Skip to Main Content

The dynamic Diane Kubal, President/CEO at Fulcrum Network, Inc., led a lively, thought-provoking discussion with the following “Golden Triangle” panelists:

  • Rick Boutilier, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer, Intermatic Incorporated
  • Maureen A. Cahill, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA)
  • Bill Grogan, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at IDEX
  • Paula Erickson, Senior Vice President, Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Beam Suntory Inc.

This distinguished panel of c-suite professionals shared stories and lessons learned along their career journeys and the value HR provides to the business.

HR must be a key thought partner and influencer while understanding the business in which they support to be a catalyst for change. This partnership is not built overnight, trust is gained over time. In fact, crisis situations have been an opportunity for HR to shine, provide solutions and build credibility. While HR professionals will always have a tactical component, there is a more strategic opportunity today to add value with talent and build an infrastructure with the right people in the right seats.

Challenges shared by CHROs Maureen and Paula include work-life balance and overcoming the former perception of the HR function as “administrative”. They described their role as building relationships and delivering solutions to the business. The best HR partners understand not just the people, but the financials and push to make the right decisions faster. The new strategic HR department must use technology in workforce planning and analytics to drive rigor in everything they touch.

From the business side, Rick and Bill, felt the best HR business partners pushed them to make the right decisions faster and challenged them. They understood how to structure the business and support operations with thoughtful recommendations. Everyday their HR partners bring experiences to build a best in class organization. The entire panel stressed the importance of having a holistic perspective of the business and strong financial skills.

Businesses are in constant change. This partnership between HR and the c-suite must be proactive to navigate the future and be competitive. Simplify to create solutions that will get traction. Look to HR to identify internal capabilities and gaps which will influence a better outcome. Rich and Bill both agreed three qualifying traits in a strong HR leader include intellect, good judgement and character. HR must continue to add value to solidify their seat at the table.