Top job: Lorna McDougall, group HR manager, The Edrington Group

Lorna McDougall has joined the independent Scotch whisky firm from Boots
manufacturing, where she was responsible for more than 1,000 staff. She takes up
a generalist HR role supporting the commercial division of the company.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role?

A proactive and delivery-focused HR function that works in partnership with
the business to support the development and growth of our brands.

Which aspects are you most looking forward to?

The whole experience and challenge of supporting commercial operations after
several years in a manufacturing environment.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

Ice climbing in blizzard conditions on top of a glacier at an altitude of
several thousand feet. It was part of a leadership development programme in the
Chamonix valley.

How do you think the role of HR will change over the next five years?

HR roles will become more consultancy and business partner based.

Who is the ultimate guru?

Sir Terry Leahy, chief executive of Tesco. He came from a working-class
background in Liverpool and has now made Tesco the number one supermarket in
the UK.

What is your essential viewing?

The Office and Sex and the City

What’s the best thing about HR?

The variety a generalist role brings – no two days are the same.

And the worst?

Having to constantly dispel the myth that HR is only about recruitment and
welfare, and isn’t an added value function.

How do you fill your spare time?

I started boxercise classes about four years ago and now I’m hooked. It’s a
great way to relieve the stresses and strains of HR. I also practice yoga,
circuit training, and do a bit of running.

What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?

I’ve taken a few – all calculated, of course.

What advice would you give to people starting out in HR?

Build and develop relationships with your customers and understand their
business.

Do you network?

Not as much as I should.

If you could do any job in the world, what would it be?

A television news reporter.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

Cameron Diaz, because we could pass as sisters, and her karate kicks and
upper cuts are just about as good as mine.

What’s the worst/best office party you’ve ever attended?

Fortunately, I don’t recall any bad office parties. One of the best was a
management weekend in Dublin when I worked for the Sara Lee Corporation.

McDougall’s CV

2003 Group HR manager, the Edrington
Group

2000 HR manager, Boots Manufacturing

1999 Senior HR officer, Boots Manufacturing

1998 Senior HR officer, Sara Lee Corporation

1994 HR officer, Sara Lee Corporation

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