The relationship between Communications and HR is complicated. Sometimes it’s blissful, at other times, combative. Perhaps most common is the passive-aggressive “frenemy” relationship where each function feeds off of the other’s struggles and misfortunes. “Well, if you had just asked us, you wouldn’t be in that position now would you?” the one head chides the other. Even though Comms and HR often sit near one another and care about a lot of the same outcomes, they certainly don’t always get along. That’s a problem—especially in today’s agile enterprises. In CEC’s latest meeting with Gurus of Communications, we learned that—when it comes to leading the agile enterprise—our gurus fell into two camps. The first camp, we’ll call them, “Camp Comms,” believes that Communications has the potential to lead the organizations’ efforts to be more agile. Camp Comms pointed to three reasons for Communications’ leadership.
- Communications is already seen by executives as the owner of change. For example, the mission of one function starts with, “As agents of change, we shape the beliefs…”
- HR is ill-equipped to own this emerging responsibility. While HR has proven itself adept at handling succession and benefits challenges, the function hasn’t dealt with large-scale change from a multi-stakeholder perspective. Managing stakeholders is Communications’ bread and butter.
- “Building an agile organization” is no small task, and it lays out a huge chunk of real estate that no one currently owns, so why shouldn’t Communications be the one to take up this mantle? Communication is the lifeblood of agile enterprises. The function has an unprecendented opportunity to redefine itself and leave a lasting impact on the organization.
These are fighting words, Heads of HR. What’s your rebuttal? Read More »