Top 40 power players 2007

This week marks the launch of Personnel Today’s annual Top 40 Power Players list. Every year, we list the movers and shakers in the HR industry – figures that have, through innovative people initiatives, made changes that affect not just how people work within their own organisations, but in the wider fields of employment law and politics.

To mark the launch of our 2007 Top 40 Power Players list, we asked a few of our past luminaries to tell us how being on the list has affected their careers. And Gail Bell, managing director of our sponsor, recruitment specialist Interim Performers, outlines what makes an HR power player in 2007. You can also see who has made the list in previous years below.

For the first time, this year, we’re asking you to put forward your own nominations for the person you feel has shown themselves to be a power player in the world of HR. All you have to do is supply 100 words stating who this person is, where they work, what they have done, and why you think they deserve to be featured in our top 40 list.

E-mail your nomination to personneltoday@rbi.co.uk, and you will be entered into our prize draw to win two tickets to attend the exclusive VIP awards reception, where the top power player will be announced before the list goes to press.

The deadline for nominations is 5 April. The final list will appear in our 19 June issue.

What makes a power player?

Working in a global community with intense competition has demanded more from the HR profession than ever before. HR is both strategic and operational, with the licence to provide the talent of the future through its total intervention from identification through to the development and measurement of performance.

HR has moved forward dramatically and the HR power player of today needs a range of competencies that are as broad as any other line executive. These include:

Business acumen – This may mean working in demanding or diverse conditions (lack of funding, increased legislation). It also requires HR to put in place appropriate measurements to gauge success.

Market insight – HR power players need the ability to work at speed, with the adaptability to change direction or refocus. Increasingly, they need to be first to market with a new idea or concept that will heighten the organisation’s competitiveness.

Communication expertise – HR needs to be able to engage HR teams, peer groups and senior management or the board. For this, they need experience of working across organisational teams and client groups (whether these are IT, finance) and develop a strong and effective communications strategy.

Technological competency – HR must focus on achieving the highest quality output to meet customers’ needs. They should be able to measure their contribution to the organisation’s key goals, as well as return on investment.

Experts in organisational behaviour – Good HR professionals have the ability to manage and effect change. They should be able to link HR directly to the organisation and its business goals.

Culture and value creation – HR initiatives need to be creative and prove themselves through their output.

HR will continue to be challenged by chief executives and the board, so it must be able to produce hard data that indicates an individual’s ability to lead and build teams, influence and create cultures, and develop ideas or programmes. The HR power player of today is responsible for interpreting and carrying the chief executive’s message into every level of the organisation.

This year, the Top 40 Power Players list will continue to reflect key individuals from all sectors who are helping shape today’s HR industry.

So what’s your value proposition?

What power players did for me

Neil Roden
Group HR director,
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

Highest position: 1

“Recognition is always nice, but the important thing for me is the recognition for the HR function at RBS and the positive spin-off it has on our HR people. It reinforces the point that we are doing interesting HR work and that this is recognised externally.

“If I had to comment on the impact it has had on me personally, that’s probably one for others to answer. In my opinion, a true power player is someone who influences and impacts on others.”

Angela O’Connor
Chief people officer, National Policing Improvement Agency

Highest position: 4

“Being in the list was extremely flattering, if a little intimidating. After all, you know when you get to a certain number the only way in the future is down. Also, it was a real pleasure to be featured with some of the people I think are the good and the great in HR.

“My staff were quite proud of me and I received a badge from them with my number on it to wear, which was very sweet of them.

“It has also had an impact on my profile, and I was invited to many events as a speaker and asked to write articles in the weeks following publication. This is always good for your organisation as I think it reflects its standing and reputation.

“My idea of a power player is someone who uses their energy and position to promote the benefits that organisations can gain from excellent people practice, and that means more than someone doing a good job in their own organisation it’s about giving something back to the HR community more broadly.”

Martin Tiplady
HR director, Metropolitan Police

Highest position: 8

“Does being a power player change my life? No, but it is good recognition for oneself and the organisation for which I work. And it does help in terms of respect and influence with others. I won’t cry if I’m not on the list this year, but I would be disappointed.

“Being a power player inevitably helps both your own profile and that of your organisation.

“We have changed an awful lot in HR here, and making this list is a small recognition of that.

“If I were asked to define an HR power player, I would say they would be a respected, influential HR figure that others may look to to give opinion or lead.”


Power Players 2006

1 Neil Roden, group HR director, Royal Bank of Scotland

2 Clare Chapman, group personnel director, Tesco

3 Alistair Darling, secretary of state, Department of Trade and Industry

4 Angela O’Connor, HR director, Crown Prosecution Service and president of Public Sector People Managers’ Association (PPMA)

5 David Fairhurst, vice-president (people), McDonald’s

6 John Hutton, secretary of state for work and pensions

7 Gus O’Donnell, cabinet secretary and head of the Home Civil Service

8 Super-union team: Tony Woodley, general secretary, Transport and General Workers Union (T&G) Derek Simpson, general secretary, Amicus Paul Kenny, general secretary, GMB union

9 David Smith, people director, Asda

10 Duncan Brown, assistant director-general, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

11 Workforce director, Department of Health

12 Tim Miller, director, people, property and assurance, Standard Chartered Bank

13 Martin Tiplady, HR director, Metropolitan Police

14 Sam Mercer, director, Employers Forum on Age

15 Lord Adair Turner, chairman, Pensions Commission

16 Mike Cutt, group HR director, Boots

17 Dave Prentis, general secretary, Unison

18 Brendan Barber, general secretary, Trades Union Congress (TUC)

19 Richard Lambert, director-general, CBI

20 Mark Serwotka, general secretary, Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union

21 Stephen Dando, group HR director, Reuters

22 Vladimir Spidla, EU employment commissioner

23 Professor Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work

24 David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy, EEF

25 Alan Warner, corporate director (people and property), Hertfordshire County Council

26 Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology, Lancaster University

27 David Frost, director-general, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

28 Sarah Churchman, director of student recruitment and diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers

29 Jan Parkinson, managing director, Local Government Employers

30 Kevin Green and Tony McCarthy, director of people and organisational development, and HR director, Royal Mail

31 Mary Canavan, HR director, British Library

32 Paul Turner, general manager (people), West Bromwich Building Society

33 Lesley Cotton, group HR director, Holmes Place

34 Paul Pagliari, director of change and corporate services, Scottish Executive

35 Linda Holbeche, director, Campaign for Leadership (part of the Work Foundation)

36 Jenny Watson, chairwoman, Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)

37 Trevor Phillips, chairman, Commission for Racial Equality (CRE)

38 2012 Olympics: Wendy Cartwright, head of HR, Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) Jean Tomlin, director of HR, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog)

39 Sally Jacobson, HR director, London & Quadrant Housing

40 Rita Donaghy, chairwoman, Acas

Power Players 2005

1 Neil Roden, group HR director, Royal Bank of Scotland

2 Clare Chapman, group personnel director, Tesco

3 Andrew Foster, HR director, NHS

4 Digby Jones, director-general, CBI

5 David Smith, people director, Asda

6 Duncan Brown, assistant director-general, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

7 Alan Johnson, secretary of state, Department of Trade and Industry

8 Martin Tiplady, HR director, Metropolitan Police

9 Mark Serwotka, general secretary, Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union

10 Geoff Armstrong, director-general, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

11 David Blunkett, secretary of state, Department for Work and Pensions

12 Paul Turner, general manager (people), West Bromwich Building Society

13 Brendan Barber, general secretary, Trades Union Congress (TUC)

14 Steve Harvey, chief operating officer, Goldsmiths

15 Tony McCarthy and Kevin Green, HR director, and director of people and organisational development, Royal Mail

16 Ruth Kelly, secretary of state, Department for Education and Skills

17 Jan Parkinson, president, Society of Personnel Officers in Government Services

18 Vance Kearney, vice-president HR EMEA, Oracle

19 Rita Donaghy, chairwoman, Acas

20 William Gibbon, HR director, Barclays South Africa

21 Stephen Dando, director, BBC People

22 David Frost, director-general, British Chambers of Commerce

23 Dave Prentis, general secretary, Unison

24 European Union

25 Angela O’Connor, HR director, Crown Prosecution Service

26 Paul Pagliari, senior director, HR, Immigration and Nationality Directorate

27 Alan Warner, corporate director (people and property), Hertfordshire County Council

28 Julie Mellor, chairwoman, Equal Opportunities Commission

29 Ruth Spellman, chief executive, Investors in People

30 Paul Kearns, director, PWL

31 Mike Cutt, HR director, B&Q

32 Ann Gillies, Lyn Pearson and Vikki England, HR team, WL Gore Associates

33 Mary Chapman, chief executive, Chartered Management Institute

34 Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology, Lancaster University, and founder, Robertson Cooper Consultancy

35 Trevor Phillips, chairman, Commission for Racial Equality

36 Guru, Personnel Today

37 Will Hutton, chief executive, The Work Foundation

38 Lynda Gratton, associate professor of management practice, London Business School

39 Debbie Hewitt, managing director, RAC Roadside Services

40 Linda Holbeche, director of research and strategy, Roffey Park

About Interim Performers

Interim Performers is a specialist interim management provider for clients in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, having completed more than 800 assignments in HR. As a leader and innovator in this industry, Interim Performers’ expertise ensures it is able to recruit the most talented and effective HR professionals available to meet the business needs of its clients.

As an independent measure of success, Interim Performers was named provider of the Interim Manager of the Year 2006. Interim Performers has also won awards for Best HR Recruitment Firm, and most recently was a finalist in the Evening Standard Inspiration Award 2007.

“Sponsoring the Top 40 Power Players builds upon our strategy to showcase talent in the HR industry,” says Gail Bell, managing director of Interim Performers (pictured below). “In particular, we were keen to recognise where HR professionals have made a significant impact and noticeable contribution that has assisted organisational success, through strong links to business goals. We wanted to uncover and publicise where HR individuals have helped make this difference.”

For more information on our sponsor, visit www.interimperformers.com

Comments are closed.