The Macbeths as CEO and Head of HR 

It’s about the power behind the throne, the other half in a partnership to take control.

In some organisations HR doesn’t have a seat at the top table. In many organisation HR don’t feel they have the status or influence their expertise and contribution warrants. But this isn’t about those organisations this is about what happens when an ambitious new chief executive hires a ruthless head of HR with the intention of taking complete control of the organisation. Board members would need to be manoeuvred out in the search for new blood, directors would have to be intimidated till compliant, loyalty rewarded, power concentrated in one post. 

Reorganisations were used to force senior people to apply for their own posts and relocate them and their families to the other end of the country. The frequency of board meetings was increased as was there  length and the number of reports to be read. Board meeting were moved around the country because this is a national organisation and we should be seen to be out and about. 

HR exerted a tight grip on recruitment with considerable latitude on pay grades. ( No one knew what any one else earned). Trade unions were not recognised instead HR operated a staff association, each workplace had a hand picked rep. And reps met quarterly with the head of HR at HQ. HR arranged for “ unhappy” people to leave quietly having signed a non disclosure agreement (NDA).Those not considered important enough to warrant a NDA who left and sought redress through an Industrial Tribunal we’re bought off with a one off sum which was, HR calculated, less than the legal costs the organisation would incur. 

Lady Macbeth eventually left quickly and quietly. The rumour was she was caught on CCTV having sex in the car park at HQ. The rumour didn’t say with whom or why she wasn’t using her more spacious , more comfortable and more private office. Bearing in mind the indiscretions, lies, bullying , extortion, cronyism, abuse of power and the total lack of integrity extra marital sexual gymnastics in the car park hardly seems reason to be forced out. But maybe her usefulness had come to an end or did the chief executive have a suspicion she had ambitions for the throne? 


Blair Mcpherson former Director author and blogger

Security level: Public

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