CIPD dismisses scathing attacks on its leadership

A series of blistering attacks on the CIPD and its director-general Geoff Armstrong contained in a new book have been dismissed by the Institute as "sterile and inaccurate".

A senior CIPD source branded the book, The Bottom Line HR Function, as ill-advised and outdated. The book also argues that the UK personnel profession in general is disorganised, is peopled with second-rate staff and is failing to deliver benefits to business.

"I guess my book is provocative in the sense that I talk about how not many HR departments are delivering as much value as they could or should be," said author Paul Kearns, a senior partner at consultancy Personnel Works.

"And I also say that the profession is crying out for someone to lead the way. At the moment it is not getting any leadership or direction from the CIPD or its head Geoff Armstrong," he added.

But a senior source in the CIPD said the organisation is not worried by the criticisms in the book because it is so ill-advised and outdated. "Paul Kearns has been consistently anti-Geoff and against the CIPD, and has not taken on board the many improvements and changes that have been and are still being made in the organisation," said the source.

"In the book he uses quotes that Geoff made nearly six years ago and has not taken on board that his views have moved on significantly since then."

The source added that Armstrong recognises that he and the CIPD would never satisfy the entire personnel profession but that he is striving to meet the needs of the majority. "The truth is that Geoff is extremely popular with many in the HR world and Mr Kearns’ problem is that he cannot seem to recognise that."

In order to make the personnel profession contribute more to business, Kearns plans to approach senior figures in the sector with the idea of founding an HR Academy. "This would be a dedicated business school for the brightest and best HR people to develop their strategic thinking," said Kearns.

By Gaby Huddart

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