Splitting the Brain of the HR Professional

Business and management guru Ram Charan commented in a recent HBR article that it’s time for companies to split the HR function in two. One HR leader would focus on leadership and organization—and report directly to the CEO—and the other would manage things like compensation and benefits.

This trend is arising in response to widespread CEO frustration over what the HR function actually constitutes. Many CEOs want their Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) to serve as a trusted advisor and a link to the organization’s numbers, strategy, and talent—not to be “down in the weeds” with internal and administrative issues.

But according to Dave Ulrich, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business who has been named the most influential person in HR by HR Magazine, dividing human resources governance into different business structures won’t solve the organizational challenge at hand. All HR professionals should play an important strategic role in making the company operate successfully. A true refocusing of HR talent will require a transformation from the outside in: a process of aligning every activity to a vital, customer-centric goal.


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Learn more about Dave Ulrich’s CorpU course “Talent Management”