What is America? Is it really a business?

fall-foliage-wallpaper1Mr. Trump visited our fair city yesterday. Amidst the hubbub of hurricane recovery, he attracted a substantial audience, caused a traffic jam and said some things.  The local news captured a mother and almost-voting-age daughter for an interview. The mother told the reporter that she was a Trump supporter because this country has to be run like a business. The daughter nodded.

It wasn’t too long ago that I might have agreed. I’m a business person, have been for my whole career.  The stereotypes of “businesses get things done,” and “governments are all bureaucratic red tape,” resonated with me.  Over the past years I’ve watched a paralyzed government doing everything possible to throw in more red tape, to the point where I’m not sure we can survive in the long term. And it isn’t any one side – it’s both sides.

A business approach sounds good on the surface. You have a smart, talented, get-things-done CEO who makes decisions and moves forward. Continue reading What is America? Is it really a business?

You’ve got the seat at the table; what are you doing with it?

seat-at-the-tableI have 40 years of experience as an HR executive, authored a book about Repurposing HR, and have a healthy following in social media on my articles related to positioning HR as a business partner. Heck I even got an “HR seat at the table” article published in hbr.org. My experience and study tells me that HR has an opportunity to dramatically influence organizations both in business and in the human aspects of the organization. I don’t think we are doing that; at least I hear that from colleagues.

But I’m beginning to sense that there is a semantics issue for those that do have “a seat at the table.”  I’m pretty sure that the CAO/CHRO for Wells Fargo had a seat at the table. She was actually listed in their proxy, meaning that she is one of the top executives in the organization.

So assuming she had the seat at the table, and held the influence that denotes, why are all the stories coming out about how HR let the employees down, and ultimately, let the company down.  I’ve talked before about the HR role being a dual advocacy – for both the employee and the organization – because at the end of the day, a damaged organization isn’t much good to the employees. Continue reading You’ve got the seat at the table; what are you doing with it?

A coaching lesson from Dumbledore

pensieveJK Rowling understands human nature very well.  To build an entire universe populated by people, animals and magical creatures that each have their own personalities, foibles and idiosyncrasies is….well…brilliant.

And so, after a couple excursions to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, I decided to read the books again; I missed the characters.

The first time around, I didn’t catch some of the wisdom conveyed by the elders in the wizarding world; I read it for the story.  In most second reads once you know the story, you see insights, philosophy and wisdom. Continue reading A coaching lesson from Dumbledore