Magazine article Workforce

HR's Possibilities Are Endless and Exciting

Magazine article Workforce

HR's Possibilities Are Endless and Exciting

Article excerpt

WORKFORCE talked with Chuck Nielson, vice president of HR for Texas Instruments, about the human resources function. The highlights:

Q: Why did you decide to get into human resources?

A: I've always loved learning. I actually taught school for two years after college. I love [how I feel] when people's behavior changes because of what they've learned, and that I may have had something to do with that. That [love] flowed into the people areas of business-HR. People learning and developing and growing, that's tremendous; there's nothing like that, nothing more challenging or rewarding.

Q: What's the best part of your job?

A: Every HR person I talk to says the challenges today are greater than at any time. When you begin to address those challenges, people are the only thing that makes the difference. They're the bottom line. So the opportunity for HR to make a huge difference is there.

Q: What's the toughest part?

A: If you take that challenge-to make a difference-it makes the job really tough. It's stressful. It used to be the key part of my job was making sure the lines in the parking lot were straight. Now I know what we do affects our competitiveness, affects the company. I sometimes don't sleep as well as I used to.

Q: What does being a strategic business partner mean to you?

A: What being a strategic business partner does not mean to me is reacting to business manager requests and problems. What being a strategic business partner does mean to me is taking a leadership position on those issues which truly influence the strategic direction of the business.

Q: What does being a leader in the organization mean to you?

A: For an HR person, being a leader in the organization means you have the same opportunity, responsibility, accountability and influence as any other member of the leadership team. Being a strategic leader means you can show evidence that you have actually influenced the direction of the business. …

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