2013 HR Executive Roundtable

On Thursday, May 16, 2013, Lonergan Partners hosted an event with a dozen top Human Resource executives in technology. The focus was on “Working with your Public Board—How HR can have Strategic Impact.” The discussion was moderated by Ken Coleman, board director and experienced board Chair, and Becky Ranninger, former EVP/Chief Human Resources Officer at Symantec. The group was animated and participants came away with insight and advice.

Key take-aways:

  • Start off on the right foot—HR should personally on-board directors, as a way of getting to know them
  • Between meetings, schedule opportunities to work closely with board members on various topics
  • Teamwork with the CEO is crucial. He/she can block or encourage HR’s access to board room
  • Come to board discussions with a definitive point-of-view. Add insights and details when called upon to do so. Boards are looking for someone who can stand up and make statements when it matters
  • When working with a Chairman, offer insight on how he/she can be helpful to the CEO and both will thank you
  • Don’t delegate the comp committee work to your staff or to outside consultants. Do it yourself and do it well. Take personal responsibility for bringing ALL the data to the discussion. If you are prepared, this will be immensely helpful to the comp committee chair, who is under a lot of pressure
  • Provide the Comp Committee with information on the CEO’s priorities with respect to the CEO’s compensation
  • When comp discussions go well, HR earns the right to talk to the board about topics relating to culture, succession planning, etc. which are of growing interest to boards
  • Look to the CFO and the GC for tips on how to approach the board. Their role in board meetings is usually well established and they have visibility into the board dynamics. Learn from them about the right way to build these relationships