Article: Learn to talk business to the CEO: K. Ramkumar

Strategic HR

Learn to talk business to the CEO: K. Ramkumar

K. Ramkumar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank
Learn to talk business to the CEO: K. Ramkumar

A rough estimate of what big companies would be spending in India on HR products and services is 3 to 5% of revenue. The problem of this industry is not the lack of budgets and not that CEOs are questioning these investments. In the last 5 to 7 years, no CEO has questioned the spending on good quality HR services. The problem is the imagination of the professionals inside the company to be able to communicate the value that the institution can derive by placing this budget on the table. The HR community tends to be more evangelistic and in majority of cases, while they know the value, they are unable to articulate it. A CEO looks for productivity, building skills and capabilities, disseminating information within the organization; this is where the HR community needs to change the language of engagement. Mostly, when HR engages with the CEO, we talk the HR language: engagement scores, OD, change management, these do not connect with the CEO. A doctor has to talk of cures. If the doctor talks disease, will you go to a doctor? If a doctor talks about medicines, will you go to a doctor? If a doctor talks complex pathological terms, will you go to a doctor? HR community has to learn to talk business to the CEO. If HR were to say to a CEO “do you want your productivity to go up? I have an idea,” you tell me which business leader will not want to engage in a conversation?

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Topics: Strategic HR, C-Suite, #HRIndustry

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