HR’s Infamous Struggle For A “Seat At The Table”

HR's Infamous Struggle For A Seat At The Table - May 2016

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by DisruptHR Denver speaker (and official Disruptor) Ed Baldwin, SPHR, GPHR – President of HRO Partners. Ed is a global HR leader with a proven track record of success leading cultural change and aligning the HR function with business needs in a variety of organizations. So he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to where HR can sit.


If you’re an HR professional with a desire to learn about and create innovative HR practices and you haven’t heard of DisruptHR, you have to check it out.

Events are occurring at or near you, popping up in cities all over the US and the world! The format is simple, powerful, unique and fun.

What Does A DisruptHR Event Look Like?

Here’s a brief summary of a typical DisruptHR event: 300 HR professionals all seeking a unique and creative forum for exchanging ideas and thought leadership. So they gather at a venue that resembles a large comedy club (stage, cash bar, food) to hear their bravest colleagues speak about any topic HR related that they are passionate about. Speakers are restricted to a concise, fixed format (5 minutes, 20 slides with each slide advancing automatically every 15 seconds) that will challenge even the most capable presenters. Put together an agenda of 12-15 presenters with compelling topics and presto – that’s a DisruptHR event!

For attendees, you get to network and learn from some of your most progressive colleagues and gather some strong ideas in an enjoyable, laid back setting. For presenters, you get a great forum to test your thoughts, ideas and speaking skills in the friendly confines of other professionals wrestling with the same challenges you do. It’s an awesome opportunity.

Here’s my presentation if you’re willing to invest five minutes (or if you prefer the 30-second written summary instead see below):

Permission is for Sissies: HR On Offense | Ed Baldwin | DisruptHR Talks from DisruptHR on Vimeo.

5 Tips To Get That “Seat At The Table”

My talk focused on HR getting – and keeping – the infamous “seat at the table”. I highlighted behaviors and actions I’ve seen from other functions (embellished for humor and effect), and then provided five tips for getting and keeping our seat at the table as HR pros.

  1. Invest most of your time on the future. Don’t waste too much time analyzing the past.
  2. Make certain your HR strategy is customer-centric and business-aligned.
  3. Don’t get enamored with technology. It’s secondary to employees in terms of business impact.
  4. Be optimistic and positive. Doing so is contagious and no one needs more negativity and pessimism.
  5. Take the seat, don’t ask for it… because permission is for sissies!

I was fortunate to speak at DisruptHR Denver,  and hope to be able to do so again in the future.

Special thanks to Jennifer McClure, Mary Faulkner, Kathleen Brenk and Meredith Masse for encouraging me to take advantage of the opportunity.

So check out DisruptHR, and plan to attend and/or speak.  You won’t be disappointed.

(This post originally appeared on LinkedIn here, and is reprinted with permission.)

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