There are a number of ways of describing this change - one is to simply refer back to CEOs' favourite adage that people are our most important asset. Yes - but that has to have consequences too. If people are the most important asset then we need to build our business and our processes around these assets, not just use them as resources (hence our people centric approach.) It means our HR processes are our most important business processes, and our HR function are most important business function too.
It's why I sometimes get irritated by our tendency to try to disguise what we do - to get Finance to head up our new performance management approach to ensure it's sponsored by the business or to refer to our key deliverable as a business programme not an HR initiative etc. This may be a good short-term fix, but at some point we've got to address the fundamental problem that our businesses often don't see HR as important as it is.
We should be able to hold our heads up high, explain that something is HR, and have everyone understand that means it's important. Until we get to this point we're always going to be on our back foot.