I can clearly remember the moments when the senior team was sitting around a conference room table, the tension was palpable, and the pressing issues were shared with the group.
"It's an Operations issue."
My gut reaction: thank God it's not HR.
So Wrong In So Many Ways
As I look back on that moment (of which there have been many over the years) I am...well...I am embarrassed.
How is it that I could be grateful that whatever challenge was facing my organization, was somehow made better for me simply because it wasn't based on my direct scope of responsibility?
Did I, in that moment, consider how my colleagues felt? Might they have appreciated a kind word, an offer to help, or even me stepping up to lead a team to help them solve their problem?
I didn't do any of those things. I stayed quiet, and went on with my day doing my "HR things."
One Company, No Departments
Over a period of time my view of "whose problem is it" changed quite dramatically. I engaged with my senior leader colleagues in a more deliberate way.
I did offer to help, and not just empty-talk, but real roll-up-your-sleeves type of help.
It's far too easy to look down on someone who is struggling and be grateful that it's "not you" that time.
Until it's you.
How About You
The change for me happened in my head. I decided that I had responsibility (to a greater or lesser degree) for the entire organization.
Every. Single. Part.
When everything matters, there are no more HR problems, or Operations problems, or Supply Chain problems. There are only "our" problems, right?
I'd love to hear from you.