40 power players

These are
the profession’s most influential performers as chosen by Personnel Today.

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1.
David Smith

People director, Asda

Asda’s
pioneering people director has demonstrated that creating a satisfied workforce
is not achieved by salary alone. Although the average Asda employee earns less
than £9,000 a year, the company came top in the Sunday Times’ survey of the 100
best companies to work for. As one employee remarks: "There is a magic
about Asda I have not seen anywhere else." What’s the secret? The judges
cited Smith’s ability to "confront head on" the key issues of the
modern workplace. Its remarkably low staff turnover is boosted by flexible
family-friendly policies that retain older workers and encourage buy-in from part-timers.
Staff are actively encouraged to help people beyond the call of duty. In return
they can expect a strong package of benefits – including an unpaid winter
Benidorm break for older employees, medical insurance and access to share
options. Smith’s dictum that "being a good employer is good for
business" has never looked sounder.

2.
Steve Harvey

Director, people profits and loyalty, Microsoft UK

Harvey
storms into the 40 as the new face of HR management. Originally Microsoft UK’s
finance director, he became so fed up with what he calls "the HR
handcuffs" – the hidden bureaucracy that prevents people doing their best
work – that he annexed the department and incorporated HR into his own new
empire. Harvey claims there is no conflict of interest between his separate
roles because the link between people and profits is clear-cut. Harvey is
particularly strong on performance measurement, and has strong views about the
"pursuit of excellence" when recruiting. While stopping short of
outright ‘rank and yank’, the employee grading system he has introduced rewards
achievers munificently. Those who don’t perform "tend to evaporate".
Nonetheless, Microsoft has one of the lowest employee attrition rates in the
industry.

3.
Jim McKenna

Group personnel director, Logica

McKenna
gives the lie to anyone complaining that HR suffers from poor recognition and
lack of status. Last year, he was Britain’s fourth highest earner, raking in a
cool £7.2m. The only people earning more were Vodafone CEO, Chris Gent, and
Logica’s own chief executive and finance director. With allegations of
fat-cattery flying, no wonder McKenna tends to keep himself to himself. But as
one commentator remarks: "He can exert power like few other HR
professionals." His proven ability to attract and retain the software and
solution provider’s key asset – skilled IT staff – is critical to the health of
Logica’s somewhat fluctuating share price. Indeed, the one thing that has
coaxed McKenna onto the public stage is his concern about the IT skills shortage.
In March he added his weight to the e-skills Employers Charter, which seeks to
head off the crisis. He has also been working behind the scenes to boost the
industry’s perception in schools.

4.  Francesca Okosi
President of Socpo and head of HR, London Borough of Brent

Appointed
president of Socpo this year, the first black woman to hold the post, Okosi has
been a rising star of the HR profession for some time. Described as one of the
most able exponents of HR in the public sector, Okosi is head of HR at the
London Borough of Brent, having previously been head of HR at the London
boroughs of Merton and Havering. As Sopco head, Okosi is busy developing a new
qualification for its members, designed to improve the skills levels of HR
practitioners; is on the panel reviewing the cost of living in London; and is
playing a key role in building its membership numbers. The White Paper on local
government reform will be a key challenge for her, she says, as will her
campaign to shake off local government’s fusty image and sharpen up recruitment
and retention processes.

5.
Patricia Hewitt
Secretary of State for Trade & Industry

Compared
to the ordeal predecessor Stephen Byers has been experiencing in his new
ministerial role, Hewitt has been having a ball in the past few months. OK,
she’s faced criticism from HR body Socpo for breaking a promise to strengthen
pension rights of public sector staff moving to commercial organisations, but
she’s had a productive first term in the job. With responsibility for the
Government’s Women’s Unit, she’s been busy fighting the female cause in the
workplace, backing the Champions Group which sets out to increase the number of
women in IT and announcing a government-funded mentoring scheme to increase the
proportion of women in science and engineering jobs. She’s also turned her
attention to the UK’s long-hours culture, setting employers a five-year
deadline to reduce the working week, the key to which, she says, is flexible
working.

6.
Colin Povey
Chief executive, Carlsberg Tetley

Povey
is one of that rare breed, a former HR director who has made it to chief
executive. For this alone he would be a serious contender for making it into
the Top 40. But he is also a chief executive who puts people at the heart of
his strategic thinking. Initiatives include a management development programme,
manager development workshops, skills development programmes and a Young
Executive Programme, designed to identify talent of the future. Povey joined
Carlsberg-Tetley as HR director in 1995, working his way up the business to
become CEO in January 2001. His stated ambition is to lift Carlsberg from
fourth place in the UK sales league and to take the image of the beer upmarket.
 Sales in Britain rose 8
per cent last year, with Carlsberg Export sales up some 30 per cent.

7.
Denise Kingsmill

Deputy chair, Competition Commission

If
the yawning 18 per cent pay gap between men and women starts to show signs of
meeting in the middle, Kingsmill will be able to take much of the credit.
Appointed by the Government to head-up an independent review of women’s pay and
employment last year, she breathed a huge injection of new life into the debate
with her report, The Kingsmill Review. The trained employment and industrial
relations lawyer, who is also non-executive director at Telewest and Manpower
UK, cites HR as fundamental to reducing the gap. "All companies that take
equality seriously have HR on the board," she says. "But only 30 per
cent of the companies I have spoken to have an HR representative on the board.
This is not enough." The Equal Opportunities Commission and the Equal Pay
Taskforce both said some of the recommendations didn’t go far enough (the
former said Kingsmill didn’t take into consideration the fact that women are
more likely to work in low pay sectors), but it was a landmark report for the
cause. If you still haven’t read it, go to www.kingsmillreview.gov.uk.

8.
Anna Diamantopoulou

European Commissioner for Social Affairs

Diamantopoulou
has had a highly controversial year. Either you’re convinced the employment
rights she’s pushed through are long overdue; or that they’re a disaster for
the economy. The Consultation directive, which requires companies with
headcounts above 50 to consult with workers on major strategy decisions by
2008, has proved particularly contentious. Strongly opposed as a return to
"archaic" work councils, it was particularly contested by UK business
and government. Indeed, one of the directive’s more surprising results was to
drive Tony Blair into an alliance with Italy’s rightist prime minister, Silvio
Berlusconi. Recently Diamantopoulou, addressing the looming demographic
time-bomb, urged European citizens to "go forth and multiply". Many
UK companies wish she’d do just that.

9.
Clare Chapman
HR director,   Tesco

If
HR is looking for one person to represent the profession as testimony to the
positive effect it can have on business and at board level, Chapman would
undoubtedly be a contender. With pre-tax profits in 2001 of £1.07bn, Tesco is
now the number-one supermarket in the UK by sales and key to its success has
been its people-led values, underlined by the phrase, "looking after our
people so they can look after our customers". While such sentiments may
border on the mawkish, they also make perfect business sense. Chapman has
proven herself to be a master at implementing effective people strategies and
has demonstrated performance management is linked directly to the bottom line.
She’s also a champion of staff ideas, crediting the major shift in the way
Tesco distributes to its stores as coming directly from a member of staff.
"Our big focus this year is on listening," she says. "It makes
such a difference when your staff know what is going on."

10.
Will Hutton
Chief executive, The Work Foundation

Hutton
took some ribbing when he renamed the Industrial Society the Work Foundation
earlier this year. But the new name marks one of the most important
reorganisations and modernisations in the society’s history. Its new slogan,
"Changing Organisations Through People", sums up a strong
people-centric stance and the foundation also promises to offer "a
trenchant critique" of why UK plc is under-performing. The author of The
State We’re In and Observer columnist remains a major economic and political
shaper in the UK and was awarded an honourary doctorate for his services as a
"public intellectual" last year. In February, he joined a group of
public sector chiefs calling on the government to stop knocking public sector
workers.

11.
John  Sunderland
Chief executive, Cadbury Schweppes

Sunderland
makes it into this year’s top 40 on the back of his dedication to the need for
effective HR to come from the top down. Sunderland was made CEO in March 2000,
having been group chief executive in September 1996, and has more than doubled
its profits in those six years. He joined the company in 1968. Under his watch,
leadership development has become a key element, with an executive development
programme being put in place for the group’s 200 best executives. Developing
the leaders of the future is a passion for him. There is also a sales and
marketing "academy" offering week-long customised programmes to 1,000
people. "The HR aspect is what distinguishes Cadbury
Schweppes and John realises that. One of his banner statements is that ‘it is
80 per cent about people and 20 per cent about analysis’," says Bob Stack,
chief HR officer.

12.
Vance Kearney
Vice president of HR for EMEA, Oracle

Kearney
continues to live the dream as far as reinventing the role of a senior HR
person is concerned at the world’s largest enterprise software company, with
the EMEA HR VP now meeting and greeting the clients, too. Back in-house, he’s
been guiding the ongoing advancement of Oracle’s web-based HR system, which has
an increasing emphasis on personal development tools and performance with a
tailored 360 degree appraisal tool recently added. Knowledge management and
communities, as well as blended and online learning solutions, have also become
a major focus. Kearney is as active as ever on the conference circuit and as
focused on making systems work for people, but given that he now enjoys spells
in a customer-facing position, is he about to leave HR for a broader role?
"No," he says, emphatically. "HR is where the action’s going to
be for the next 10 years."

13.
Andy Smith
Group personnel director, Boots

Smith’s
commitment to leadership development is the reason behind his inclusion in this
year’s 40. As a board-level appointment Smith has been
instrumental in developing and rolling out a leadership development programme
for the company’s 200 top managers, an initiative driven both by Smith and CEO
Steve Russell. The programme, developed in association with Hay Group, has
helped to define a leadership model for the company as well as build up
competency data on thinking, pace and team, so enabling management to assess
the group’s overall skills levels. Smith joined Boots in 1997 and was director
of personnel for Boots the Chemists from 1999 before moving into his current
role in April last year. Another challenge for Smith will be managing the
demerging of Halfords from the main business, a move announced in April.

14.
Andre van Heemstra
Global head of HR, Unilever

Although
by no means as beautiful as his kinswoman Edda Van Heemstra (otherwise known as
Audrey Hepburn), Unilever’s global HR supremo has proved himself a highly
effective operator. Over the past year, he has transformed HR from a
back-office function and made it a central player in the bid to transform the
company and achieve ambitious global growth. A key focus for Unilever’s HR
people, who can now keep their skills up to date at a new HR academy pioneered
by Van Heemstra, has been on keeping people moving, developing them, then
moving them on again. One of his main preoccupations is keeping HR in step with
external change. The essence of people management is to be "proactive and
ahead of the game", he says.

15.
Geoff  Armstrong
Director General, CIPD

Armstrong
has presided over an uneventful year at the CIPD, which despite shoring up its
influence and status within the profession, remains a quieter voice on the
national stage than many would like. His main message this year is that there
are now "measurable and provable" links between effective people
management and the bottom line. The problem, as he concedes, is that senior
managers still aren’t listening. Nonetheless, Armstrong continues to resist
calls for the CIPD to become a lobbying organisation, arguing that it works
best as a behind-the-scenes influencer. "We don’t see ourselves a lobbyist
or shop steward for the profession". His salary package alone, reckoned
this year to have risen to £242,000 including, would appear to back up this
view.

16.
Chris Goscomb
Head of people and organisational development, Easyjet

Goscomb
makes his debut in the Top 40 after a triumphant year for EasyJet, which
continued to go from strength to strength while established rivals crumbled.
The no-frills operation founded by Greek entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou was
from the outset a progressive organisation, but Goscomb, who joined the company
as service manager five years ago (his current role "just grew"), can
take the credit for translating a sketchy set of values into a solid set of HR
policies that have driven business growth. Easyjet is as famous for its
employer branding as it is for its low fares. A former logistics expert,
Goscomb realised early in his career that if you want to make a difference in
business "you have to involve people implicitly". The low-cost
airline is a simple formula, but it is very hard to deliver, he says. "We
use our people as a positive differentiator."

17.
Neil Roden
Group HR director, Royal Bank of Scotland

The
Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) recent acquisition spree – culminating in last
year’s NatWest takeover – means it is Britain’s second largest bank. But
despite job losses of 16,000, a recent staff survey showed that morale has
rarely been higher. Indeed, Roden has proved so successful in bedding down the
NatWest deal that he achieved results that usually take up to five years in
less than 12 months. This marks a change of direction for the bank, whose chief
executive Fred Goodwin’s earlier cost-cutting at Clydesdale Bank earned him the
nick-name Fred the Shred. Roden has managed it via an imaginative new incentive
scheme and benefits package that offers childcare, car and computer deals as
well as health and life insurance deals. He professes not to care that he has
still not won a seat on the board. "It doesn’t matter what position the HR
director holds if they don’t have the ability to influence the
organisation," he says.

18.
Julie Mellor

Chair, Equal Opportunities Commission

Few
can deny that Mellor has proved a formidable force in the fight to achieve
parity at work and the EOC has consistently hit the headlines with research
proving that women’s pay levels still trail behind those of men. Although
Mellor has pledged to achieve change through consensus, she is understandably
frustrated with the EOC’s status as a watchdog. She recently threatened that,
unless solid progress is shown soon, the EOC will step up pressure on the
Government to introduce legislation to force employers to carry out equal pay
audits. In November, Mellor said that the EOC would work with the Commission
for Racial Equality and the Disability Rights Commission to achieve common
aims. Should a merger of the three occur, Mellor’s higher profile and
determination to achieve change makes her the top candidate to lead it.

19.
John Monks

Chairman, TUC

After
10 years in the top job, the man who has done most to restore the credibility
of the UK trade union movement and reverse its membership decline announced his
resignation in March. He plans to stand as head of the TUC in Europe. Monks’
surprise departure deprives Tony Blair of a key union ally at a time of
increased public sector unrest. Yet despite his reputation as a co-operative
moderate, he has also shown himself a canny operator, turning traditional union
euro-scepticism on its head and embracing the European social model. He is now
more likely to side with Anna Diamantopoulou than Blair on employee rights, and
called the PM "a bloody fool" for aligning himself with right-wing
Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi. He also complained that ministers treated
unions like "an embarrassing elderly relative". If Monks wins the top
European job, his influence can only grow given the European TUC’s strong input
into EU legislation.

20.
Denise Keating
Head of people proposition, Marks & Spencer

Big
jobs don’t faze Keating – as head of corporate personnel at Nationwide Building
Society, with a team of 55, she ran a budget of £7m and a payroll of around
£200m for 15,000 employees. In her new role at Marks & Spencer, the pay
bill is more than double and the workforce is closer to 60,000. Keating’s
strength is aligning people strategies with business strategies, which should
fit well at M&S, which earlier this year claimed to have established a link
between staff satisfaction and sales per square foot. Her biggest achievements
at Nationwide included the development of a new organisational structure with a
pay and benefits structure to support this. At M&S, ensuring that the
organisation can measure its progress against being A Great Place to Work is
central to her remit.

21.
Lynda Gratton

Associate professor of organisational behaviour, London Business School

With
Dave Ulrich off to Quebec (see number 35), Gratton is well placed to assume the
role of global HR guru – and fly the flag for Europe in the process. Her book
Living Strategy is still one of the world’s best-selling HR books and she is
working with Smartforce in the US to package it as an e-learning
programme.Central to her research activities since 1993 has been the Leading
Edge Research Consortium, which will soon publish its second book, chronicling
the companies it has been studying over the last decade. Gratton believes it to
be the deepest ‘longitudinal study’ in the world.The HR Strategy programme that
she directs at LBS has been extended to three per year and runs in the US and
India, and she continues to serve on the board of the American HR Planning
Society. Ulrich says he will be back, but meantime, Gratton can amply fill the
void.

22.
Paul Turner
Group HR director, Lloyds TSB

Turner
took over responsibility for training and development at the CIPD last year.
Quite how he finds time to fit that in with his "day job-and-a-half"
is anyone’s guess. But Turner, responsible for the 50 per cent of Lloyds TSB’s
value that is locked into its "intangible assets", is an HR
whirlwind. His strategies for aligning HR to business strategy at the bank
include the creation of project teams that support the business through change
and a corporate university. He recently wheeled in the Saatchis to develop a
new employer-branding product. But Turner’s influence extends way beyond Lloyds
TSB: the bank recently joined forces with the Government to find the UK’s most
family-friendly companies. Fortunately, Lloyds – with its ‘compressed weeks’,
bonuses for returning mothers and five-year breaks – can boast that it scores
highly. There are some companies whose performance reflects the quality of the
HR function and Lloyds TSB is one of them.

23.
Tracy Myhill
President of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management

With
NHS reform set to be at the centre of the political agenda right up to the next
election, Myhill will be in the thick of the HR action.  She has a key role to play in improving HR
management within the NHS and it is for this that she makes it into the 40.
"We will not be able to deliver the NHS plans without the staff. How and
where are we going to get them, how are we going to deliver a modern
service?" she asks. Updating retention and recruitment methods and
modernising NHS pay systems are just some of the mammoth tasks that Myhill is
closely involved with, as will be pushing diversity, equality and race up the
recruitment agenda.

24.
Lynn Rutter
Director of HR communications, Nokia

Nokia
is still riding the rollercoaster that is the telecoms equipment sector, last
month slashing its forecasts for sales growth for this year.  The downturn has been one of the most
dramatic in its history and as director of HR communications, Rutter is at the
centre of the storm. Rutter has been in post for the past two years and with
the company since 1990, setting up the UK operation. In the exceptionally tough
business climate, change management is the order of the day, particularly
developing, consulting, facilitating and, where necessary, outsourcing in this
area. "The pace of change is increasing all the time. It is about
supporting management and staff through the change. The nature of jobs changes,
the skills change," she says. Dealing with people who are outsourcing
partners rather then employees has become a key skill and Rutter has also been
closely involved with the development of a significant e-HR function.

25.
Ian McCartney
Minister for pensions

Once
described by the Guardian as an "undersized, underestimated, hyperactive
minister", McCartney makes it into this year’s Top 40 on the basis that it
will be largely up to him to sort out the mess that is this country’s company
pensions structure. McCartney, MP for Makerfield and a former seaman and local
government manual worker, was previously a minister in the Cabinet Office and
before that oversaw the employment relations brief at the Department of Trade
and Industry. This included steering through the legislation creating a
national minimum wage, the fairness at work legislation and the Competition
Act. So far McCartney has taken a tough line on the pensions fiasco, stressing
that the Government will not bail out failing company schemes, but at the same
time setting up a review of pension scheme regulations. Nevertheless,
potentially he holds the futures of millions of workers in his hands.

26.
Maria Antoniou
HR director, Ford

Any
industry in flux is always going to be hard to manage from an HR perspective.
Ford has seen car prices tumble and has been facing consistently tough economic
conditions. Two years ago Ford was forced to implement sharp job cuts,
including the scrapping of car production at its Dagenham plant. Antoniou’s
appointment last November as Ford’s first woman HR director, and the first
woman to make it to the board, is one of the toughest around and is the reason
for her making it on to this year’s list. At Ford for the whole of
her professional career, Antoniou spent time on the company’s global transition
team before rising to human resources manager at Dagenham. She was awarded the
title "Most Promising Emerging Woman Leader" by Linkage International
in October 2000. She is also an enthusiastic proponent of mentoring, as
evidenced by Ford’s membership of the Government’s mentoring programme unveiled
in January.

27.
Maggi Bell
Executive director, Capita

It’s
been a good year for Capita, with a 52 per cent rise in sales and a record
£744m of new agreements signed in the 12 months to December. The company is one
of the biggest players in outsourcing, a trend that shows no sign of slowing
down, says executive director Maggi Bell who, like last year, makes it into the
40. A key trend this year has been towards "multi-source" outsourcing
solutions, she says, whereby a client outsources some operations but keeps
others in-house. The learning development side of the business has also been
growing, with a recent contract to develop the Work Foundation’s (formerly the
Industrial Society) training and development activity a case in point. Other
notable contracts include a £500m deal to manage the BBC’s TV licence from
Consignia and Transport for London’s congestion charging scheme. The company
has also been awarded a contract to administer the Cabinet Office’s Civil
Service pensions activity.

28.
Bob Crow
General secretary, Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union (RMT)

Bob
Crow was catapulted to prominence when he took over leadership of the RMT
following the death of Jimmy Knapp last summer. The bull-necked Millwall
supporter, who was backed by the Trotsky Socialist Alliance, has certainly made
his mark: over the past year, an already crippled rail industry has suffered a
spate of one- and two-day strikes at South West Trains, Arriva, Silverlink and
the London Underground, over everything from pay to the waistcoats worn by
SWT’s operators. Under his leadership, the RMT has withdrawn funding from 11
Labour MPs. Moderates may argue that Crow’s and the increasingly militant RMT
are far from representative of the wider union movement, which continues to
promote co-operation with employers. But the rapturous applause that followed
Crow’s recent call to "go on the streets and defend and uphold workers’
rights" sounded ominous.

29.
Beverly Shears
HR director, South West Trains

Shears
has won sympathy, plaudits and condemnation in equal measure for her role at
the heart of the rail dispute. While few would have swapped places with her,
many have also pointed out that the crisis was caused, at least in part, by
poor HR practice – in particular lack of training, poor recruitment practices,
and dreadful negotiating. As PT remarked: "This is a company trying to be
cutting edge in HR, but it looks like a throw-back to the 1970s." Shears
appears to have won some bargaining time to test whether a new package of
values and behaviour she has co-developed with staff will help quell further
unrest. In March, she managed to get further planned strikes over pay called
off and is now concentrating on repairing the damage. If she pulls it off, she
will certainly be in hot demand as one of the few HR directors of this
generation with hard experience of conflict management.

30.
Imelda Walsh
HR director, Sainsbury’s

After
spending much of the late 1990s stumbling in Tesco’s wake, Sainsbury’s under
chief executive Sir Peter Davis once again has a spring in its step. While
Naked Chef Jamie Oliver has played his part, the appointment of HR director
Imelda Walsh last October looks like being equally important.
Previously HR director for retail services at Barclays Bank, Walsh has been
brought in to lead an HR department that has been restructured into three small
specialist teams covering organisational change, resourcing and reward. With a
brief to develop the chain’s employee brand, knowledge management and reward
structures – in effect a complete transformation of the HR function – the
results Walsh brings may be instrumental in helping Sainsbury’s further close
the gap on Tesco. Other initiatives include plans to extend the small shared
services function, introduce transactional e-HR, redesign every HR job at
corporate level and get rid of a number of positions.

31.
Richard Houghton
Managing director, Xchanging

Richard
Houghton’s boss, Xchanging founder David Andrews, is one of the gurus of the
outsourcing world. While he was at Accenture, he won the contract to handle
BP’s finance and accounting – a groundbreaking deal that paved the way for HR
outsourcing. This year Houghton has demonstrated his ability to follow a
difficult act, winning an important multi-million-pound deal with BAE Systems
to manage its procurement, HR and other administrations. No other company, with
the exception of Exult, has done as much to legitimise the fledgling HR
outsourcing market and Houghton has played a pivotal role in this development.
It’s still early days for the outsourcers and only time will tell if HR
outsourcing is a market set to rocket as they claim, particularly in the face
of recent teething problems. But as Xchanging pencils in a flotation date later
this year, corporate HR directors will be watching what Houghton does next with
interest.

32.
Clive Grundy
HR director, Compass Group

The
unique HR ethos of the Compass Group, one of the world’s largest food service
organisations, is summed up by the CVs of both its UK and overall chief
executives: both began as trainee chefs. This year, Grundy has built on the
company’s traditional focus of developing its people by stepping up in-house
training and encouraging moves into further education, which have helped
counter a difficult recruitment environment. Further up the ladder, generous
incentive schemes enabled Compass to hang on to key directors in the aftermath
of its 2000 merger with Granada. With UK brands already including Little Chef,
Harry Ramden’s and Upper Crust, Compass’s aim of extending its stranglehold on
on-train food services with a series of new acquisitions has attracted the
attention of the anti-competition authorities. Grundy may have to brush up his
negotiation skills over the next year.

33.
Linda Holbeche
Director of research, Roffey Park

Twelve
months ago, Holbeche pledged to bring together a strategic networking group for
HR professionals that would act "as a dipstick on opinions and
policies". She achieved it with a 35-strong group from a mixture of public
and private sectors now sharing experiences and furthering debate on hot HR
issues such as global leadership, work-life balance and talent development.
Whether it’s in the classroom at Roffey or out on the conference circuit,
Holbeche continues her tireless mission to make HR more strategic. Her
preoccupation this year has been looking at how HR should deal with mergers and
acquisitions and she co-authored a practical guide to the subject, entitled
Reaping the Benefits of Mergers and Acquisitions: In Search of the Golden
Fleece. She is working on two new books, one of which aims to provide HR
practitioners with a greater understanding of organisational development. Her
mix of practical application and vision, which places HR in a business and
strategic context, secures her place one again this year.

34.
John Sullivan
Professor of Human Resources, San Francisco University

They
don’t come much blunter that Sullivan when it comes to envisioning the future
of HR. Sullivan has said that 75 per cent of the current workload in HR could
be taken care of by IT systems and that the remainder 25 per cent could be outsourced.
So where does it leave the profession? Well, Sullivan, along with fellow US
guru Tom Peters, are subscribers to the concept of ‘heroic HR’, which means HR
professionals becoming strategic and reactive to a fluid business environment.
Sullivan believes it’s not about using new technologies to solve old problems,
it’s about making better decisions and solving problems that couldn’t be solved
before. In such a new model, HR decisions can be made closer to the customer,
increasing productivity. Sullivan tells it like it is, which isn’t always music
to the ears of HR traditionalists, but whichever way you look at it, he’s
impossible to ignore.

35.
David Ulrich
Professor of Business Administration, University of Michigan

Most
significant of Ulrich’s contributions to HR this year was the HR Scorecard
(co-developed with fellow academics Brian Becker and Mark Huselid), a potential
Holy Grail for the profession since it aims to link the results of HR policies
to bottom line measures such as profitability and shareholder value. Ulrich is
due to present the findings of his most recent project, undertaken with fellow
Michigan professor Wayne Brockbank, based around the competencies for the
future of HR. The shock news, however, is that the world’s number-one HR guru
is off the circuit for three years, as he and wife Wendy go off to supervise
missionary work in Quebec. Thankfully, he’ll be back: "This is quite a
shift for us. I anticipate returning to the profession and the university has
been gracious enough to give me leave," he says.

36.
Rita Donaghy
Chair, ACAS

It
has been a mixed year for Rita Donaghy, the former union chief who arrived at
Acas in October 2000 to breathe some life into the 25-year old organisation.
Although she has certainly succeeded in positioning the organisation as a
pre-tribunal consulting expert (in 2001, 75 per cent of cases Acas received
were settled before they reached the tribunal), take-up of the arbitration
scheme launched with much fanfare last year has been poor. Instead of the thousands
of cases predicted, the scheme dealt with just 11. Donaghy’s drive to make Acas
more proactive has also resulted in a new academic arm to produce research on
industrial relations. But last May, the organisation was embarrassed when
unions representing its own staff lodged employment tribunal cases arguing that
Acas’ system of "service pay" discriminates against women. "The
ironic side of this," said one employee, "is that professional
negotiators from the service have been unable to resolve the argument."

37.  Susan Anderson
Director of HR, CBI

Anderson
has had her work cut out this year, being at the forefront of UK employers’
fight against a raft of EU and national legislation extending the rights and
entitlements of millions of full-time and part-time workers. The CBI’s central
line is that many of the new measures place an unacceptable burden on companies
that could over time prove disastrous. As she remarks: "Employers must be
left with the freedom to organise working time in a way that meets the needs of
their business." Critics claimed her remarks were "ludicrously
simplistic", particularly since as a working mother she herself worked a
three-day week when her children were young. But Anderson maintains that
employers are already striking the right balance of flexible terms and
conditions off their own bat. She points out that UK boasts more part-time
workers than any other EU country and that 80 per cent of companies already
have family-friendly policies in place.

38.
James Madden
Chief executive officer, Exult

Madden
may have just scooped a US Entrepreneurial Leader award in the Orange County
Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards, but last year’s number two drops a
massive 30 places. His company may well be the world’s biggest outsourcer of
web-enabled HR but its prized client BP Amoco has admitted the transition has
been more difficult than it thought, casting doubt in some minds about the real
benefits of outsourcing. John Melo, vice-president of downstream digital
business for BP, said at last year’s CIPD conference that while setting up the
e-HR software was easy, getting people to use the system and input their own
data was a different matter. But Madden still deserves credit for his
achievements at Exult, taking it from a start-up with two employees in 1998 to
a global organisation of 1,700 staff with revenues of $270m last year.

39.
Ruth Spellman
CEO, Investors in People UK

Spellman
holds her place in the 40. It’s fair to say that the changeover from Training
and Enterprise Councils to Learning and Skills Councils, now the main delivery
network for the IIP standard in England, did affect throughput of recognitions
earlier this year but pace has quickened again and the total has doubled in the
past three years.   LSC and IIP have
agreed a 20-point action plan to move the standard forward and the Government
sees it as key to its plans to boost UK productivity. It is IIP’s ability – or
inability – to impact the bottom line that still stirs debate, with an
Institute of Directors’ report claiming that 27 per cent of IIP employers
reported improved productivity and only 15 per cent increased profitability.
However, the poll of 275 directors revealed all of those using IIP will
continue to do so and 90 per cent claim it has improved the abilities of their
workforce. One in four employees in the UK now work with and benefit from the
Standard. IIP celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

40.
Bryan Sanderson

Chairman, The Learning & Skills Council

Establishing
the Learning and Skills Council – the UK’s largest quango, with funds of some
£7bn at its disposal – has proved a steep learning curve for chairman
Sanderson. A year into the job, he admits: "While the vision is there, it
is far more difficult to put it into practice." But even his critics
concede the task before him, as he attempts to frame a coherent organisation to
tackle the most radical shake-up in adult training in decades, is a tough one.
Much of the first year has been spent honing the LSC’s infrastructure and
supervising the creation of 47 regional LSCs that Sanderson hopes will emerge
as "powerful local bodies". Sanderson’s stated agenda of getting
business and society to co-operate over education, matching skills with
education, and getting some seven million adults with literacy problems back
into learning, is certainly ambitious. There is widespread impatience for
action and the next 12 months will prove critical for Sanderson.

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