How easy is HR to do business with?

On a recent visit to Finland to deliver a leadership program I took the opportunity to call in to see a number of other clients. An interesting fact cropped up. Three of the four companies I visited had recently restructured their HR function. In all three cases the dotted line relationship between the HR Vice President at head office and the HR Directors and Managers at business unit and country level was being replaced by a solid line. The local and regional HR professionals were now reporting directly to their functional head and no longer to the line of business manager.