Sunday 29 July 2007

Building a leadership brand at GE

An organisation’s capability can come from a broad range of sources. For example, in my book, I describe BT’s capability of performance maximisation and the BBC’s of creative intelligence.

In the July / August Harvard Business Review article, I referred to in my previous post, Ulrich provides these other examples (a few of which read more like core competencies than organisational capabilities to me):

  • Wal-mart: Managing costs efficiently, getting things done on time
  • FedEx: Managing logistics, meeting deadlines, solving problems quickly
  • Lexus: Managing quality processes (lean manufacturing and design, Six Sigma) for continuous improvement
  • Procter & Gamble: Developing consumer insights, precisely targeted marketing, product innovation
  • McKinsey: Leading teams that deconstruct business problems, synthesise data, and develop solutions
  • Boeing: Solving global problems, working as teams, possessing technical excellence in aerospace
  • Apple: Creating new products and services that break the industry norms
  • PepsiCo: Building the next generation of talent.

But in some organisations, capability definitely does come from their ability to ensure great leadership on an ongoing basis (hence this really does provide a leadership brand). GE is a particular case in point. Ulrich notes:

“Everyone thought Reg Jones, the firm’s CEO from 1972 and 1981, was replaceable. Then came Jack Welch, and everyone thought he was irreplaceable. Not Jeff Immelt has show himself to be more than steady at the helm. GE’s stock price has remained stable even when its top managers leave. The firm has an organisational capability that transcends any one individual.”

Workforce Management (23 July) includes an interview with Bill Conaty, GE’s VP of HR who explains some of the practices that have contributed to this capability. For example, Conaty GE’s policy of development and progression for top executives (which succeeds in generating a retention rate of 95 to 97%):

“By constant, candid communication with these individuals and giving them bigger and better development opportunities. We always have some form of a career ladder of progression still available for those running GE businesses.

Probably 85 to 90 percent of our top 600 leaders get promoted from within. That means when the top jobs open up, the internal people know they have a shot at it. At most of these companies, whether they are Fortune 50 or Fortune 10, the top job usually gets filled by an outsider, and to me that is a real demoralising event for the people inside the company.”

SHRM’s July HR Magazine has also commented on GE’s people driven success, and includes a quote from Jeff Immelt explaining that he evaluates GE businesses “by looking at a triangle of the CEO, the CFO and the senior HR leader” and that he considers complementary skills among the three to be “absolutely central to how that business is led”.

Welch has a very similar perspective. At SuccessFactors’ user conference this June, he commented that:

“The HR person has to be the most important partner to the CEO… There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t talk to our senior HR leader... people have to be our core competency”.

So what should HR practitioners do in they work for an organisation that doesn’t give them this priority? Immelt’s suggestion is that they should find another job: “HR people need to work for companies where people are valued.”

He could have said, one which invests in organisational capability.

Building a leadership brand

Dave Ulrich writes an interesting article (as always) on leadership branding in July and August’s Harvard Business Review.

Unfortunately, Ulrich does not succeed in being completely clear about what he means by this term and we will need to wait until his book Leadership Brand: Developing Customer-Focused Leaders to Drive Performance and Build Lasting Value (blimey, I thought the title of my book was long) is published in September to find out more.

Although Ulrich ties the leadership brand to the behaviours and training of leaders, in many ways, a leadership brand seems to be a rehashing of organisational capability, which Ulrich started writing about in 1990. So Ulrich explains that a leadership brand provides a company with competitive advantage by differentiating it from other organisations and provides the example of Disney which competes not purely on a successful business strategy, but by its capabilities: the ability to ensure that “ride operators and restaurant personnel will be upbeat, friendly and gracious”. To me, this is an organisational capability for customer service, not something specifically focused on its leadership.

Other than this slight lack of clarity, the article is a good read, and supports my views about organisational capability. In particular, Ulrich notes that (leadership) capability needs to be built upon something unique to a particular organisation, and that this requires HR practices that are different too:

“These companies go beyond standard-issue leader training. Instead of merely strengthening the abilities of individual leaders, these companies focus on building a more general (leadership) capability… Apple, for example, wants to be known for its outstanding ability to innovate and design user-friendly technology; to that end, it hires the best technologists and designers and encourages them to break new ground. Wal-Mart wants to be known for its everyday low prices, so it hires managers who are frugal and unassuming themselves, and who can drive a hard bargain.”

As Ulrich points out, the problem with vanilla competency models and vanilla training, is that they generate vanilla leadership, and this doesn’t succeed in contributing significantly to organisational performance.

Where I disagree with the article is Ulrich’s insistence that (leadership) capability comes from an outside-in approach. Of course, leadership development (and other HR activities) do need to align with business priorities. And I agree with Ulrich’s comment that:

“Thousands of companies have spent millions on their own corporate universities; yet most have failed to develop true leadership bench strength. That’s because, in too many cases, the approach to leadership training is detached from what the firm stands for in the eyes of customers and investors. Rather the training is the same from company to company, regardless of whether the company is a fast-food chain or an aerospace contractor.”

But in my view, the most valuable (leadership) capability is the type that transforms what a company is capable of doing, rather than just supports it to do the same thing more efficiently or effectively. And in my experience, this usually comes from looking within the organisation, at its existing strengths which can be leveraged more effectively, than simply at the current, external business environment: ie inside-out as well as outside-in.

Friday 27 July 2007

Flooding and social capital

I came across an interesting article on the floods across the UK recently: "When the waters clear". The articles notes that flooding destroys organisational but not social capital:

"Floods and other disaster destroy physical and financial capital. But not relations between people and their networks - what's often called social capital.

Even truckloads of goodwill can't offset the trauma of being flooded. Indeed, unlike any other form of capital - social capital can actually increase at a time of crisis. People who come together learn the importance of appreciating the value of neighbourly support, often act with greater community spirit in the aftermath of a disaster. All of us can help by encouraging the victims of the flood to look for solutions that will improve their lives instead of looking for someone to blame. Blaming often weakens social capital and undermines the return to "normalcy". Instead of looking for a hidden meaning behind the flood we ought to be focusing on learning the lessons. We now know that floods are normal part of our life. What we have to figure out is how much of our resources we are prepared to devote to minimising their destructive impact on our lives."

Ie it is our reactions to crises like floods, not the floods themselves, that can damage us most.

I guess the same is true in organisations as well. It is a rare organisation that thinks about how it will react to challenges and particular failures in a way that will increase its social capital.

Wednesday 25 July 2007

Talent management (in professional services firms) 2

The Management Consultancies Association (MCA) has produced a report on talent management (Tomorrow's people) with a foreword by Emmanuel Gobillot at Hay.

Echoing my comments on HR’s role in strategic people management, the report finds that less that a quarter of organisations believe their current talent management processes will deliver the leaders they need. In fact, 70% of them feel they need to change their approach.

Not too surprisingly, the MCA finds that professional services firms “provide a good illustration of how much organisations have to change” although they do look at a range of other organisations as well.

One major recommendation is that organisations need to carefully and strategically segment their workforce. Chris Watkin at Hay comments:

“It’s not just a question of replacing the word ‘talent’ with ‘people’. You
still need to be able to make some very difficult choices about the group of
people you need to invest in. Especially if you’re trying to throw the net
wider, you can’t afford to develop everyone equally.”

Diedre Hardy at Fujitsu adds:

“What we need here is the equivalent of one-to-one marketing: knowing exactly what skills you need and precisely targeting potential sources.”

The report also recommends that when considering what skills they need, organisations should look beyond today’s skills and capabilities to consider those the organisation will need to survive and compete in the future and which may look very different from the ones needed today (supporting a growing focus on diversity).

And another finding, which I think may well become an ongoing theme within this blog, is that there can be no single, standard approach to talent management. Instead, this needs to be linked to the particular capabilities an organisation needs in the future. The report found that the most popular of these capabilities are the following:

Do these make sense for your organisation, or does this have a different organisational capability to these?

Monday 23 July 2007

Strategic talent management (in professional services firms)

Friday's Economist included an article describing how the Big Four accountancy firms have lots to teach other companies about managing talented people, Accounting for good people.

The article explains that PSFs are generally ahead of other sectors in people management, and that the approaches they have developed can be useful elsewhere:

'The Big Four really mean it when they say that people are their biggest assets. Their product is their employees' knowledge and their distribution channels are the relationships between their staff and clients... the big firms' evolving efforts to attract the best candidates and to encourage and keep the brightest people provide useful lessons for other companies.'
I tend to agree. Certainly my experience as an HR Director at Ernst & Young in the UK supports the point. And in my book, I talk about a more recent approach the firm has adopted to replace head hunting with head farming - a longer-term, more proactive, ongoing search of the employment market to identify talent who may be right for the firm, either immediately or at a later date.

Traditional head hunting (looking for a candidate at the time there is a need) is a great way to recruit very good talent, but it's a lousy way to recruit the very best (who are very unlikely to be available at just the time a particular organisation is looking for them).

The other approach the Economist refers to, which struck a chord with me, is the need to maintain relationships over the longer-term, and over successive job contracts:

'Few employers are used to helping people leave on good terms. But in an era of job-hopping and a scarcity of skills, loyalty increasingly means having a sense of emotional allegiance to an employer, whether or not that person is still physically on the payroll.'
In my book, I refer to an approach I call career partnership, in which an employer may actually encourage a very valuable employee to leave the organisation to get experience and development elsewhere. If their employer brand, value proposition and relationship are strong enough, the employee will be certain to seek to rejoin at a later point, and be even more valuable to the organisation as a result of the development they've had.

What do you think? Do you know any organisations that are doing this?

Thursday 19 July 2007

Green HR

I attended a very interesting session on green HR yesterday, organised by Buck. As they explain, “Green issues are moving up on everyone’s agenda and it’s clear that these issues need to be addressed to sustain the environment. Businesses can do their part by establishing green policies which in turn have positive effects on the perceptions of the people who matter – consumers, press and employees.”

Green HR refers to the contribution of people management policies and activities towards this broader agenda.

It’s an important issue for HR because it is clearly an important issue for all employees, as well as customers and other stakeholders. It’s also one in which HR can have a big impact without causing much expenditure – good environmental management can improve sales and reduce costs, providing funding for green benefits to keep staff engaged. Examples of these include IKEA giving all their employees a bike at Christmas (also these are apparently easily available on ebay) and Anglian Water offering employees £1/day if they agree to walk to work.

But the most powerful example of green HR came in a presentation of ‘The Bigger Picture’ given by Dev Raval, Group Head of Reward and Strategy at B Sky B.

'The Bigger Picture' refers to Sky's objective to engage its customers in practical and inspiring ways to use energy efficiently. They aim to raise people's awareness of the impact that we as as individuals have just from living our lives. And they do this through tools such as their carbon calculator pictured here.

To engage customers, the company needs to help Sky people inspire others by becoming more progressive and efficient in their energy use. Sky's key principles governing the employee aspects of its 'The Bigger Picture' programme include:


  • Making environmental management an integral part of their way of doing business
  • Providing a mix of high and low impact changes
  • Providing a constant calendar of activities
  • Not an initiative or programme in isolation.


  • Incentivising and encouraging - no compulsion
  • Practical and inspiring
  • Easy to adopt
  • Diverse solutions.

Specific actions within the programme have included offering staff incentives for buying a hybrid car, savings on carbon offsetting, on public transport and bikes. Sky have also made additions to their holiday discount scheme to feature holiday companies operating in an environmentally friendly way, and to their volunteering programme, for example to volunteering in schools, to help pupils undertake environmental projects. Some of the company's actions have been really simple, but still very effective (at least for raising awareness), for example allowing employees to buy a coffee mug at their coffee bar rather than using disposable cups, and then receiving 10p off a cup of coffee.

Sky have also launched a carbon credit card - employees receive points for taking public transport or walking to work, or video conferencing rather than taking a flight. Prizes are given to people with the most points. Dev also described a personal coral reef available on their intranet - more points means more fish and perhaps a shark, few points means the reef starts to get dirty and all the fish swim away. I thought this was a really imaginative and engaging solution.

Overall, I thought this was an excellent case study because of the company’s innovative approaches to benefits, which is an area in which very little has changed recently. But more importantly, I think ‘The Bigger Picture’ illustrates how HR can work with the rest of the organisation to develop a clear and differentiated story of what an organisation is about, in much more than just financial terms, and which can act as a hook to truly engage employees. This story could be green HR, or it could be something else. What I think is important is that x (whatever it is) should be used as an overall anchor for a number of ongoing initiatives, and that these need to be sustained over a relatively lengthy period of time (as is the case at B Sky B).

However, green issues are obviously particularly important and you can see my personal commitment to save energy using the button at the bottom of the right hand side of this blog. My wife, Sandra, and I have also offset our remaining CO2 footprint of 14 tonnes per year.

Visit the Energy Saving Trust Commit website to make your commitment

Monday 16 July 2007

Sports day

I took a day off to attend my eldest daughter's sports day today.

She's the one who has just dropped the ball - so no prizes but it was still a big thrill for mummy and daddy to see how much she's developed recently.

What would it be like if organisations enabled managers to become this passionate about developing people at work?

(And what am I doing?: developing a junior team of consultants at Buck as much as I am able. And mentoring one of my executive MBA students at CBA through her thesis.)

Friday 13 July 2007

Management's human touch

An interesting article in this week's People Management about Alison Hardingham at Yellow Dog Consulting presenting at the CIPD Professional Standards Conference:

"It's time for HR professionals to become experts and leaders in 'human relations'... Advances in our understanding of the brain and behaviour, and... emotional intelligence, relationship capital and authenticity all pointed to an opportunity for people management professionals to take a lead in promoting the 'people factor'."
Absolutely! Perhaps if HR focused more on understanding these areas better, they wouldn't be the poor relations that Deloitte's study I posted on last week found them to be. Expertise in human relations must surely have more impact than increased capabilities in metrics and analytics.

Wednesday 11 July 2007

CIPD: Latest research in Reward

I attended an excellent CIPD seminar today: 'Research into practice: latest research in reward', held at County Hall.

The highlight of the event for me was a 20 minute presentation given by Monica Franco-Santos, a research fellow at Cranfield, on the impact of using non-financial performance measures in top executive incentives.

Monica has looked at whether the 67% of organisations that use balanced measures from business scorecard or other similar business performance management systems in executive compensation outperform organisations that don't make this link.

The short answer is no. Including balanced measures in exec comp can be detrimental to both ROA and annual sales growth.

The longer answer is it depends upon business risk, ownership structure, organisation culture, quality of performance measures and reward system effectiveness. For example, the link does not work where there is:

  • moderate rather than either high or low business risk
  • a control oriented rather than continuous improvement oriented cultural values.
In addition, to be successful, measures need to be linked to long-term rather than short-term incentives. Measures used for reward may need to be different, but have line of sight to measures used for business performance management. And the number of these need to be kept down as people can only concentrate on a certain number of measures. These need to be the measures that are most relevant for a particular business, its context and strategy - "one size fits all does not work".

Monday 9 July 2007

HR's role in strategic people management

Many of the recent blogs I have been reading refer to Deloitte's latest study, Aligned at the Top. The study concludes that ten years after 'HR Champions', HR is still more focused on transactional activities and HR operating efficiencies than on high level strategic people issues.

First the good news: 85% of executives responding to the survey consider people to be vital to every aspect of their company's performance. Executives' top concerns are creating a high performance culture (76%), talent management (76%) and training (63%).

However, the executives' concern about people is not translated into increasing importance for HR. In fact, the HR function, which executives believe is concerned with activities such as reward and benefits, performance evaluations and HR operating efficiencies is often seen as being unconnected with how a business will deal with key strategic HCM challenges such as talent management, workforce productivity and leadership development.

No surprise then that only 16% of HR executives believe they are highly valued by their business colleagues. The researchers note that "It's a stunning paradox that HR is not being looked to for leadership on the people agenda".

Business executives seem to understand that HR should have a more strategic role: only 4% of executive describe their company as world-class in people management and HR. 46% state that their capabilities are adequate but need improvement and 31% say that significant improvement is needed in HR. European HR functions score lower than US and Asian functions.

But the executives seem confident that HR can rise to the challenge. 82% expect HR to be perceived as a strategic, value-adding function within the next three to five years.

Will it? I suspect that if we had asked the same executives the same question ten years ago, we would have received the same response. So what's going on, why is it taking HR so long to occupy the sort of position that the strategic importance of people management suggests it should?

As the pie chart from the report shows, HR rarely gets involved in the formulation of strategy. Most HR functions don't even
try. Take this quote from one of the Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) quoted in the report: "We're not driving the strategy or the business, but it's our job to clear the path to make the strategy easy to implement." Well if that's the scale of our ambitions then we should not wonder about the other findings in the report.

If people really are a company's most important asset... if, as I argued in my
last blog, people really are the key source of competitive advantage, then surely people management, and HR, need to be involved in developing business and HCM strategy.

I think that HR's mindset about its role is often its greatest constraint. If HR sees itself as a support function, then of course that is what it is going to be.

Most HR functions simply don't have the ambition to take advantage of the strategic opportunity that HCM provides them. They aim to be more like other business functions (particularly Finance), to talk the language of business (finance), to be comfortable with metrics and analysis etc. One of the CHROs quoted in the report (very probably the same one quoted above) explains that "To be a CHRO, you have to be a business person first, and then an HR executive second. You absolutely have to know how HR fits into the business, and you can't know that unless you know the business."
The Evil HR Lady makes a similar case in one of her posts.

I'm not arguing that HR shouldn't be up to speed with the business; of course, it needs to be. But it also needs to do much more than this if it's to play a fully strategic role. Take this quote from Jeffrey Pfeffer in Human Resources Management
in 1997:

‘Equipping human resource managers with additional analytic tools and language is all to the good, as far as it goes. In the end, however, all one accomplishes is being a more skilled player at someone else’s game. By so doing, one buys into the ultimate sensibility and reasonableness of the basic measures and ideas in the first place; this is often a mistake. Being skilled at the wrong game is not a very promising strategy for either the company or the human resources function. It is unlikely that human resources will ever be able to win playing the number games against those with much more experience who also get to set the rules. Even if they do win, the victory may have extracted a large cost in terms of losing the distinct perspective and competence of human resources in the process of becoming like other staff functions… If all human
resources becomes is finance with a different set of measures and topic domains,
then its future indeed is likely to be grim.’


Wednesday 4 July 2007

The strategic value of people management

The Telegraph has been publishing an interesting series of articles on chief executives' perspectives on business. On 28th June, they published one on the value of people in business:

"Talk to chief executives and they invariably say that the most important factor in business success is investing in people, or talent management - the latest buzz phrase for selecting and nurturing excellent staff. But how many really live it through the way they personally manage their businesses?"

In my experience, not many. Or, at least this doesn't perculate through the organisations they lead. Look at the result of most organisation's engagement surveys for confirmation of this. Or look at the number of people working in organisations who are switched off and checked out.

About 6 months ago, I presented at a platform with David Bolchover, author of 'The Living Dead', who presented a number of hugely important statistics on this lack of engagement (9 million questionable sick note requests are given to UK doctors every year, 16% of US workers surf the web all the time, 2/3 of visits to porn sites are made between 9-5.00, Monday to Friday etc). David started his presentation by playing a parody of James Blunt’s famous single ‘My Cubicle’ – a musical clip which has downloaded a staggering 11 million times from You Tube, demonstrating the deep resonance of David’s message with working people.

And think about your own experience of working in organisations. If yours is anything like some of the organisations I've worked for recently, you'll agree we have a long way to go.

In Jakarta, I attempted to explain why I think people really are the most important factor in a business. To do this, I built upon a presentation I made at the HR Forum in May - describing how Ulrich's ideas on
organisational capabilities continue the shift in strategic thinking from Michael Porter's competitive strategy that began with Hamel and Prahalad's core competencies and take this to a new level.

The shift can be seen in many different pieces of research, for example, Nitin Nohria's study of
evergreen companies, which found that while competitive strategy is still important, what is even more important is an organisation's ability to executive, supported by an appropriate culture, structure, and at least two of talent / leadership / innovation / mergers and partnerships. These additional factors are all about people, and this central positioning in providing competitive advantage is why people really are a business' most important factor.

In Jakarta, I also used Kaplan and Norton's balanced scorecard to show that while the energy for Porter's competitive positioning is in the customer and financial perspectives, and the drive for Hamel and Prahalad's core competencies is in the internal processes perspective, the energy for developing organisation capabilities comes from within the learning and growth perspective of the scorecard. We then spent some time visualising new strategies building upon people's current and potential capabilities and developing strategic objectives and measures in the other perspectives based upon developing these capabilities. This provides a completely different way of thinking about strategy and the role of people within business and the managers present clearly found it a very useful exercise.

Monday 2 July 2007

First post

I'm just back in the UK after running workshops on HCM in Singapore and Jakarta (the Singapore one was an open programme on creating value HCM strategy and the Jakarta one an in-house workshop on business and HCM strategy maps for Coca Cola Bottling Indonesia).

I took the time between the workshops to catch up on recent blogs and articles / publications and decided that it was definitely time to start blogging myself. So here goes, and more substantive posts to follow on a couple of issues I've been reading a lot about: how people management can be strategic, and the role of the HR function in enabling this to happen.

My particular motivation in posting at this point is that I think both of my most recent workshops provided some insights into the two issues, and I'd like to share these with a wider audience.


About HCM

HCM is much more than just a new name for HR. It is also much more than just a ‘decision science’ focused on measurement and benchmarking.

HCM is an evolving approach to creating value in an organisation based upon the capability of its people. HCM strategies are tightly aligned with a business’ needs. HCM strategies tend to be unique and innovative, going far beyond HR best practice. HCM programmes rely on excellent delivery and an appropriate approach to measurement. The resulting development of human capital helps transform the way that business is done and that service is provided. This delivers significant bottom-line benefits for a business.

Presentation slides:

Workshop programmes:

HCM Models


As well as posting on this blog, I have written, and continue to write on a broad range of business and employment issues for a variety of publications.
However, my main work is my book,  'Strategic Human Capital Management: Creating Value through People'; This features case studies from RBS, BT, Orange, Ernst & Young, BBC, the Cabinet Office and other leading organisations (some of which have been developed out of my own consulting projects) and was published by Butterworth Heinemann at the end of 2006.
See the following endorsements:
"That peoples capacity to unlock the performance of organizations is far from a simplistic and causal model is hardly new. A book offering a new way of explaining how such complexity can be managed and harnessed for the good of organizations certainly is. This is a book to address HR's continuing inability to think outside the box of how people influence performance. Read, reflect and act."

Dr. Anthony Hesketh, Director, Centre for Performance-Led HR, Lancaster University Management School

"This book, whilst acknowledging the importance of measurement, rightly focuses attention on what HCM approaches deliver increased business performance. ...For HR professionals it will give confidence that they do have a unique and critical contribution to make which they are being expected to step up to."
Malcolm Hurrell, Vice-President Human Resources UK, AstraZeneca plc

"A text book that's a pleasure to read, one that immediately gets to the key issues of measurement - not to raise the profile of HR but to provide valuable and credible data for future decisions and policy foundation. Demonstrates that 'one size does not fit all' and reminds the reader of the value of personal judgement as well as utilizing a range of measurement criteria. Clearly written by someone that has operated in this field.
The reader is taken through a great no nonsense approach to HCM in a structured but interactive manner, with case studies that bring the subject alive. Questions that are stimulated as you read through each chapter are then both asked and answered in an excellent Q & A summary, This is achieved in a way that ultimately still lets the reader form their own conclusions and determination of the relevant to their own organization."
Sue Boxall, Group HR Manager, Element Six Ltd

"This is an important summary of and contribution to the current state of the debate on Human Capital Management, drawing together and developing the array of disparate themes. Jon Ingham has made powerful statement in favour of the primacy of value over counting and measurement. The book is an impressive combination of the scholarly and the practical, containing much food for thought and plenty of ideas to steal."
David Leech, Head of Human Resources, CMS Cameron Mckenna LLP

"Strategic Human Capital Management is a comprehensive, thorough and well-researched survey of the landscape of Human Capital Management which demonstrates the changing position and growing importance of high quality people management in the success of modern organizations. The theoretical models presented are backed up by reference to the relevant academic and management research and brought to life by case studies in a variety of organizations, many from Jon Ingham's personal experience, which ensures that the tone remains fresh and vigorous.
Whilst the book covers the issues of measurement and reporting, it also broadens out the debate on the nature of Human Capital Management to show how this influences a broad range of people management practices and to warn against the danger of constraining the thinking to simply the question of measurement.
Finally, Jon Ingham reflects the importance of people engagement in their organizations by adopting a number of techniques to help the reader engage in the book - such as dialogues at the beginning of each chapter to bring out the sense of direction in the narrative."
Dominic Mahony, UK HR Director, O2 plc

"Jon Ingham has written a book for people who really need to become very good at HCM.  A closely argued and deeply thoughtful approach to the comples issues of human behaviour in business.  Ingham's book gives you all you need to understand the different approaches, mindsets and methodologies in this area, cutting through the rhetoric and getting the core of each approach.  For those who are investing their careers in HCM, it is well worth taking the time to read it."
Des Woods, Head of Learning and Development, Linklaters

Some of my recently published articles include:

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I am an experienced, dynamic and provocative speaker.
I also lecture in HR and change management at the Cotrugli Business Academy in Croatia.
And I deliver the Human Capital Strategist programme in the UK and Europe for the Human Capital Institute (HCI).

Some of the topics I am ready to present on include:

  • Human Capital Management: the art and science of people management and measurement

  • The Social Business: how organisations can harness social media to develop social capital as a basis for sustained competitiveness

  • Re-engineering Engagement: creating the people-led business

  • The Use of Psychology in the Management of Change

  • HR 2.0: taking accountability for the development of organisational capability

  • The use of social media: training in web 2.0 and social networking tools

  • Any of the topics dealt with in my blog,

I will shortly be presenting at a number of platforms, including:

  • 3.00 Social HR, HR Tech Europe, Amsterdam, Holland, 2-3November 2011

Recent open (non-client) platforms (from April 2006) include:

  • The New HR, Social Business Forum, Organised Knowledge, June 2011
  • HR and Human Capital Risk Management, CP&P, Houston, US, March 2011

I also co-host a regular podcast, Talking HR.

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Sunday 1 July 2007


The mission of Strategic Dynamics Consultancy Services Ltd is to help organisational and individual clients successfully implement HR strategies in an environment of uncertainty and continual change.

Most recently, we have specialised in developing and implementing innovative Human Capital Management (HCM) strategies that extend beyond HR's current agenda. These strategies differentiate businesses from their competitors and help public / voluntary sector organisations transform their services.

What makes us unique are our beliefs that:

  • People are a key source of innovation and competitive advantage - we use this insight to help transform people and organisational capability
  • People are the focus of effective change – we work with, not against, the quirks of human spirit and the dynamics of human behaviour
  • People work best in open, challenging, collaborative relationships – our consultancy services are based on this approach.

In all of our work, we produce tangible and significant business outcomes by creating value in people management and development.

Please check out our website:

More about me:

Also develop your Strategic HCM capabilities at my new Strategic HR Academy

Bio & Contact Details

   I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.
More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).

I now consult independently through Strategic Dynamics. In this role, I focus on helping business that already have sound approaches to people management gain further improvements in the capabilities and engagement of their people, and the effectiveness of their organisations.

I spend quite a lot of time writing and am the author of Strategic Human Capital Management: Creating Value through People which provides the basis for this blog. I also speak / instruct / facilitate at conferences / courses / workshops and have lectured on strategic management, change management and human resources as part of executive MBA programmes in the UK, Russia and Croatia.

I have a BA in Psychology, a Masters in Engineering and an MBA. I am a Certified Management Consultant, a member of the BPS and occupational psychology division, a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a Fellow of the RSA.

More about me:



More about me:

Also develop your Strategic HCM capabilities at my new Strategic HR Academy

My Google Profile

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