What about leaders in business? Typically, for the career-minded, they might look at the person that inhabits the top seat and think: ‘Yes, that’s the clearest example of leadership in this organisation.’ The rest of the executive, line managers, maybe even a mentor that you managed to get hold of for your career, might be the next clearest example of people with leadership skills in the organisation you work in. Not forgetting the media-savvy business leaders out there, too; the Musks, Sineks, and McMillons of this world.
And, despite the superficial differences between how a political figurehead, a sports team leader and a business executive might operate, there are likely to be some clear parallels in the characteristics they have: the ability to inspire a team to work towards the same goal; confidence; and the ability to listen to name but a few.
Yet, amongst all the various examples, HR - whether the individuals who work in this space or the silo itself - rarely comes up in leadership discussion. Whether it’s because perception of the people function is of that of support group or because HR literally just doesn’t lead, is up for debate. However, with macro-sized changes upon us all - political, economic and technological - it might have to overcome this sticking point to thrive, or even survive.
In this issue HR Grapevine tackle this debate head on by exploring whether HR could actually become a business-leading function and what that would mean for the people who currently work in it. With this being the leadership edition, we also speak to Pret A Manger about how they used apprenticeships to train up leadership capability and look at how big issues like Brexit are forcing HR to step up.
As ever, enjoy.
Daniel Cave - Head of Content