HR as a "Strategic Business Partner"?

The Human Resources team being a “Strategic Business Partner” with the Operations team is not a new notion. This statement just bugs me. HR should not be considered a “partner” because HR is part of the organization making it whole not a separate organization with similar goals as term partnership implies. Maybe the view of being a "partner" contributes to the ongoing battle that HR can be viewed quite often as a separate identity from other departments in the company. I often hear things like “How do we get HR a seat at the table?” HR professionals often view themselves as an individual entity from the other teams in the organization if they want to admit it or not. “What are WE (HR) going to do to get THEM (everyone else) to understand?” Human Resources team is often viewed by people inside HR and out as “HR against everyone else.” For instance, if the strategy of the HR team is to “break down the walls between departments” then how can this effectively occur when HR is viewed as an outsider? Trying to break the walls down before they are ready to can inadvertently create higher ones and can continue the cycle. So what do WE (The organization as a WHOLE) do? There as so many concepts, theories, practices and models out there it can make your head spin. Which one is the best?

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