HR & Finance: We’re the Rhythm Section

Can a blog article have a soundtrack? I am including a few iconic song titles in this one to set the stage for my piece on how Human Resources and Finance are the rhythm section of business.

Cue:   Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)

HR and Finance are the “back office”. We aren’t out front like Mick and Keith. We’re the rhythm section. We’re like Charlie and Bill laying down the rhythm track from the back.

The key to a good rhythm section is how the drummer and bass player really listen to each other so they can blend their talents, creating something special. It’s like when the CFO really listens to HR so they can create a strategic plan that optimizes the human resources of the business. And it’s like when HR really listens to the CFO so they can create recruiting, training and compensation programs that are tightly aligned with the financial and strategic priorities of the business. When HR and Finance blend their talents well, businesses end up with a whole group of rock stars.

If we’re going to be a back office, let’s be a legendary one.

Let's Do Three Things

1. Instill Values

Cue:  Respect (Aretha Franklin)

Legendary back offices instill values…. because values are what give a business its soul. The legendary HR and Finance professionals find a way to reinforce the values of the business while we are out there doing our HR and Finance thing.

The legendary back office infuses soul into the business much like the legendary Muscle Shoals Swampers who added their soulful rhythm tracks to the songs that helped make Aretha Franklin the Queen of Soul. 

2. Create Energy

Cue:  Dance to the Music (Sly and the Family Stone)

Legendary back offices create energy. Some accounting and HR departments can suck the energy out of a business with their bureaucratic ways, The legendary back offices energize a business with their excellence and their enthusiasm.

The legendary back offices create energy like the legendary rhythm section of Sly and the Family Stone who got everybody dancing to the music.

3. Inspire Teamwork

Cue:  Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)

Legendary back offices inspire teamwork. Now I’m not talking about every day ordinary teamwork. I’m talking about the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” kind where no mountain, river or valley will keep us from backing up our teammates.

The legendary back offices back up their teammates like the Funk Brothers backed up the stars of Motown Records.

HR and Finance can create the backbeat that drives a business toward success. Let’s be legendary!

Special thanks to Sommer Sherrod and Ricky Baez for letting me do this talk on stage at their DisruptHR Orlando event. And very special thanks to Kim Shaw for being the Tammi Terrell to my Marvin Gaye in the sing-along segment of my talk. Watch this video to be wowed by Kim’s vocals.

What will I do for an encore? Register for the Oct. 20 Disruptapalooza event to find out.   

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