Monday, 16 September 2013

BBC and the need for people professionals first!

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As you'll have probably seen, the sorry state of the BBC's HR policies continues to make headlines (see my post on Engagement or Entwistle!) - particularly with this article in the Telegraph:


It's official: Lucy Adams has killed off the HR profession once and for all

After the BBC human resources director was accused of presiding over “corporate fraud and cronyism” over huge pay-offs to former executives, Louisa Peacock asks whether women really want to work in HR anymore? Lucy Adams could be the 'wicked witch' that changed the face of HR forever.


Lots of different reasons for the situation and subsequent reporting have been put forward, but me for, there's one that stands out above all the other factors - Lucy Adams wasn't focused on the right things - on the people the BBC employ:


Adams first learnt what she now calls one of her greatest strengths – “not being an HR person”. On walking into her first meeting as a member of the global management board her boss said: “Right Lucy, I want you to comment on finance, strategy, risk, and health and safety but don’t comment on people issues at this meeting. You are not the nice lady from personnel; you are a member of this board.”

It was brilliant advice, says Adams. “I’m first and foremost a business person. I’m a leader of an organisation who is responsible for HR, and coming at it from that angle is very helpful,” she says.


I think this business person first perspective is complete tosh, and inhibits us from making the contributions we so need to do.

I'll be talking about this tomorrow (Tuesday 17 September 2013) in this webinar organised with Halogen Software - and going out at 2.00pm BST:


HR professionals who are responsible for organizational design or development know how important it is to create the right attitudes, behaviours and ways of working rather than just focus on roles, processes and formal reporting relationships within an organization.

As HR practitioners we need to determine to what extent we (HR) want to focus on our business and our people. The prevailing thinking is that we need to become ever more focused on the business and the language of the business (e.g., finance). But if this is the direction we take, we risk losing the opportunity to demonstrate the contribution that we as HR, can make through a people-focused strategy.

In this webinar, HR consultant and author of Strategic Human Capital Management Jon Ingham, will look at why it's important for HR to focus away from finance and onto the things that will really make a difference to business performance — the people working in a business.

This session will:

  • Explore the challenges for practitioners and the profession as they determine whether they're heading in the "right" direction
  • Offer ideas and topics that are worth investigating in an effort to rebalance the HR agenda
  • Provide guidance on making a case for shifting from the current approach to a more people-based strategy

Register now!


Hope to catch you there?


  • Consulting - Research - Speaking  - Training -  Writing
  • Strategy  -  Talent  -  Engagement  -  Change and OD
  • Contact  me to  create more  value for  your business
  • jon  [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com


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