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Thursday 16 May 2013 Trinity House, Trinity Square, London, EC3N 4DH


Following our highly-successful inaugural Symposium in 2012, we are delighted you are able to join us for this year’s event which, once again, will be an immersive, participative and challenging day. We have revised the format to make it even more interactive and focused and we feel sure that you will find it worthwhile and stimulating. In the main, our attendees will be those who are building a successful HR career, looking to gain exposure to leadingedge management thinking and keen to develop their networks with other like-minded professionals. This Symposium Workbook provides you with full details of the event and suggests some ways of getting the best out of the event. We also hope that you will add your own thoughts and ideas as the day unfolds. Do continue to use the Workbook in the coming weeks, as you follow up on actions you set yourself, to ensure that this is not just a single day activity but the start of a continuum which will help you develop a broader range of management and leadership skills for the future.


Trinity House

We l com e Today’s HR professionals - tomorrow’s HR leaders need a forum which facilitates interactive debate around topical issues and provides opportunities for longer-term networking. In collaboration with our Partners, we believe this intensive, stimulating and enjoyable day will provide genuine personal development for all attendees. We are delighted that you are here with us and are confident that our presentations and your networking will enable you to focus on some key issues, share ideas, make new contacts and leave the Symposium better prepared to recognise, and take advantage of, the range of challenges you will meet in your careers. The requirements placed on modern organisations and its leaders are substantial. We are confronted with short-term demands, heightened employee expectations and evermore complex and competitive markets. Against a backdrop of mounting political, economic and social uncertainty and the increased internationalisation of our businesses, we all have to work smarter and be prepared to collaborate with

colleagues and advisers on more issues. Today will not give you the answers but, hopefully, will help you frame the questions you need to ask to be more effective. Thank you in advance for your contribution.

Have fun and enjoy!


AGENDA 09:00



Welcome, briefing and introductions



Geoff Lloyd and Des Pullen

Developing Commercial Acumen - A key requirement for a successful business leadership career is a well developed sense of commercial acumen. We will explore what we mean by this, in both a corporate and personal sense. 11:00



What to do now? - John and Peter will build on their presentations and suggest ways in which you can work towards better performance through improved commercial acumen and an understanding of business issues.


PART 2 Case Study - The Failing Organisation: Analysis - Working with other participants you will be invited to analyse a short case study built around the mythical Provincial Mutual, a company faced with a number of major issues landing on the HR Director’s desk.




Case Study - The Failing Organisation: Feedback - You will have the opportunity of discussing the case study and the issues it raises with our panel of expert partners in an open session facilitated by our Symposium Chairmen.




PART 3 Keynote Address - Decision Making and Leadership - In an informal presentation, Louis and Carl will recall lessons learnt in decision making and leadership based largely on their experiences in the US Army. Interactive discussion will seek to highlight the similarities with participants’ own career paths and provide some insights into organisational leadership issues.





John Kind and Peter Casebow

John Kind and Peter Casebow

Geoff Lloyd and Des Pullen

Symposium Partners

Louis Csoka and Carl Ohlson

Leave better equipped to contribute to the high performance of your organisation 4

SYMPOSIUM CHAIRMEN We are delighted to welcome Geoff Lloyd and Des Pullen as our Symposium Chairmen and facilitators. Both are highly-experienced HR Directors, Geoff at Serco Group and Des at Associated British Foods. They will ensure that our day retains its structure and openness and provides every opportunity for participants to maximise their learning and networking opportunities. Both will work with you in addressing the issues which arise throughout the Symposium and will help in framing questions for our speakers and panel. They are looking forward to talking with you during the day on issues arising from the presentations or on matters which are prompted by the views of speakers and fellow attendees.

Des Pullen Des Pullen is Group HR Director of Associated British Foods (ABF). Prior to joining ABF, Des worked at Safeway and Wickes before joining Allied Bakeries at the start of 2001 as HR Director. He became Chief Executive of Associated British Foods’ UK Milling and Baking business in March 2003.

Do ensure you take the opportunity to speak with them. Geoff Lloyd Geoff Lloyd is Group HR Director at Serco. Previously, he was EVP of HR for Airbus Industries based in Toulouse, France. Whilst at Airbus, Geoff was one of the designers and executive sponsors of the Power8 programme that sought to achieve multi-billion euro savings for the company. Prior to working for Airbus, Geoff spent 14 years working at Nortel Networks.

SYMPOSIUM FACULTY In addition to our Symposium Chairman, we are delighted to be joined by our faculty of experts from a range of professions including lawyers and leading professors, business advisors and management psychologists.


THE SYMPOSIUM With over 100 HR participants attending, our Symposium is divided into three parts: Developing Commercial Acumen; The Failing Organisation Case Study; Decision Making and Leadership. Each part is explored in a different format looking at issues which our CRF members tell us are important and relevant to successful leadership. It is a day to think about how you approach these concepts on a professional basis, how you build on them moving forward and how you make the best use of them. You should expect to leave with some answers and also, more importantly, a variety of questions to ask when you return to your organisation.

You are not alone


Please don’t feel diffident or inhibited during the Symposium. We hope all attendees will attend with the same positive mindset, determined to contribute fully to a challenging and stretching day. It would be all too easy to sit back and not contribute but success depends on everyone taking a part. Everyone will feel slightly nervous but don’t worry about it; talk with your neighbours, introduce yourself to strangers and speak with the presenters. There are plenty of breaks for networking; do use them by welcoming questions and conversations with fellow attendees and initiating introductions as often as you can.

Building your network is an important part of developing your career in HR. With plenty of opportunity for you to have discussions with fellow attendees, around points raised throughout the day, there are also opportunities for you to continue conversations after the event. Our Corporate Research Forum LinkedIn Group is a great way to connect with those you meet today and will provide you with the opportunity to start and participate in discussions on the members’ page. You can also follow CRF on Twitter at @C_R_Forum. The hashtag #CRFSpring has been specifically set up for the event to capture comments on a live Twitter feed throughout the day.

Prepare and build We hope you will prepare for the day by taking a look at this Workbook and the list of attendees. We also hope that you will be a thoughtful participant and contributor. We are structuring the Symposium in a way that it will naturally lead to you staying in touch with other attendees and building a number of networks around common areas or people who you find of particular interest. It is down to you to go away and build on the Symposium, assessing the contents of the day and the discussions with fellow attendees and the issues you are facing in your organisation.

Feedback Do let us know your views on the day. We will be sending you a brief feedback form to complete and it will help us in our planning of future symposia if you let us know the good and the not so good.

Providing leadership and guidance to create a synchronised, harmonious and effective organisation


SPRING SYMPOSIUM: FOR TOMORROW’S HR LEADERS Begin using your workbook by jotting down thoughts raised by the points opposite, nothing extensive and strictly for your own use. A word or two noted down about an idea you have, somebody you want to meet or something you want to raise with our presenters during the day will help you get the most out of the Symposium and provide an invaluable checklist when you review in the future. NOTES


WHAT WE WOULD LIKE FROM YOU The Symposium is a full day which will require stamina, concentration and a willingness to participate. We know that you will be looking forward to the day and here are a few tips to help you get the most out of it.


See the day through

Making the most of the magnificent interior of Trinity House, its architecture, paintings and naval memorabilia (do take a few minutes to look round). We shall be businesslike but informal and, therefore, you might like to dress accordingly.

We have a long day in front of us but do stay with us - and you will be rewarded with a drink or two with which to wind down. This will also be your last chance to nail down those final introductions or go back to the interesting people you met this morning. It is surprising how enjoyable this is with a drink in hand!

Get involved

Stay in touch

We have a full day but presentations are interspersed with table discussions, activities and several refreshment breaks. Make the best use of time and, if you don’t manage to raise your issues in the room, seek out the people you agree with, disagree with or just find interesting. If all else fails, make contact after the Symposium with an email, phone call or via our available social media channels. It is up to you to shape the ambience and spirit of the day and determine the benefits which flow from it.

An important part of the day is networking and we hope many of the connections you make will be long term - this won’t happen unless you work at it but one thing is certain, successful leaders are well networked. We cannot over emphasise the value and importance of this and, once established, networks have to be maintained - for mutual benefit.

This is for you, so switch off Please don’t spend the many breaks catching up on emails and calls - they will wait, an opportunity missed to meet someone new or discuss a particular point is gone forever. However, we would encourage you to tweet during the day, sharing your views for the benefit of all. This is for you, a rare day out to be a bit selfish and do something for yourself - make the most of it.


SPRING SYMPOSIUM: FOR TOMORROW’S HR LEADERS As well as jotting down thoughts, names and numbers take a few minutes to see how well you did against our ‘Fit for Business’ checklist. If you could have done better, ask yourself how and why and make sure you take the learning points away to the next event you attend.



Part 1 Developing Commercial Acumen - Analysis Commercial acumen and an understanding of the key business and financial drivers are critical to the effectiveness of HR professionals who wish to progress their careers and make a meaningful contribution to their organisation’s strategy and performance. Indeed, lack of commercial acumen amongst HR professionals has been highlighted in CRF meetings and by our wider HR Director community. Such is the concern, we have produced a report, ‘Developing Commercial Acumen’

Peter Casebow will set the scene with a brief group case study looking at the business challenges facing a newly-appointed CEO and the key commercial issues on which he must focus. Participants will refresh their understanding of the commercial mindset required for business success.


John Kind will suggest that commercial acumen is showing the set of skills which produces additional value for a business - more sales, higher profitability, improved cash flow and enhanced shareholder value. But at an individual level, what does this skill set actually consist of? John will explore this with a focus on four critical elements: • Commercial orientation • Commercial leadership • Business knowledge • Business experience Based on recent research with a number of Chairmen, Chief Executives and other Directors in major organisations, these elements will be explored and discussed. The session includes a competitive quiz to see if there is a business mastermind amongst participants.


addressing the issue and a copy of which is provided for each participant today. This session draws on the report but does not merely repeat the content. Instead, Peter Casebow and John Kind will identify some of the issues involved and suggest ways of measuring and improving personal and collective commercial acumen amongst HR teams.


Peter Casebow MBA MCIBS Peter is Chief Executive of GoodPractice. His successful track record includes 20 years in banking, training and HR. He was formerly Head of Strategic Communication at Royal Bank of Scotland. Peter is responsible for developing the business and delivering board-level consulting and partnership projects. He is an avid collector of gadgets and gizmos, and is the master of technological wizardry at GoodPractice.

John Kind John Kind is a Learning and Development Consultant specialising in commercial and financial skills. He has an MBA from the Manchester Business School and an Honours Degree in Economics. He is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Executive Education at the University of Strathclyde Business School. John is the author of ‘Financial Games for Training’ published by Gower.


Part 1 Developing Commercial Acumen - Actions Having considered the lack of commercial acumen amongst HR professionals, Peter and John will suggest actions which you may want to implement to ensure that yours is well developed. This is not just a question of knowledge and learning but, equally, a matter of mindset, approach and

Following on from the earlier diagnostic session, the Symposium will consider what needs to be done with Peter wondering how we can ensure that HR plans are aligned to the commercial needs of the business. He will look at the organisational issues which arise in delivering commercially aware solutions.


John will suggest ways in which you can add more value to your team, function and business, enhancing your personal reputation as a knowledgeable business contributor, not just a good functional specialist. Commercial acumen may be seen as an attribute only of relevance to top teams but we will challenge that perception indicating how executives at all levels can in all functions can make their presence felt. Concentrating on the key points of the Fit for Business checklist contained in the CRF Commercial Acumen report, a generic personal development plan will be outlined for you to take away and personalise. With recent research results ensuring a strong practical emphasis, the orientation, behaviours and practices aligned to apposite knowledge and experience leading to a well rounded business reputation will be explored.


a determination to be able to confidently engage in conversations about business performance and strategy, and be recognised not only as a functional expert but someone who really knows what is going on in the business.


It is no longer acceptable to be an outstanding HR specialist without a deep understanding of your business and commercial acumen comparable with colleagues in other functions. This session will only generate questions about where you are on this continuum and what it is you don’t know and don’t do. You must take away the framework for development provided by Peter and John; consider it in the context of your own development and your own organisation and work hard to raise your game. They will give you two simple models to help you reflect on your own commercial awareness and that of your organisation. It is not easy, requires commitment and nobody can do it for you but the benefits of being accepted as a knowledgeable commercial colleague, able to contribute to a range of business discussions, is enormous, rewarding and very satisfying. We hope you will accept the challenge.




Part 2 Case Study - The Failing Organisation Our case study has been developed in conjunction with our partners as a way of raising a number of issues and learning points which you should identify and discuss, thinking about the consequences and possible actions. Debating the situation at Provincial Mutual with colleagues around your table will also, hopefully, bring to mind similar issues which you have experienced within your own organisations and allow you to draw parallels and share your experiences with fellow participants. We are looking to use the case study as a learning vehicle to explore the issues raised and to work through any number of possible outcomes based on your group’s collective knowledge and experience. Working through the case study collectively to ensure that you: • identify as many issues as possible • consider the implications and possible solutions • share similar examples from your own experiences • prepare observations and questions to share in the panel session • think about ‘best fit’ solutions • identify issues of particular relevance to you, which you may want to take away and use Panel members and our Symposium Chairmen look forward to joining in your table discussions so make use of their expertise and ensure you extract as much as you can from the case study and the time available. After lunch, Geoff Lloyd and Des Pullen will facilitate a Q&A session with our Panel, inviting you to share your thoughts, make observations and put your questions. We believe that the case study is broad enough to generate wide debate on a range of issues. So, be rigorous in your analysis of Provincial Mutual’s problems and imaginative in your observations and questions, perhaps bearing in mind the earlier session on developing business acumen.


Part 2 Case Study - Provincial Mutual Provincial Mutual is a long established, traditional sized FTSE 250 financial services company which has languished as a bottom quartile sector performer for a number of years. A major change programme was identified as a way forward four years ago but despite enormous costs, little has been achieved. The major change was the transferring of call centre and back office activities to India - based more on the fact that others were doing it, rather than on a well-argued business case. This has proved to be a flawed strategy with UK staff and clients very unhappy with the arrangements and levels of service and costs reaching unacceptable levels. Other than that, the change initiative which was launched with the apparent support of the Board and Executive, soon fizzled out as middle managers found it impossible to meet ongoing targets while at the same time identifying change opportunities which, if implemented, could see their responsibilities apparently reduced.

There has also been consistent speculation in the financial press that the company is a takeover target for a Spanish bank and, despite numerous denials, the story will not go away. Indeed, many of the company’s managers believe the board to be in discussions with the bank. Following the early retirement of the incumbent, a new CEO was appointed two years ago with an outstanding industry track record and highlyregarded management skills. He has carried out a review of the business and many of his proposals involve reversing earlier decisions and concentrating the business on its core financial activities as a niche player appealing to the 50+ age group.




Part 2 Case Study - Provincial Mutual (continued) Again, following an early retirement, you were appointed as board-level HR Director 12 months ago, having been headhunted when between jobs. You were uncertain about the role but were impressed with the CEO and persuaded by his vision of the future. Having spent a year with the company you realise that the Board is a dysfunctional mix of well networked but less than progressive old contacts who have little interest or appetite for running a dynamic, forward looking organisation. They are well remunerated and have substantial share holdings. They appointed the long standing FD and Operations Director and have a major influence on the Executive and the way that the CEO is allowed to operate.

The Chairman would also welcome your views on the rest of the Executive Team of five and suggestions as to potential successors for each post internal and external. You are to meet privately with the Chairman and two NED’s in a week’s time.

One of the Non Executive Directors has approached you on a confidential basis. He claims to be speaking on behalf of the Chairman and they want to oust the CEO, who has ‘destabilised things and doesn’t seem to listen to the Board’. He wants you to help remove the CEO, whom you still like and feel with the right support could turn the company around and replace him with ‘someone they have in mind’ - the nephew of an old school friend of one of the current NED’s. He is anxious that it is done quickly, with minimum fuss and no adverse publicity, and assures you that you will be an integral part of the company’s future.

How do you respond, what are the issues you need to consider and what is your action plan going forward?





Ian Hunter Bird & Bird Ian Hunter is joint head of Bird & Bird’s International Employment Practice. He has extensive experience of advising on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious issues including the negotiation and termination of contracts of service for senior personnel, discrimination issues, collective and trade union matters, the application of the “TUPE" and other employment aspects of corporate transactions and outsourcing programmes.

Rachael Hanley-Browne Center for Creative Leadership Rachael has over 20 years’ experience in Recruitment, Selection and Talent Management Consultancy. Appointed in April 2010, CCL Regional Director for the United Kingdom and Ireland, Rachael’s background includes delivery of talent management services to the Utilities, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Engineering,Technology and Public sectors.

Kate Sweeney Deloitte Kate has led complex change programmes for over 14 years. She is an Organisation Design expert who specialises in working with senior stakeholders helping them to align their organisation and culture to deliver business strategy and major business transformation. She has deep experience and expertise in the media sector, ranging from TV broadcasters, newspaper publishers and digital businesses.



Javier Zamora L贸pez IESE Javier Zamora is currently lecturer in the Department of Information Systems at IESE Business School. He is also co-founder of InQBarna, a company specialised in the development of Apps for smartphones and tablets. His previous professional experience includes eNeo Labs, Xbind, Center for Telecommunications Research and the Image and Advanced Television Laboratory of Columbia University.

Jamie Ward PA Consulting Jamie Ward is an experienced people and talent management consultant, with a successful track record in the development of individuals and organisations. He has worked in both the public and private sectors in enabling successful project delivery and has extensive experience of working across large, complex organisations, most in an international environment.

David Cumberbatch RHR International David is a chartered business Psychologist with 25 years of experience in senior roles in the UK and internationally. He combines his expertise as a psychologist with a commercial, business focused approach. Having worked in a business leadership capacity and as an HR Director, he brings an understanding of the issues from the perspective of senior players and the business overall. 21

Part 3 Keynote address Louis Csoka and Carl Ohlson

We close the Symposium with our informal keynote address by Louis and Carl who will introduce you to the concept of ‘leading from within’ which draws largely, but not exclusively, on their experiences in the US Military. Viewing the world as VUCA - Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, they will suggest ways in which you can assess your own leadership capabilities and ensure that these are developed on an ongoing basis. Recalling key moments in the evolution of their own careers and skill sets, Louis and Carl will seek to identify some of the pitfalls waiting for emerging leaders and suggest how they may be dealt with. Interested in hearing of your leadership development and aspirations, they will encourage participants to devise their own strategies to complement technical excellence and commercial acumen with high-performance leadership. This is a opportunity to think about how you and your organisation approach the concept of leadership and to leave with ideas to stimulate conversations with your colleagues and teams.

Louis S. Csoka, Ph.D.

Dr. Carl Ohlson

Louis S. Csoka, Ph.D. is President and Founder, APEX Performance and has designed, developed, and implemented Leader Development programs with primary focus on sustained peak performance. He is a leading expert in the application of sport and performance psychology to the development of mental skills for exceptional performance.

Dr. Carl Ohlson is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army, as well as an Associate Professor and the Director of the Center for Enhanced Performance (CEP) at the United States Military Academy. A frequent guest speaker on applying sport psychology and student development strategies to a variety of contexts, Dr. Ohlson serves as an advisor to several think tanks and committees pursuing strategies for leveraging mental strength to enhance performance.







Yolanda Serra, Executive Director Business Development - International Executive Education


Ian Hunter, Partner



+44 (0) 20 7415 6000


+44 (0) 7711 014 378


+34 93 253 43 49


+34 659 024 977 Contact:

Rachael Hanley-Browne, Regional Director, UK and Ireland


Tel: Mobile: Contact:

Jonathon Hogg, Global Head of People & Operations Excellence

+32 (0) 2/679 09 10


+44 (0) 7930 492 551


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+44 (0) 7887 540 243 Contact:

Kate Mathias, Director, People & Programmes Contact:

Simon Callow, Partner




+44 (0) 20 7007 8557


+44 (0) 20 7799 5243


+44 (0) 7793 170 757


+44 (0) 7990 534 138

Strategy in a Changing World 5th Annual International Conference, 2nd & 3rd October 2013, Madrid Our Madrid conference will seek to provide context to our everyday business lives and will review how the world may look in five or ten years’ time through three principal lenses: the global political landscape; the economic context and the impact of technology. Chaired by Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo, our expert faculty will include: • • • •

John Kay, Economist Tom Standage, Digital Editor, The Economist Gideon Rachman, Chief Foreign Affairs Columnist, Financial Times George Yip, Professor of Management and Co-Director at CEIBS

CRF members qualify for two places as part of their annual membership. Attendance for non-members costs £1,500 + VAT (excluding flights and accommodation). For further information please visit or contact Lynn Little at or 020 7470 7104 to reserve your place.


One Heddon Street Mayfair London W1B 4BD United Kingdom T +44 (0)20 7470 7104 F +44 (0)20 7470 7112 @C_R_Forum

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Spring Symposium Workbook - 2013  

Spring Symposium Workbook 2013

Spring Symposium Workbook - 2013  

Spring Symposium Workbook 2013

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