How the Challenges of the President Can Be Answered by Solutions of a CHRO
This past November, the entire country was enraptured with the outcome of the presidential elections. Regardless of the desired outcome, one thing was certain: The next President of the United States was in store for a challenge.
Being a president under our country’s current circumstances is not unlike being chief human resources executive or CHRO: Both are in leadership roles in which their ability to harness and appropriately apply the talents of others towards the needs of the greater organization (business or country) determines their success and prosperity – and the ‘raw material’ in HR and politics is fundamentally the same: talent.
As President Obama embarks on another four years full of challenges and opportunities, here 5 best practices mastered by CHROS’s that can serve him well in this final term:
1. Ensure the right people are in place to achieve overall goals – A president, like a CHRO, can only be successful if they are surrounded by the right people. CHROs focus on ensuring the right talent and leadership are put in place to foster collaboration and maximize productivity to meet overall goals. With the president having to tackle issues such as economic development and foreign relations, he must ensure he has the right talent for the job.
2. Balance both short-term and long-term needs – It’s always important to balance now with later. CHROs understand the importance of meeting current talent needs while enacting long-term workforce planning. Much like a CHRO, the president needs to deliver short-term results, such as job creation and avoidance of the fiscal cliff, while focusing on long-term challenges like climate change and global competitiveness. Balancing both long- and short-term goals helps to ensure results are not short lived but have a lasting impact.
3. Don’t neglect potential game changers in tough times – CHROs know that the right talent can be a game changer and that no matter the economic or business conditions, game changers should always be supported and invested in. The same is true for the President. While he should be focused on helping the country overcome our current economic times, he must not avoid game changing investments (think healthcare reform) that can positively impact the country for years to come.
4. Look globally – Ensuring that you have the best strategic plan means knowing that all opportunities – within the U.S. and globally – have been assessed. As our world becomes increasingly connected, collaborating globally has never been more critical. CHRO’s are great at balancing local organizational needs with global realities and opportunities – a skill useful to any president as well.
5. Think like a convener –A CHRO must manage the merging and integration of different teams, departments or offices to accomplish corporate goals. This sometimes means integrating teams with different cultures, work place norms and responsibilities. With so much contention in Congress, President Obama must continue to operate as a convener. Great CHROs and president don’t let difference derail progress.
While there are numerous differences between running a country and running a business, leaders should always be willing to learn from each other. By taking in the best practices of a CHRO, the President can continue to identify ways to leverage the country’s talents for prosperity.
We would love to hear your thoughts. What are some other lessons a president can learn from a CHRO?
- Michael Custers