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As we turn the page on the summer season and gear up for the final third of the calendar year, I wanted to re-share an article, The Two People CEOs Need Most In Their Life, According to McKinsey Chief Dominic Barton by Oliver Staley, that has generates a lot of buzz about which really captures the current business environment as it relates to hiring and retaining qualified employees. It’s no secret that top talent is hard to find for all types and sizes of companies – potentially harder than it’s ever been.


In your book, you elevate the chief human resources officer into a troika with the CEO and CFO you call the G3, as in the group of three. Historically, HR hasn’t been placed in that lofty a position. As talent management becomes more central, can HR overcome the stigma as a sleepy corner of the enterprise? Do you see MBAs dreaming of careers in HR someday?

That’s where it has to shift to. HR has been seen as the sleepy backwater where the admin is done. Often HR people aren’t even on the same floor, and that has to totally change. At the companies we looked at for the book, we saw it. One of the biggest investors in the world is BlackRock, and you go to the seventh floor of BlackRock and the person sitting beside (CEO) Larry Fink’s office is Jeff Smith, who’s the chief human resources officer. That’s deliberate. That G3 concept works.

To be a good business leader, you need to understand HR. I hope we’ll see more CEOs coming from the HR function, and we’ll see more line leaders spending time in HR. There has to be a transformation there. It’s a trite thing to say, but I dedicated the book to the HR people I ignored for too long. Those people are going to play really important roles.



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