40 players in personnel

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article The past 12 months have seen dramatic changes in the profession and the next12 are likely to be just as eventful.This year’s profiles of HR’s most powerful players reflects these changes,with the pioneers of outsourcing and its potential impact on the professioninfluencing the line-up chosen by the Personnel Today team. Once again we do not expect you to agree with all our choices but let usknow what you think.Who would be in your top ten? Fax 020-8652 8805 or e-mail:[email protected] ByersSecretary of State for Trade and IndustryStephen Byers is without doubt one of Labour’s high-fliers and among itsmost business-friendly modernisers, but his poor performance in the past 12months means that we only begrugdingly keep him in the top slot. Hisinconsistent approach, coupled with reverses in policy, has made the lives ofmany HR professionals hell. The confusion over the position on Working Timewith amendments and guidance apparently pulling in different directions is anobvious example.There has also been disquiet over the lack of time given to consultationover workplace legislation, and the scope of the consultation carried out.Controversial parts of the union recognition proposals were given less than sixweeks of consultation.Byers’ position is further weakened by the recent Rover debacle and the enormityof his brief without a strong enough deputy. But as a Labour high-flier hecould soon be moved on to keep his reputation intact.James MaddenChairman, CEO and president of ExultMadden shoots straight in at two as a true pioneering spirit, having transformedthe market for human resources outsourced services in the past year. Havingseen the potential for technologically-based HR services long before most inthe industry, Madden secured a five-year contract to operate the bulk ofpersonnel services for the oil giant BP Amoco.His audacious ambition of supplying all the Fortune 500 companies securedhim the backing from General Atlantic Partners, the world’s largest venturecapital firm for the IT sector. His philosophy is based on long-term partnership,and he argues that outsourcing can add value and not simply be a cost-cuttingexercise.Agree or disagree, outsourcing is the biggest issue currently sweepingthrough the profession. Nick StarrittGroup HR director, BP AmocoAs the head of human resources for Britain’s largest company, Starritqualifies as another rocket entry due to the decision last year to outsourcethe bulk of the oil giant’s personnel administration which, coupled withExult’s position to be to able deliver the service, has set the outsourcingagenda for the rest of the profession.A close colleague of the hugely admired chief executive Sir John Browne,Starritt is likely to become an even more influential player. And what BPAmocodoes usually gets copied.Stephen CroninGroup resources director, Xerox EuropeCronin merits his place as the resources director in a company thatunderstands how far personnel management has to be integrated in the generalmatter of running a business. It is for this reason, and not simply to cutcosts, that he plans to outsource administrative parts of the personnelfunction. “I will be happier when 60, 70, 80 or 90 per cent of HR staff’stime is given over to things that really increase productivity,” he says.Again, another pioneering company which others follow. John MonksTUC general secretaryJohn Monks has had a mixed year following what is generally regarded as adefeat on Working Time law, and the Government’s limited interpretations ofEuropean parental leave entitlements and rights for part-timers. His stridentopposition, threatening legal action at every turn, has seemed a little overthe top. The potential disruption for HRprofessionals which will be created by unionrecognition means his profile will remain high over the coming 12 months though.Cherie Booth QCLeading employment barrister; wife of Prime MinisterTwo unexpected developments have put Cherie Booth 13 places higher thisyear. She dared to defy her husband by drafting the TUC’s legal response to theUK interpretation of parental leave law, arguing that it was in breach ofEuropean minimum standards. The likelihood is that her argument will prevailthat the Government restricted the leave too far by limiting it to parents ofchildren born after 15 December 1999.The other significant aspect is that from sometime this month she and TonyBlair will once again be working parents with a baby. Expect to see moregenerous family-friendly measures next year.Geoff ArmstrongDirector general, IPDAs the head of the organisation that guides the HR profession, GeoffArmstrong has had a good year after successfully securing chartered status forthe Institute of Personnel and Development. This is a major boost for thestatus of the profession and means Armstrong just manages to take a higherplace in the top 40 this year. Some would argue he should rank higher but hislow public profile means he does not rival politicians for the top spots.John CridlandDirector of HR policy, CBICridland still merits a place in the top 10 for his influence in bringingabout changes to Working Time law last year, which lightened the bureaucracyfor employers. But the tide is running more towards trade union rights, nowthat the Government wishes to shore up its traditional support, and thisaccounts for his fall from third place. Cridland has led the opposition tocompulsory consultation of employees – a European Commission proposal. Thisopposition is likely to crumble during the French presidency later this year.Richard ScaseAcademic and authorThe writer of Britain Towards 2010: the Changing Business Environment wieldsinfluence out of proportion to the typical low profile of the academic. Hisseminal study argues that social trends and new technology sound the deathknell for top-down corporations which fail to trust their staff. Success willcome from highly skilled, empowered teams of employees.The work gives authority to the practice of more enlightened managers.The influence of this argument has become more apparent in the past year. Innumerous speeches Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Stephen Byers have describedthese changes as being as profound as those of the Industrial Revolution.Anna DiamantopoulouSocial Affairs Commissioner, European CommissionThis young Greek politician was a surprise appointment last year and has alower rank in the league table than her predecessor Padraig Flynn, solely byvirtue of being new. Early indications are that she is sharper than Flynn, andis learning the brief quickly.As the commissioner for employee relations she has almost as much influenceover UK employment law as the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Look out for the long-delayed proposal on compulsory employee consultationto emerge during the French presidency later this year. Expect her to have ahigher placing in 2001.Lynda GrattonProfessor of human resource management, London Business SchoolGratton’s new entry reflects her position in a group of three highlyinfluential academics who, as the trend towards outsourcing grows, are in aposition to deliver the new skills and competencies HR will need to managethese providers and to contribute strategically to business.The London Business School also entered the Financial Times top 10 forproviders of MBAs this year – by far the highest placed UK management school –in part due to its research. Gratton’s long-term leading-edge study of eight multinationals has begun todemonstrate graphically that good management of people adds considerably tobusiness performance. Moreover, it shows that this is true at all levels of theorganisation, and that the “soft” issues of trust and integrity seemto count for more than the latest management systems.David UlrichAuthor and conference speakerThe charismatic Ulrich retains the claim to the tag of most popular speakerfor human resources conferences. Ulrich calls for a comprehensive understandingof the role of personnel professionals in which knowledge of the business,commitment to development of employees, strategic awareness and administrativeexpertise all have equal status. He can cite detailed examples from business toback up his case.His witty, “US-preacher” style still packs them in but he willhave to stay up to date with practices in the emerging high-tech companies tokeep his speeches relevant.Linda HolbecheDirector of research, Roffey Park Management InstituteOver the past 12 months, Holbeche’s name has become synonymous with thegrowing drive for personnel practitioners to develop a strategic approach. Shemerits her entry to the top 40 in large part to her second book, Aligning HRand Business Strategy, published last year. It defines the modern world forpersonnel managers where they have to earn their place by being at the core ofthe business, hence her pivotal role in the outsourcing debate.Also influential is Roffey Park’s Management Agenda, an annual snapshot ofthe work and well-being of managers. In the next 12 months, Holbeche will bepublishing the latest stages in ongoing research into the future of careers,strategic alliances and mergers and acquisitions, as well as participating innew research on managing creative teams.Ruth SpellmanChief executive, Investors in People UKUnder Spellman’s tenure since 1998, Investors in People has increased instature as the premium standard for employers developing their staff. Her mainchanges are to judge more by results than by ticking off lists of activities. The revised standard, being phased in from April this year, will featurereduced form-filling and jargon. “We have applied the ‘taxi test’ – givingmaterial to a couple of taxi drivers to see if they understand it,” shesays.Along with chairman Tim Melville-Ross, Spellman has overseen an increase byone-third in the number of organisations achieving the IIP badge, such thateight million people are working for employers with the standard or workingtowards it. She strongly defends the standard’s worth, by pointing out how inspectorshave always had unlimited access to employees as well as managers.Mike JudgePersonnel director, PeugeotJudge moves up a slot as he continues to be the voice of personnel, strikingresonant chords within the profession. His views never fail to court controversy: his comments that the term HR isdemeaning to working people stimulated a great deal of controversy and thebiggest response ever in Personnel Today’s letters page. His “schoolreport” of Tony Blair’s performance at last year’s HRForum is still talkedabout.Plus, with shareholders and institutional investors increasingly demandingfuller statements of HR practices, Peugeot continues to demonstrate that itspeople are important by devoting two pages of its annual report to its staff.Vaughan YoungDirector of HR and development services, BTIn recognition of BT’s place as a progressive and influential employer, HRdirector Bob Mason was at number 12 last year. This year the spotlight falls onBT’s pioneering move to provide HR services to other blue-chip companies and tothe driving force behind it – Vaughan Young. Not only has Young made HRservices a profitable internal business at BT but spotted the potential toincrease its profitability by tapping into the mood for outsourcing – see BP Amoco– and offering its services outside.Simon BrocketDirector of HR, UK and Ireland, Procter & GambleBrocket earns his place as a key player in a multinational firm that hasplaced human issues to the fore as it restructures along global lines. The consumergiant ditched its regional structure last year, opting for global businessunits broken down by product type.Human resources responsibilities are split between strategy, which is atcorporate level, and administration, forming part of the Global BusinessServices, with a European headquarters in Newcastle. The company consideredoutsourcing the personnel administration but rejected the move. “We wantedto get the unquantifiable quality gain from having our own people; not just thelowest-cost system,” he says.Brocket has made sure that human resources policies are closely aligned tobusiness needs, for example by getting IT and personnel people to work closelytogether. He champions diversity and flexible working, including working fromhome.Clara FreemanDirector of personnel and corporate affairs, Marks & SpencerFreeman holds her position because of her surprise high-profile appointmentas head of UK stores last autumn, showing the value that the troubled chainplaces on HR skills in terms of restoring its fortune.M&S’s first female executive director entrusted with the task of”fixing” problems has also retained her other responsibilities in HRand corporate affairs. Freeman is working on a range of initiatives includingProbe, a plan to get sales teams and buyers talking to each other aboutcustomer preferences. Another project known as Clear View involves staffaddressing criticisms levelled at M&S. Sir Michael BurtonChairman of the Central Arbitration CommitteeSir Michael, a High Court judge with a track record in high-profileindustrial disputes, earns his place in the list as a result of the major newrole for the CAC. It will rule on union recognition claims when new legislationcomes into force later this year. The CAC has previously been restricted tocases where staff claim they have not been informed of redundancy plans.But the choice of Sir Michael, who acted for News International during theWapping dispute and for Nottinghamshire miners who refused to take part in the1984 strike, is believed to be making some in the union movement uneasy.Maggi BellDirector and head of recruitment and outplacement, Capita Human ResourceServicesMaggi Bell leaps 20 places, even though Capita failed to secure a major HRoutsourcing contract in 1999, to follow up the Westminster contract sealed in1998. But Capita has hit the big time, reaching the FTSE 100, which willunleash new resources for Bell in her bid for more deals. Also, it is strong inthe public sector, and the Best Value regime in local authorities, startingthis month, will be a spur to outsourcing. And Capita is sure to appear on many shortlists. The group is developing anInternet-based advice service, which could open up the HR outsourced market tosmall and medium sized companies. Expect a higher position next year.John WelchChief executive officer, General ElectricThe world’s most prominent, most copied businessman retains his place in thetop 40. In February this year General Electric, the enormous group he has runfor two decades, won the accolade of Fortune magazine’s most admired company forthe third year in a row. Welch has always put people at the centre of hisstrategy, creating a sense of mission, but also aligning pay systems and theneeds of the business. “This year we will cash $1.6bn in employee gains instock options,” he told Fortune recently. “$1.2bn of that will bebelow any senior management level.”Last year he completed a conversion from technophobe to promoter ofe-commerce. GE Power Systems and the company’s plastics distribution businessnow maximise technology to save costs and respond to customer needs.Sir Ken JacksonGeneral secretary, AEEUSir Ken arguably has more sway in number 10 than John Monks. Without doubt,the general secretary of engineers’ union the AEEU is Tony Blair’s favouriteunion man, for his prophecy of partnership and fixes within the Labour party. The AEEU is striking recognition agreements every month, is rapidly growingand will see its influence grow with the planned merger with the MSF, hence hisleap six places up the list.Duncan BrownPrincipal Towers PerrinIf a big company has problems with its pay system, the chances are it willturn to the quietly-spoken, cerebral Duncan Brown. He becomes a power player inrecognition of his co-authorship with Michael Armstrong of Pay forContribution, published last year, which persuaded companies that the manner inwhich they harness the contribution of individuals is critical to achievingorganisational goals.He argues against mechanical benchmarking of reward systems, blaming thefailure of most schemes on general weaknesses in employee relations. Managersmust consider factors such as trust, communication with staff and training ofline managers.His major survey of European pay at the end of last year revealed that theUK is no more sophisticated and flexible in its pay systems than the rest ofthe Continent. Two more publications are expected later this year.Jon SparkesHR director, Scientific GenericsFor the knowledge-based economy to succeed in the UK, there will have to bemany more human resources directors like Sparkes, who merits a place in the top40 for exemplifying the dynamic role of working closely with strategists andline managers. At the Cambridge-based research and intellectual property group,the HR department’s work is so closely aligned to the business that it isimpossible to disentangle the two.Sparkes has to find, retain and motivate highly intelligent people who cancombine academic brilliance with commercial acumen. But as well as achievingthis, he helps people set up their own companies if they have a strong idea,helping the development of high-tech firms and providing extra incentive towork for Scientific Generics. The firm has seen at least one spin-off company ayear for the past decade, now increasing to about two a year.Peter DruckerManagement thinkerDrucker moves up two places at the grand age of 91 years old, striking ablow against ageism. His forward-thinking and well received ManagementChallenges in the 21st Century appeared last May and heralds the new age of managementby arguing that knowledge workers must be seen as capital assets, not as costs.For the message to come from the most respected management thinker of the pastcentury lends great weight to the argument of personnel professionals.The inventor of modern management teaches that companies must have a clearstrategy with rational choices, not try to please everyone, and that staff mustbelieve in the mission and be treated well. His teaching was influential in thesuccess of General Electric under John Welch.Cary CooperProfessor of occupational psychology, University of Manchester Instituteof Science and TechnologyThe media’s favourite human resources academic, Cary Cooper brought togetherJohn Monks and John Cridland of the TUC and CBI for a major report on theextent of bullying at work. He increasingly does advice work with topboard-rooms based on the annual Quality of Life survey carried out for theInstitute of Management. Every year, two out of three respondents report amajor reorganisation, downsizing or outsourcing; they also say these processesharm loyalty, morale and productivity. “I am saying to the boards ‘Wake upto it!’,” he says. Intriguingly, he says he receives a more favourablereaction in British board rooms than in the US. Terry GormanPresident of the Society of Chief Personnel OfficersMore political and outspoken than many leaders of the local authoritypersonnel managers’ group, this year’s president Terry Gorman can already claimsome influence on government policy. He and outgoing president Rita Sammonspersuaded ministers to consult with personnel managers on Best Value, thescheme for auditing council services and replacing them where they do not offervalue for money. He has warned that Best Value could cause the break-up oflocal government if cost of services becomes the dominant factor. As the most influential voice in a sector employing about a quarter of IPDmembers, he is unquestionably a power player.David GuestProfessor of organisational psychology, Birkbeck CollegeGuest may lack the flamboyance of fellow academics Lynda Gratton and DaveUlrich, but he is beginning to wield similar influence in his quiet manner. Hisresearch also yields strong evidence that good management of people is crucialto commercial success, for example his analysis of the DTI’s EmploymentRelations Survey which demonstrates the connection, particularly when there isgenuine partnership. He has begun a “Future of Work” piece ofresearch, which aims to identify causal links between employee relations in aparticular year with subsequent company performance. This will be published bythe IPD.Nigel ConnollyHR manager EasyJetAfter a disastrous year at British Airways concluding with the resignationof chief executive Bob Ayling, HR director Mervyn Walker has been elbowed outof the Top 40 and is replaced by Nigel Connolly, HR manager of low-costchallenger EasyJet. Connolly is described by a former colleague as a high achiever with a laid-backattitude – an appropriate mix for a successful company with annual sales of£75m, and an atmosphere of informality and democracy. One of Connolly’s mottosis: “recruit for personality, train for skill”. With a turnover of 3per cent among its 850 employees it seems to be paying off.Alex BurnipManaging director, SHLBurnip holds her position this year as managing director of psychometrictests provider SHL and their key role in the “war for talent”.Psychometric tests, having withstood a period of scepticism about theirvalidity, continue to grow in popularity. SHL has maintained its position asmarket leader and is pioneering on-line psychometrics, withPricewaterhouseCoopers as an impressive first client. Burnip emphasises the need for testing a wide range of skills, including thesoft skills increasingly sought by recruiters. She also tries to ensure thetests are free from cultural bias, which is also of growing importance.Bert MassieChairman of the Disability Rights CommissionMassie is yet another new player in the list and nudges in ahead of hiscolleagues in the CRE and EOC because although the DRC was formed earlier thisyear it has more legal clout.Massie, who contracted polio when he was three months old, has been involvedwith more than 30 disability organisations, most recently as director of theRoyal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation. Massie is also an adviser to the Cabinet Secretary on the employment ofdisabled people in the senior Civil Service.While some see the merger of the equality commissions as inevitable.Massie’s hard-line anti-merger stand – he believes the discrimination disabledpeople face is different from race and gender – could prove increasingly hardto defend and radically alter his position next year.Surinder SharmaEqual opportunities department team leader, LittlewoodsThe Government’s approach to promoting equal opportunities in the privatesector is by example, rather than new laws. This means that Surinder Sharma,from the award-winning equal opportunities employer Littlewoods, carries moreinfluence than many in the equalities commissions and enters the Top 40. Whenever a gong is handed out for excellence in equal opportunities, itseems that Sharma steps up to receive it. An example of his initiative is theexperience of the Oldham Littlewoods store where a drive to recruit and retainethnic minority job candidates led to an extra £125,000 worth of business.Sharma is also a member of the Department for Education and Employment advisorycommittee on the work-life balance.John ProphetPresident of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, England and WalesTogether with Colin Milne, who covers Scotland, Prophet earns a place in theTop 40 due to the increasing significance of tribunals because of the huge risein individual rights in the past year. The qualifying period was reduced to oneyear and the maximum compensation increased to £50,000.The Employment Appeal Tribunal sets precedents in employment law, and JudgeProphet’s influence was exemplified by the landmark ruling on unfair dismissalsat the end of last year. He instructed tribunals that they had misappliedearlier precedents and ordered them to ignore apparent parallels with othercases and revert to a common sense verdict of whether an employer’s actionswere reasonable. This has tilted the balance of power back towards theclaimant.Dr John McMullenNational head of employment law, Pinsent CurtisOstensibly it has been a quiet year in terms of media profile for leadingemployment lawyer McMullen, which accounts for his fall in this year’s list. He has, however, been quietly beavering away on the Tupe conference circuitand it is because he is a Tupe mastermind that he retains a place, as Tupestill represents one of the profession’s biggest headaches. No one else comesclose to matching his expertise on the subject. He has enjoyed a higher profile in Europe, though, and with changes to theimpending legislation the increasing demand for his services is likely to seehim return to the top 10 in 2001.Julie MellorChair of the Equal Opportunities CommissionMellor drops position this year due to little progress despite a promisingstart. In July 1999, equal opportunities minister Margaret Hodge responded tothe commission’s attempts to get the Government to update the SexDiscrimination Act and simplify the way cases are dealt with under the EqualPay Act with a promise to “consult”. No changes have yet been made.Clive MortonIndependent HR consultantClive Morton has spent much effort in recent months preparing projects thatare likely to come to fruition in the next year, so his slip down the leaguetable from last year’s 14th spot is likely to be temporary. In June he will discover if the Linc consortium, of which he is a boardmember, has won the contract to manage a part of the London Underground underthe Public/Private Partnership scheme. The author of Becoming World Class and Beyond World Class is also planning athird book on the links between relationships and success.Gurbrux SinghNewly appointed chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, who isdue to take up his post this month Singh takes over from Sir Herman Ouseley who stepped down in January.Currently chief executive of Haringey Council, he made his name as anarch-moderniser and pioneer of controversial equal opportunities policies. Heabolished Haringey’s specialist equality units – despite fierce opposition –because he believed they had become marginalised. The policy has been copied byother local authorities.Will HuttonChief executive, The Industrial SocietyWill Hutton, former editor of The Observer, joins the list having taken overas chief executive of The Industrial Society. Just a few months into his tenureas head of the organisation, Hutton has already stated his intention to makethe society a key source of information and opinion on workplace issues. Arecent Industrial Society seminar on the work-life balance threw up interestingcriticism of the US experience and Hutton has also called for companies to puttraining centre stage to maximise shareholder value.Hutton’s background at The Observer and before that at The Guardian has seenhim try to marry economics and social welfare. His most famous concept is thestakeholder society, as espoused in his widely read political analysis ofBritain, The State We’re In. This book was viewed as offering much of theintellectual underpinning of the New Labour project. But he is now seen as alittle out of step with the party’s hierarchy so don’t expect The IndustrialSociety to develop into a research arm of the Labour party.David Blunkett MPEducation and Employment SecretaryThere was never any doubt that Blunkett’s reputation was going to take ahammering in this year’s list with detractors queuing up to slam the Governmentfor its woeful training initiatives. One of the harshest critics is GMB generalsecretary John Edmonds, who ridiculed the schemes earlier this year as “ahandful of measures no one has ever heard of”. The extent of this confusion was highlighted when Personnel Todayinvestigated the schemes and what they were intended to achieve, and found thatthe DfEE does not even have a list of all its current initiatives. If itdoesn’t then what chance do businesses have of being aware of them? Until the Government produces legislation requiring organisations to trainstaff and financially penalising any who don’t, his position will continue tobe low.Rhiannon ChapmanHR consultantAlthough Chapman slips down the list this year she just manages to maintaina place in the Top 40 on the strength of her keenly awaited HR consultancy product.It will be the first time a consultant will have had the confidence to promisea quantified improvement in business performance through human resourcesinterventions and these are the kind of deals HR should be emulating.Her pledge is a 16 per cent improvement to the bottom line, at a charge of0.5 per cent of the pay bill, through an intervention lasting three to fourmonths. It will encourage clients to prioritise and look for highest standardsin the area of human resources activity that add most value to theorganisation, rather than trying to be expert in everything. Chapman’s product is based on a library of best practice, built on thegrowing research evidence that excellence in managing people is a key lever tobusiness success. • Profiles were written by Scott Beagrie, Edward Dimbylow, DominiqueHammond, Tom Powdrill Helen Rowe and Philip Whiteley 40 players in personnelOn 2 May 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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