Do these expert quotes sound familiar? "You know you have arrived as an HR director when your chief executive routinely takes you along to see City analysts. But few HR directors are up to this task."
"HR departments must learn to say 'yes' if they want to engage in the business."
Anyone who has been to an HR conference in the past two or three years will recognise the themes raised, but these sound bites - swapping "HR" for "IT" - are actually from the IT Directors' Forum, held on the cruise ship Aurora earlier this month.
The lack of strategic influence has been an ever-present worry for many function specialists in recent years, but the constant stream of advice from 'gurus' on the conference circuit appears to be having little impact.
Indeed, some in the HR profession have gone as far as to say that the current generation of business gurus are doing nothing to further the cause of the function in UK organisations.
Graham White, head of HR at Surrey County Council, said: "Simply following the latest trend or inspired speech guarantees nothing more than wealth for the author, disruption for our organisations and further undermining of HR as a strategic contributor."
But HR professionals may find it more constructive to learn lessons from US companies, which are thought to be at least two to three years ahead of European organisations on HR strategy.
At a recent roundtable discussion in the US, organised by the Center for Digital Strategies at the Tuck School of Business, executives from multinationals, including IT and communications giants IBM and Cisco Systems and toymaker Hasbro (which makes the toy versions of the cult Transformers cartoon), discussed how HR management was contributing to competitive advantage.
Hollie Castro, vice-president of HR at Cisco, sees HR's role as a catalyst to "create a sustainable supply of price/earnings enhancing talent", and to support "future growth in markets that we want to be in that we're not in today".
Castro revealed that she had recently analysed profit models and their implications for HR with Cisco executives. "That's a very different conversation for HR than most people were used to," she said.
Maryam Alavi, from Emory University, said HR needed to focus on creating a work environment that promotes continuous learning. "That's completely different from