Jackie Orme has promised that the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) will remain relevant to today's leaders and stay ahead of business change.
Speaking at the CIPD annual conference yesterday night, the new chief executive of the CIPD said she was "hugely aware" of the need for the organisation to be more relevant, especially in turbulent times highlighted by the collapse of Lehman Brothers earlier this week.
She said: "Challenging times have been brought into sharp focus by the collapse of the Lehman Brothers and stock-market has followed it since.
"I am hugely impressed by the dedication of CIPD staff and the respect we have from employers, academics, and the media. But I'm also aware of need to be more relevant, to ensure we're leading change and not just following it," she added.
Last month a senior figure at the CIPD launched a pre-Harrogate attack on the way the body is run. Barry Hoffman, the central London branch secretary told Personnel Today that Orme must make radical changes for the sake of the HR profession.
Orme, who took over from former CIPD head Geoff Armstrong earlier this year, said she had three priorities for the CIPD over the next year: being topical making sure professionals had the capability to adapt to the changing function and ensuring the body was at the forefront of leading research into the future of HR.
"In my experience," she said, "leadership is becoming more values driven. It isn't just about what you do - how you do it is becoming more important in today's environment... In today's business environment we have a huge opportunity to demonstrate our value and capitalise on change. The CIPD will be at the forefront of this debate."
Next month, the CIPD will launch research into the future of HR, she added.