Opinion: The Golden Triangle

By Margaret Edge and Dominique McAll

Norman Broadbent Executive Search

Our latest white paper, The Golden Triangle was compiled from our discussions with the HRD, CEO and CFO communities. The paper examines the correlation between business performance and the effective collaboration/alignment across these three leadership roles.  It also considers the mind-set change required to make the relationship between the three parties work and explores how leaders view their own role and contribution.

In a recent round of survey research of top management perceptions of HR, the function is viewed fairly positively by CEOs who value the productive relationships they have when the Golden Triangle is working well. Both CFO and HRD have a remit, by function of their role, to challenge and shape an organisation. If that relationship is unbalanced or non-existent then the whole organisation displays the same lack of equilibrium e.g. focusing on the numbers at the expense of creating a sustainable culture.

If the CEO understands this he/she will think proactively about getting the right Golden Triangle fit rather than leaving it to chance.

Significantly, CFOs tend to be more critical than CEOs of their HR peers. Although again the trend is broadly positive with the majority of CFOs valuing their relationship with their HRDs, around two-thirds report that their HRDs don’t understand the business well enough.  There is also a sense from research that some CEOs feel their HRD fall short of really understanding the challenges facing the business.

However, the savvy HR Director, who is well integrated into the business and plays a key role in strategy development recognises how to optimise their influence on the CEO to ensure a balanced strategic debate that addresses the short, medium and long-term.

If you are an HR Director, CEO or CFO and would like to receive the full paper please contact Dominique Mcall and we would be delighted to share a copy with you. Dominique.mcall@normanbroadbent.com