What do you notice when you assess where your time is spent? How much of your time is spent advising? How much of your time is spent leading a core business process that adds value to your customers and stakeholders? What would happen if you allocated 10% more of your energy to the most important pie piece in your chart?
Today’s business environment is fast-moving, ever-changing and increasingly complex. The HR function has evolved from being primarily transactional (administering practices and policies), to more consultative (advising leaders on talent strategy, building adaptive organizations and enhancing culture). A positive step forward indeed, but we cannot stop there. The consultative role leaves us distanced from the heartbeat of the company. Do you want to be known for having done something to move the company forward, or for having told an executive what to do? The next phase is for HR leaders to shape strategy, build businesses and truly lead alongside our peers in other parts of the business.
Yes, there is a stack of work on your desk. Yes, the day-to-day fires will pop up and require your attention. And yes, it is certainly easier to administer and advise than to take risks and be bold. But there is deep wisdom in our community. There is insight, there is innovation, and there is rock star talent.
Stop advising, start leading.
Kristi McFarland joined New Seasons Market in March 2014 as chief people officer, responsible for all aspects of the company’s human resources practices in support of more than 3,000 staff and for continuing to strengthen New Seasons Market’s position as a progressive employer. She has also led the new store opening team and plays an integral role in shaping the company’s growth strategy. With 20 years of experience in retail and consumer products, McFarland understands that great customer experiences are created by great employee experiences and deeply rooted in the company’s vision, mission, and values. Previously, she served as vice president of people and culture at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, where she led the human resources function; led global leadership development for Gap Inc.; and held HR and organizational development roles for Banana Republic and Williams-Sonoma. McFarland believes in creating a culture where people can grow and foster their full potential in support of the company’s mission. She has spoken at conferences about her passion for employee engagement, company culture, and innovation. She’s committed to building the capabilities that a company needs to grow while enabling the unique culture and customer experience to flourish.