership development and organizational learning. You can help HR become the secret sauce of the company.

The opportunity.
The new you is bolder and more assertive. You don’t hold back. Don’t wait for permission. Instead, you and your team develop a clear and compelling business case for HR. You claim a seat at the table and develop teams and leaders in a way that nobody in your industry has done before. You increase the speed and agility of learning. You deploy principles found in marketing to communicate to and influence leaders, peers, and employees. You operate as the owner of the company and see other departments as valued customers. You are a leader who walks the talk of the organization’s values.

Your impact.
When you and your team step into its highest and most effective role, the organization will develop better strategies and goals and will become an agile, effective industry leader. Your company becomes the place everyone wants to work in.

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“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu.”

– Elizabeth Warren