Organisations seeking success must become magnets for talent, and the job is
down to HR.
European futurologist and change expert, Larry Hochman, speaking at the
Personnel Today HR Directors Club at the Dali Universe in London’s Old County
Hall, said the profession has to define its turf before someone else takes over
It must then focus on attracting, retaining, organising and capitalising on
talent – a legacy every chief executive wants to leave behind, he said.
"How many of you create jobs around people because they’re just so
talented? That’s what smart companies do," he told the audience.
"Who among you," he asked, "has put a process in place to
ascertain why people stay [in your organisation], rather than why people
go?" No-one had. "That’s shocking," he berated.
"New wealth will come as a result of innovation and creativity from
your most talented people. It will not come from squeezing the last ounce of
efficiency from the old ways."
He said that deep, undeniable trends are currently underway in business that
are permanently changing the role of HR.
Directors had to be ready to adapt, innovate and change. They also had to
champion culture and values, ethics, and be ready to set the moral compass of
"The best companies in the world realise culture and values are their
DNA. That’s your job. You cannot contract that out.
"Trust is a big issue. Like any relationship, the moment that
disappears it’s over," he said. "Enron went down in six weeks. It
could happen to you."
Hochman’s career has spanned senior roles with British Airways and loyalty
management company Air Miles, in both New York and London.
He was the first person in the UK to hold the title of director of people
and culture, is a globally recognised expert on ethics, values and customer
service, and is the sixth speaker to address the exclusive, one-year-old HR
The Personnel Today HR Directors Club is supported by Arinso, DBM, DDI,
PricewaterhouseCoopers, PeopleSoft and Xchanging. The next speaker will be Rod
Eddington, chief executive of British Airways, on 22 September.
By Penny Wilson