Most HR employees work hard and want to help other employees. However, SHRM (the U.S. HR professional association) admits that one of their biggest challenges is to “get a seat at the strategic leadership table.”
In my opinion, the opportunity for HR to earn a seat at the table not only exists but also points out a gap for what we believe is the biggest opportunity in business today.

So, where is the challenge? This course will outline four major areas that are understood by many CEOs but may be major paradigm shifts for HR. Since SHRM data shows HR reporting into someone other than the CEO, President, or Owner about 35% of the time, these paradigm shifts may be helpful to both those who do report into the CEO and those reporting into the next level down. In both cases, the information represents a major opportunity for the CHRO to add significant value to the company.

This course will begin with an understanding of who actually sits at the top of the strategic leadership table and what their primary focus is for the entire company. We will discuss how the CEO typically makes major company changes and then compare their approach to a typical HR approach. This discussion will explain how the CEO defines strategic versus what most HR groups consider strategic. The focus will then shift to how HR can become more strategic as defined by the CEO and Board. Included will be metrics that show how significant the opportunity is for most companies. Then we will share an example for how strategic thinking requires paradigm shift thinking to support the changing business environment that CEOs face everyday.

Next, the focus shifts from strategic thinking to leadership and explains how leadership is critical to implement strategic paradigms. The discussion will include describing the difference between managing versus leading.

Finally, we summarize how HR can Earn a Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table and be an integral part of the executive team.

Course Series

This course is included in the following series:

2 CoursesThe Strategic Leadership Table

  1. How Can Finance Earn a Full Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table?
  2. How Can HR Earn a Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table?
Learning Objectives
  • Discover what is the primary focus of CEOs and Board members that you must focus on to be included at the table.
  • Explore how CEOs and Board members select and implement initiatives to support the business.
  • Explore how CEOs define strategic versus what HR typically defines as strategic.
  • Recognize how executive leadership is different from managing.
  • Identify why executive leadership is critical to implement the changes necessary to contribute at the Strategic Leadership Table.
Last updated/reviewed: August 18, 2023
2 Reviews (4 ratings)


Anonymous Author
I truly enjoyed this course! The instructor presented course materials in a logical manner, building on key concepts throughout the course. An excellent refresher which reiterated the importance of strategic thinking versus tactical approaches to earning a seat at the table.

Member's Profile
This course has excellent insights into how the HR function or officer can partner with the Executive Leadership team.

Course Complexity: Intermediate

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course. 

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Who Sits at The Biggest Strategic Table?7:44
  Is Traditional HR Strategic?7:52
  What Does Strategic HR Do?8:19
  Traditional HR Department Add Strategic Dimension 9:05
  A Better Way Than Traditional? 10:47
  Additional Areas 9:08
  Recruiting Example 5:53
  Who Sits At The Biggest Leadership Table?9:12
Continuous Play
  How Can HR Earn A Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table 1:18:44
  Slides: How Can HR Earn a Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table?PDF
  How Can HR Earn a Seat at the Strategic Leadership Table? Glossary/IndexPDF