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Are you Asking this Question of your Employees?
Are you Asking this Question of your Employees? 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

Last week, I had the opportunity to have lunch with a young woman who used to work on one of my HR teams several years ago.  It was great to sit down to catch up and share stories about our time working together.

As you would expect, our conversation centered around our current jobs and how things were going for each of us today.  Thankfully, we both seem to be happy with our current situations which made for fun lunch time talk.  As she shared some details with me about her role and her company, some things really stood out to me about why she loves what she’s doing today.

This is what she said:

  • People are friendly and they want to get to know you.  They make time to connect.  
  • They let me do what I do best.
  • I have the opportunity to impact what we do and how we do it.  
She propped these things up as really refreshing things about her current role.  She also felt that this was rare. These things read like questions off of an employee engagement survey, so clearly her employer and/or manager is doing some right.  But, there was one thing that she mentioned three times during our lunch so I took it to be the most significant.  She shared with me that her management asks her a particular question frequently that really matters to her job satisfaction. Here it is:
  • “Are you enjoying your job?  Do you like what you are doing?” 
And she believes that they really want to know the answer.  She knows that it is her responsibility to tell the truth then they ask her this question, but she hasn’t had any real complaints to this point.  I’m guessing by the fact that they regularly ask this question that this company probably behaves in a way that helps employees find their way to work that they enjoy, so the questions is more of an affirmation than an inquisition.  
It was a reminder of how simple it can be to engage talented people.  It’s not always easy, but by just asking the right questions sincerely, you can make a major impact.  
HR Strategy (and a Special Offer from #ILSHRM11)
HR Strategy (and a Special Offer from #ILSHRM11) 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

I am fortunate to be presenting a session at the SHRM 2011 Strategy Conference being held in Chicago on October 5-7.  The conference theme this year is “Think Different” so I suspect I will fit right in.  If you are still interested in attending this great event (even if you have no interest in my session), I have a great opportunity to share with you.  By virtue of being a keynote speaker at the Illinois State SHRM conference this week, I am able to offer you a discount to attend the SHRM Strategy Conference.  You can get a discount on your registration if you sign up before September 30 and use the discount code: SHRMIL2011.

My session at the Strategy conference is titled “The Power of a Plan: Unlocking the Full Value of an HR Strategic Plan in a Mid-Sized Organization.”  Basically, this session will dig into a simple framework for an HR strategic planning process that anyone can implement within their own organization.  And, we’ll talk about the real reason to do HR strategic planning (hint: it’s not what you think it is).  

To give you a sense for my perspective on HR Strategy, I’m republishing a post here that I originally posted on earlier this year.

Building a Strategic HR Plan: The Best Time You’ll Ever Invest in Your Team

Originally posted: April 21, 2011 on

When historians write about the great battles throughout human history, invariably one of the keys to victory is a military leader with a brilliant strategy for defeating the enemy forces. It seems that when it comes to winning battles, the leader who can execute the most cunning plan will almost always emerge victorious.

The power of a great plan translates far beyond the battlefield and is particularly relevant for HR teams. After all, human resources is in a battle — a battle for credibility; a battle for respect; a battle for influence. And a great plan may be the key to winning this battle.

For human resources, the power of planning may not be where you expect it to be.

Four keys to a well-designed plan

Instead of being solely the results produced from the execution of the plan, the real power lies in the planning process itself. To be most effective, the planning process for an HR team must be broadly inclusive of internal customers and stakeholders. A well-designed inclusive planning process can accomplish several things.

  • Alignment. This is the commonly understood value of strategic planning. The plan articulates how the work HR does aligns to support the organization’s strategy and goals. The plan also ensures that the people and functions within human resources are aligned with each other towards achieving the same objectives.
  • Buy-in. One of the struggles of HR teams is that many of our customers think they could do our jobs better than we do. They have a lot of opinions about HR, some good and some ill-informed. By executing a broad, inclusive process of strategic planning, you can solicit your customer’s opinions in the process so that they feel like you’ve heard their ideas and considered them in creating the plan. If they feel included, they are far more likely to be supportive.
  • Education. Let’s face it, most of our customers don’t really understand what we do in HR. And, if we are honest, we’ve probably worked to keep it that way in order to preserve the value of our expertise. But to enhance our credibility organizationally, we need to invite the business into our work instead of keeping them out. An inclusive planning process that involves our customers will help them get better educated about what we do and how we do it. They will, without question, come away with a better appreciation for how hard our job is in HR.
  • Control. We’re not talking about control over others, but rather a control of how HR should be evaluated and understood. One of the principles I live by is that we teach people how to treat us. Put another way, if you aren’t being treated the way you think you should be, it’s because you are allowing it to happen. When we don’t manage the organization’s expectations of human resources, we leave our destiny in other’s hands. We know they don’t really understand how we add value, so why would we allow them to determine how we should be evaluated? A well-designed strategic plan enhances your control of how others will interpret your results.

If you currently have a strategic planning process within HR, but you aren’t seeing these results, it’s likely because you aren’t making it inclusive enough of the business. Being inclusive takes time so it can be a tempting step to minimize or skip. Avoid this trap.

What the planning process must include

There are many correct ways to do strategic planning and you will have to choose which approach is best for your organization. Regardless of the specific approach you choose, to achieve the results outlined above, your process must include the following components.

  • Extensive input from your internal customers on the current state of HR. This process can be painful because if done correctly, you will get some feedback that isn’t flattering or easy to hear. How you gather this information can range from surveys to focus groups to one-on-one discussion. Depending on your organization, you may need an external consultant to assist with this part of the process in order to get honest feedback.
  • Feedback from your HR staff on the strengths and weaknesses of the team.  Again, this process can be handled in a variety of ways. The critical element is to ensure that the HR staff has input and feels heard, particularly those who work on the front lines with employees every day.
  • Strategic information from each business unit or department/division about their future plans, and the major challenges they anticipate for their business, both in general and regarding their talent. It’s important to spend time on in-person discussions in addition to gaining copies of written strategic plans. The conversations are another way to make them feel included in the process and to ensure that your plan reflects the critical needs of their business.
  • Broad communication of the plan back to those who participated in the process and other key stakeholders. Depending on the audience, the amount of detail to share will vary, but it’s critical that once the plan is completed, you take the time to sell it back to the organization. In the communication, you must remind them of how the plan reflects their input and is designed to support their success.

This process is time consuming to complete and it can feel tedious at times — but it might also be the best time you ever invest in your HR team. When executed correctly, an inclusive strategic planning process can take your HR team from being perceived as a necessary evil to emerging as a strategic leader within the organization.

What is Talent?
What is Talent? 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

I originally wrote this post as a guest post for the Human Capital Institute in February 2010.  I was recently reminded of it and as I read it again, I liked the message.  So, I thought it was worth sharing again here.

What is Talent?

Over the past decade, it seems that the concept of Talent has come to the forefront of our business conversations. We talk about talent. We select for talent. We even have entire departments devoted to the management of talent. But what truly is talent? 

When we talk about talent, there are a variety of perspectives we can take. As defined by, talent is defined as both: A special natural ability –or– A capacity for achievement or success.
I think that the realm of sports offers the easiest examples when it comes to thinking about talent. By the definitions above, if we were putting together a basketball team, we would find a couple different kinds of talent. The first kind of talent is the kind we find in a point guard who is very quick with his hands and feet which allows him to dribble and pass the ball very effectively. This is certainly a special natural ability. At the same time, an individual who is 7 feet tall could also be thought to have talent because height in basketball generally means a capacity for achievement (although we probably wouldn’t normally have thought of height as a talent). The thing that both individuals share in common is that they possess traits that may predispose them to success in basketball, but that definitely don’t guaranty success. 
In organizations, talent is more complicated to understand. We’ve all known people who have both the ability and capacity to be successful, but don’t for some reason. While some people may argue that this is a case of wasted talent, I think that it’s more complicated than that. I think that at the root of the problem is that we often consider talent to be universal, that a “talented” individual will excel in any situation. 
If we take a more practical approach to talent in business, we might define talent as “anything that predisposes an individual to success in a position or organization.” Said another way, talent is situational. It is something you don’t have to learn that will give you a natural advantage towards being successful in a specific situation. Defined this way, a trait may be considered a talent in one situation and not another (i.e. being 7 feet tall is a talent in basketball but not in flying fighter jets). I’m not suggesting that you have to have talent to be successful in a role, but that having talent will mean that you are starting with an advantage. If I have a position on my team that requires heavy interaction with people, hiring someone who has the talent of an outgoing personality would certainly make for an easier path to success than hiring an introvert. Conversely, that outgoing personality may not be a talent if I was hiring for a computer programmer. 
So, if we think of talent as situational rather than universal, our job as talent management professionals can be boiled down to finding ways to set talent free. Our focus should be on placing people in the right roles where their abilities and capacities can manifest as talent to drive our organization’s success.
8 Ways to Turn Conference Attendance into Actual Results
8 Ways to Turn Conference Attendance into Actual Results 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

How often have you returned from a conference or training seminar with a notebook full of ideas, intentions, and new contacts only to immediately get sucked back into the work vortex at the expense of everything in the notebook?

It happens to everyone, all the time.  Good conferences can shoot you full of energy and renew your spirit.  But, it’s really, really hard to maintain that energy when you return to work.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  But, the only person who can change the cycle is you.  You have to make a commitment to yourself and your organization that you won’t let allow this investment of time and money to be wasted.

Here are few things I have found work for me, perhaps they will work for you.

  1. When you schedule to attend a conference, block out several hours (maybe even half a day) on your calendar the morning after you return from a conference and call it “Conference Follow Up/Debrief.”  This helps to ensure that you have time when you get back to the office to process the experience and take some immediate steps to capitalize on the momentum from the conference.
  2. During this time, send follow up emails and social network connection requests to all of the people you met at the conference.  The follow up is just to ensure that you solidify the connection, share contact information and perhaps create an expectation of connecting again in the future.  
  3. Either on your way home from the conference or in this time you set aside once you are back, go through your notes and make a list of the most important things you learned or ideas that were sparked throughout the conference.  This list can be as long as it needs to be.
  4. Chose one thing on your list to take action on immediately.  It doesn’t have to be huge, but chose something that can have some immediate impact.  
  5. Identify up to 3 more things on your list that you will commit to take action on in the next 30 days.  
  6. Type these four things into a document.  At the top, it should say: “I commit to doing these things in the next 30 days.”  Print this document and either hang it up in your office (most effective) or put it into a drawer on your desk where you will have to look at it frequently.  
  7. Share this document with someone else in your office or your network who you respect and trust.  Ask them to follow up with you in 30 days to see if you completed the things on the list.
  8. Schedule a 30 minute appointment in your calendar for 90 days from the day you return from the conference.  The meeting should be titled: “Review xyz Conference/Training Session Notes.”  This will remind you to pull out your notes and look through them again, creating another opportunity to capture some of the energy of the experience again and to perhaps find some new things you could implement.  
By taking some very simple, but intentional steps, you can use your conference and training experiences to propel you and your team forward.  Be brave enough to hold yourself accountable for turning your ideas and intentions into results.  
I am Bulletproof
I am Bulletproof 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

On June 20, I announced to the world through this blog, email and wherever else people would listen that I was in the process of transition out of corporate HR.  My goal wasn’t to leave the work of Human Resources, but to better align my work with what I do best. 
As I suggested I would, I’ve done a lot of self-reflection to guide my decision on what’s next.  Here’s what I learned.  I am great at creating HR strategy and solving HR problems—particularly those related to talent.  I have a knack for helping talented people find the courage to get out of their own way so they can unleash their talent on the world.  I am also pretty good at facilitating senior level teams of experienced, smart people through strategic processes and discussions, particularly when it relates to talent, leadership and making teams work more effectively.  And, people tell me I’m a really good speaker and writer.
When I stepped back and took a look at this, it seemed pretty obvious that I should go all in on a career in consulting and speaking.  This really wasn’t a discovery, but more of a reinforcement of what I already knew.  So, the BIG questions for me became how to transition into consulting and who to do it with. 
The decision ultimately led me to a friend and mentor who I have known for a long time, Cy Wakeman.  For those of you who may not know Cy, she’s been successfully consulting and speaking for over fifteen years.  Last year, she published a terrific book titled Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace and Turn Excuses into Results.  In the book, she lays out her philosophy for getting leaders and individuals out of their stories and into the truth of their reality so that they can achieve tremendous results in their life and career.   Said another way, it’s a roadmap for making yourself and your organization bulletproof to your circumstances.
Cy and I first worked together when I hired her as a consultant years ago to help me build and deploy a talent management system at the company I worked for at the time.  Our working relationship was different than most client consultant relationships.  We were clearly kindred spirits and when we worked together, we produced some really amazing results.  Cy has also been instrumental in coaching me through my early transition into corporate HR and she really helped me develop as a leader throughout my career.   Through all of this, we became great friends. 
When Cy found out that I was leaving the bank, she was among the first to reach out to me to talk about the future.  I think we had always known that we would work together again someday; it was just a matter of when.   I actually started working with Cy on a project basis back in early June to lead the development of a new product based on her work (more on that in a moment).  Through the work on this project, we both came to the conclusion that this partnership needed to be more than temporary. 
So, I’m really excited to announce through this long-winded blog post that Cy and I are launching a new consulting practice together.  This new consultancy will be called Bulletproof Talent.  We will help organizations implement reality-based leadership principles within their organizations through speaking, training and coaching.  We will also help companies to deliver better, more reality-based HR and talent strategies and solutions. 
Probably the thing that we are both most excited about is that we will be launching a new product in October of this year that will redefine how organizations think about employee engagement.  A cornerstone of Cy’s leadership philosophy is that personal accountability is the foundation of becoming bulletproof.  As leaders, we need to stop spending time and energy on our victim employees who expect us to perfect their circumstances before they will give us the gift of their mediocre work.  Instead, we should invest heavily in our employees who are most personally accountable because they deliver great results, no matter what.   When you adopt this line of thinking, the traditional employee engagement survey doesn’t make a lot of sense, because it treats every employee opinions as equal.   When you do that, how do we know if we are working to engage the best or the worst of our employees?
The project I’ve been leading for Cy is to develop a tool that solves this problem.   We call the approach Reality-Based EngagementTM.  Reality-Based Engagement is designed to finally deliver on the promise of employee engagement by measuring the personal accountability of each individual employee who completes the survey.  Each response is then appropriately weighted.   The volume gets turned way up on the responses from those who are most personally accountable.  And the volume gets turned way down on those stuck in an entitled victim mindset.  This enables CEO’s, leadership teams and strategic talent managers to ensure that the time and money they invest in engagement is impacting their very best employees.  Finally, the engagement survey can truly deliver results to the bottom line.  
I am incredibly excited about this product because it treats engagement in a way that will make sense to a CEO and the executive suite.  It’s not about engaging every employee.  It’s about engaging the best employees.  If you are in the market for an employee engagement survey, I’d love to talk to you about this approach.  We use our accountability measurement tool combined with an industry best engagement measurement tool. 
So, I’m excited to announce the creation of Bulletproof Talent.  Stay tuned for more details in the upcoming weeks and months (website, etc.).  For those of you wondering, I will still continue my work with Talent Anarchy and Joe Gerstandt.   We will continue to write and speak and wreak havoc together.  But, my consulting work with clients will flow through Bulletproof Talent.  This move finally allows me to bring all aspects of my life into synergy with one another.  And I’m stoked about it. 
Thank you to those of you who have been so supportive and encouraging during this process.  I am very fortunate to have a great network of friends and colleagues that help propel me forward. 
Quality of Hire isn’t About Recruting – #TruLondon
Quality of Hire isn’t About Recruting – #TruLondon 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

I’m fortunate to be speaking or facilitating at some cool recruitment conferences this fall.  I’ll be leading a couple of tracks at TruLondon 4 in London on September 1-2.  I’m also going to be presenting a keynote at The Recruiting Conference in Chicago on November 2.  In both cases, I’ve chosen Quality of Hire as the focus of my message.

Quality of hire is such a big part of our discussion in recruiting and yet, it’s also one of the areas in our work where we have struggled the most to make great progress.  I hope over the next couple of months to contribute in some small way to pushing the conversation forward on this important topic.

Since I’m speaking on this topic, I’m thinking about it a lot.  And if I’m thinking about it, I will be writing about it as well.  I’m republishing here a guest post I wrote for Jobsite on the topic.  Jobsite is the major sponsor of the TruLondon event.  You can find the post here or you can read it below.  Enjoy.

Quality of Hire isn’t about Recruiting

“My wife and I recently purchased a new house. We used a real estate agent to help us through the process of finding, evaluating, and negotiating the purchase of our new home. The agent added a lot of value to the process. She first met with us to outline the criteria we were looking for in a new house. Then, she leveraged her expertise and tools to identify a list of homes for us to review. My wife and I selected a short list of homes from those our agent found and we went out to tour these homes. Eventually, we found one that we wanted to buy. We worked through our agent to negotiate an offer on the house and ultimately we closed on the purchase.

Does this process sound familiar? If I were to outline the process a good recruiter should follow in helping a hiring manager fill a position, the steps are almost identical with one crucial difference—who we hold accountable for a bad outcome.

If for some reason in 3 years we have really grown to hate our new house and decide that we made a really lousy purchase, whose fault is it? I am guessing that you probably said the fault lies squarely with my wife and I. We made the decision to buy the house after all. It’s hard to blame the real estate agent assuming she didn’t do anything illegal or unethical. Her role was to facilitate the process of helping us find the house and negotiate the offer. We made the decision to buy that particular house out of all the options that were available to us.

So, why do we hold recruiters accountable for quality of hire? Recruiters facilitate a process. We don’t make hiring decisions (at least not in most cases), so why is it that we keep accepting responsibility for the quality of hire within our organizations? If the hiring manager is making the hiring decision, they are responsible for the outcome of that decision. Quality of hire is not a measure of recruitment effectiveness. It’s a measure of the effectiveness of the hiring decision. There are a lot of things we control within recruiting, but the commitment, skill and decision making skill of our hiring managers isn’t on that list.

Let’s be clear, this doesn’t mean that recruiting shouldn’t try to measure quality of hire. It also doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to influence and improve the hiring abilities of our hiring managers. What it means is that the way we use the quality of hire metric has to change. It’s not a measurement to improve recruiting, at least not directly. It’s a tool to hold hiring managers accountable for making quality hiring decisions.

My point is this. Quality of hire is important. But, if you can’t or won’t hold your hiring managers accountable for their making poor hiring decisions, stop measuring it. It’s a waste of time and you are only hurting yourself.”

Quotes I Love, Volume 1
Quotes I Love, Volume 1 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

I am  not a collector.  Just don’t have the wiring for it.  But, as with everything, there is always an exception.  The closest I come to being a collector is that I have historically saved quotes.  These little sound bites matter to me.  In each I find a spark or insight that sticks with me.  And the magic of a great quote is that you can return to it years later and it will spark the same insight.  So, if you love quotes, I’m going to share with you some of my favorites here.  If quotes annoy you, you can bail out on this post now.

Experience is one thing you can’t get for nothing. – Oscar Wilde 

Out of difficulties grow miracles. – Jean de La Bruyère 

Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings. – Samuel Johnson 

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it. – Lou Holtz 

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill 

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. – Vincent Van Gogh 

The value of an idea lies in the using of it. – Thomas Edison 

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. – Voltaire

Quotes are powerful.  Perhaps these have spoken to you in the way they spoke to me.  Please share your favorites in the comments here if you are so moved.  I will add them to my collection.  

Have a great day!

Illinois SHRM, Here I Come – #ILSHRM11
Illinois SHRM, Here I Come – #ILSHRM11 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

Next week, I have the privilege to be speaking as a part of the Illinois state SHRM Conference lineup.  They have put together a pretty interesting and compelling program.  The Illinois HR community is in for quite an experience.  

Talent Anarchy (Joe Gerstandt and I) will be providing one of the three keynote presentations at the conference. We are excited to be bringing our message about the power of relationships and social capital for HR to this progressive conference.  As a part of the conference planning, they asked us to create a short video that they could use to promote our session.  Below is what you get when you ask two talent anarchists for a promotional video.  Enjoy.
I will also be presenting a breakout session called “Power and Politics in the Organization: Understanding the Game.”  I love presenting this session because I get to challenge HR’s notion that politics and power are the seedy underbelly of corporate life and that HR shouldn’t have anything to do with either.  My goal in this presentation is to change minds about these two dynamics to help HR pros understand that politics is a part of how things get done in organizations and that power is really about influence.  Most HR pros really know their stuff when it comes to HR, but yet we don’t have the credibility we need to move the organization.  The missing links can be found by studying power and politics.  I show motivated HR pros how to get in the game.  
I am humbled to be part of the Illinois SHRM Conference this year.  The planning group is taking some risks to make their conference dynamic and engaging.  I look forward to the experience and will do everything I can to help them succeed.  
Great HR is knowing Why
Great HR is knowing Why 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

By nature of having a 3 year old daughter at home, I hear the word “why” about 3,000 times a day.  Even at hear young age, she’s discovered the power of this tiny word.  It provokes thought.  It provokes conversation.  It provokes discovery.  Ultimately, it leads to learning and confidence.   And we don’t use it enough within our work in HR.

This may be really over simplified, but I think it may also be this straight forward.  To practice human resources in a way that adds value and that your CEO, business partners and colleagues will love, simply know why you do what you do.  Some examples.

Why does HR exists?  If you can’t answer this question the same way your executive suite answers it, you are losing the battle.  Either you are out of alignment and out of touch OR you aren’t influencing up to shape HR should be defined and understod.  My answer: HR exists to make sure an organization has the human capital it needs to succeed.  Pretty straight forward.

Why do we invest in Talent?  Can you define what talent is at your organization and why it’s important?  You are the expert within your organization on talent.  If you can’t define the why here, who can?

Why does a policy exist?  If you don’t know why, find out.  If it’s a stupid or out-dated reason, kill the policy.  If it’s a good reason, communicate that.  people hate rules that don’t seem to exist for a reason.  They may not love any rules, but they will respect rules that exist for a reason that they can understand.

Why do we make people do performance appraisals that everyone hates (even HR) and that don’t seem to impact performance (at least not positively)?  Enough said on this topic.

Why do leaders need to communicate (or develop or motivate or etc.) their people?  It’s critical that we aren’t just reading off a script that someone else provided to us.  We often stand on the HR pulpit and preach the importance of communicating with and developing our employees.  But can you articulate the reason why this is important in a way the CFO would find credible?  How does it  impact or matter to achieving business goals?

This is just a few questions to get your brain started.  By committing to know why you and your HR organization do what they do, you will be on the track to greater credibility and impact within your organization.  Be warned though that asking why a lot will make others uncomfortable and will likely cause some conflict.  It’s not always easy and it’s certainly not comfortable, but that’s why many people aren’t practicing great HR.

What does Strategic mean in HR?
What does Strategic mean in HR? 150 150 Jason Lauritsen

There’s a lot of misunderstandings about what it means to be strategic in Human Resources.  Having a plan doesn’t necessarily make you strategic.  Talking about the future doesn’t make you strategic.  Being proactive doesn’t even make your strategic.

The mark of a truly strategic HR leader or team, is when you move from giving the business what they want and instead give them what they need.  Strategic HR is about ensuring the organization has the Human Capital it needs to achieve it’s goals and objectives.  

Recently, I heard an HR leader talk about a strategic planning process they were planning to implement.  Their process began with asking their business leaders questions about their expectations of HR services (i.e. If you have a training need, how to you expect HR to assist you in meeting that need?).  It’s not bad to ask about expectations, but there’s nothing strategic about this type of questioning.  This type of questioning assumes that your business leaders have the expertise to identify training needs and are knowledgeable about the range of options for meeting those needs?  It’s asking them what they want in a situation where they can’t possible know.  Isn’t this supposed to be HR’s area of expertise?  Their job is to run their business, our job is to provide them with the human resources they need to make it happen.  
To be strategic means that instead of asking the business about what they want from HR, you have to ask them questions about what they plan to accomplish in their business, what obstacles they see in the market, and what they see as the impact to how their workforce will need to adapt and perform.  Armed with this information, our role in HR is to then provide these business leaders with a plan for how to ensure their workforce is ready to meet the needs of the business.  This may not always look like what they want, but if it’s rooted in what they need, they will start to value HR as a strategic partner.  
Jason Lauritsen