The relationship can be cordial, but generally, their structural and tactical realities breed contempt
Ask any corporate communicator whom they want to report to and they’ll say, “the CEO!” Now ask whom they’d never want to report to. They’ll say, “HR.” Why is that?
Our corporate cousins in Human Resources share many of the same issues as us. They want to be seen as strategic resources, not mere tactical cogs in the wheel. They struggle to be taken seriously outside of their functional silos. They fight for budget and resources with some difficulty, because they “don’t drive sales,” or “don’t understand the business.” By these lights, we should be strong partners—the shared pain of the back-office services would seem to be a logical impetus for a good relationship.
My own experience demonstrates that possibility. Goodyear’s (now retired) Kathy Geier was a trusted member of then-CEO Bob Keegan’s cabinet. She reached out to me on all kinds of matters, and she recruited me to join a task force on business process optimization. Even my brief tenure at National City Corp. included positive experiences working with HR.
In other organizations, jealousy, turf wars, even outright stiff-necked opposition are the order of the day. Why?