HR and the Board - Round table with Glenn G Jones

Reed HR held a roundtable for senior HR leaders, ‘HR and The Board’ on December 7th 2018 at the Hotel Du Vin in Birmingham. The roundtable was hosted by Glenn G Jones, author of ‘Human Resources Changes the World’, who chaired a discussion on topical issues in HR – value, mindset, strategy, and the barriers to senior leadership facing many HR Directors. 

The value of HR

The roundtable began with a conversation around the value HR departments bring to the wider organisation. Glenn began by posing the question – if employees are truly the greatest asset, then why isn’t HR put at front and centre of strategy and decisions?

Clients do not come first; employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients
Richard Branson

Provoking more discussion on this topic, Glenn asked the attendees

  • How do you define HR’s value?
  • Where do you think you are adding value today?
  • Are you excluded or included in board discussions?

The general consensus was around the disparity between the high levels of value HR leaders bring to organisations and their limited access to board level discussions.

The HR mindset

Moving on, Glenn sought to demonstrate how mindset can have a powerful impact on the influence HR is afforded on wider business decisions. Glenn quizzed the group on whether they were familiar with terms ‘fixed mindset’, ‘growth mindset’ and ‘victim mentality’. After defining these terms Glenn asked the attendees to stand if they believed they were in the growth mindset, to which every attendee stood.

Glenn wanted to show that, although this is how HR professionals see themselves, it isn’t always reflected in their approach. He asserted that instead of continue to talk about needing a seat at the top table, that HR should ‘get up and do something about it.’

Attendees agreed with Glenn: changing the perception of the function begins with HR teams aligning their mindset with their behaviours.

HR strategy

Next up Glenn lead the discussion onto strategy. Chiefly, he wanted to hear from attendees about their current strategies, and how they are evolving them for the future. Delving deeper, the conversation moved onto whether their strategy aligned to their business and if it was fit for purpose.

Consensus was reached around Glenn’s comment 'If HR isn’t working on the aligned strategy, what is it doing?'

HR Directors and the glass ceiling

The last piece sparked a really great debate on career aspirations among the group. The conversations centred on why HRDs generally don’t make the jump to becoming CEO, and the growing trend of HR being re-positioned under finance.

Glenn’s stance concluded the discussion. He firmly believes that HRDs can become CEOs – as long they address the perceptions that could cause barriers. If HR leaders combine demonstrable value, the right mindset and create strategies that align with the goals of their organisation, they can ensure they will be a viable candidate for CEO.


This was a hugely successful event from which the group left feeling inspired and with actionable insight to take back to their teams. Here’s what some of the attendees said:

‘Good CPD and challenge’ – Shakil Butt, Honorary Treasurer, CIPD
‘Just what I needed’– Natasha Harris FCIPD, HR Director, Ofwat
‘Great venue. Great people. Really enjoyed the topic. Thank you’ – Shirley Haines FCIPD FCMI, HR Director, AmcoGiffen

Reed HR run informative events nationwide for their clients, including small roundtables, breakfast seminars and panel discussions.

If you interested in attending any of our future events please contact Reed HR


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