Thoughts about hr and management in the real world – extra information I couldn't fit in my books!.

How to blow the minds of your exec teams

In HR how often do we excite and amaze our exec teams with information about business trends? About products, services or people innovations? Or case studies of companies doing new things?

How often do we show them what’s exciting about working in HR? And get them excited too?

I know when I first moved into HR management, this never even occurred to me. At exec team meetings, my contribution as HRM was often an update of what was happening in our company around HR initiatives and projects, and asking strategic questions about whether the people factor had been considered in the areas the exec team were working in. But here’s the stupid thing – I never ran a session for the exec team telling them the exciting business trends, the innovations I’d read about or discussed, the case studies of companies who were transforming their work places and people practises. The stuff that might challenge their thinking. The stuff that might create a mind shift in terms of what HR does.

I didn’t do this and then somehow, magically I expected them to have a deep understanding of the importance of HR and take me credibly as a business person.


I was busy. I had no time. I didn’t feel like the exec team even wanted to hear from HR, let alone have me present to them. I wanted to be serious and credible about HR.

In the last few years I’ve changed my approach completely. Now the companies that we work with through Elephant, we do discuss what’s going on in business trends. While HR isn’t something managers are necessarily interested in having responsibility for (which is a problem in itself) they are interested in wider business innovations. And you know what? You’re far more credible when you know about global trends and case studies, than when you just focus solely on discussing ‘HR’ stuff.

So what can you do?

I think we need to stop being so serious when we’re at the top table, and actually create some excitement about HR. For those attending the HR Game Changer Conference, we will provide you with a slide deck summary so that you can run a session with your executive teams to share the learnings with them. Its gives you a way to provide professional development for your exec team, show them what HR transformation is about and perhaps get them to see you in a new light.

If you’re not coming to the HR Game Changer conference – you’ll miss out on hearing many of the latest innovations, trends and ideas but you could put aside time to research these yourself. Find the things that are relevant stories that might relate to your business and present them. Or you’ve still got this week to register!!

Because if we get our exec teams to be excited about HR – if we blow their minds – perhaps they’ll actually become our biggest advocates! Wouldn’t that be a game changer?


2 comments on “How to blow the minds of your exec teams

  1. Vaughan Rivett
    August 24, 2014

    I can relate to this. For a while I sat in executive meetings and didn’t provide a lot of value other than reporting on what was happening with my line of business.

    We need to find new and exciting ways of providing value to the business. The best way to find discover new ideas is by connecting with people on social media.

    All the best with the HR Game Changer conference. I’m not going to be able to attend, but it sounds like it is going to be of great value to the attendees. I’ll try to pick up on some golden nuggets via social media.

    • angelaatkins
      August 24, 2014

      Hi Vaughan,
      Yes I’ve met amazing people via social media and read about great new ideas. Trying to bring all this together at the conference and share learnings so will look out for you following. We’re doing #hrgcnz and #hrgcuk (NZ during our daylight hours then switching to UK as they start their day 1 while we sleep!).

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