Dream teams

A dream or a nightmare? Everybody in your hard-won and carefully nurtured HR team has been poached by a jealous rival. Not only that, but they are all locked into watertight 10-year contracts, so there’s absolutely no chance of getting them back – no matter how much you want them, and no matter how much money you offer – so your immediate task is to replace them.

We set six HR professionals the task of constructing the HR dream team they’d like to see guiding their organisations into a hypothetical future on a high performance course. Each dreamer has six places to fill, but can choose which positions are vacant, or design them. Then they can call forward any candidate, living or dead, fictional or historical, and from any walk of life – show business, sport, politics, or even, if they really want, from the HR sector.

Although this shares some similarities with Fantasy Football, it is clearly impossible to score the teams’ performances over the next business season – but it would be interesting to speculate how they would fare as they work together.

 


Rhiannon Chapman


Founder of Plaudit consultancy


Recruitment/equal opportunities jobshare


Dr Billy Graham, to fire enthusiasm for the "mission", draw the crowds for recruitment and get the "chosen people" to offer their services with commitment and passion – all effective recruitment has to have an element of evangelism. Nelson Mandela, because recruitment and equal opportunities are about effective resourcing, ensuring people get the chance to show what they can do. Mandela is used to an isolated position, and management would be more likely to listen to him than anyone else I can think of.


Reward/pensions


Nicola Horlick, whom I have previously worked with, because she knows all about getting a good return on investment and striking a balance between the short and long term. Having suffered unfair treatment personally, she would be sensitive to the need for fairness and consistency, and is one of the most open, hard-working and effective team players I have met in the City. She can hold a roomful of cynical company directors in the palm of her hand.


Training and development


Sir Alex Ferguson, because he gets results and is tough but fair, and everyone would turn up for his courses and work hard for him. Training must be seen to be closely linked to improved results, and Manchester United is arguably the UK’s best-known and obviously effective investor in people.


Organisation development


Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the human face of international management consultancy. She has been an influence on me ever since Men and Women of the Corporation was published in 1977. She is practical, and her work is easy to adapt into programmes and actions. A self-made woman who flies in her own Learjet has to be a good role model, too.


HR systems


Mrs Steve Shirley (founder and president, FI Group) – an excellent networker, in IT and outside, she would have the vision to ensure that HR systems are built around and support the central business systems, and are not merely a separate administrative process. Getting the need for strategic HR behaviour across to the board could be safely entrusted to her.


Employee communications


Queen Elizabeth I, who triumphed in keeping a delicate balance between conflicting diplomatic, religious and other power-broking pressures, and reigned, much loved, for 45 years. This is an area of HR that profits from continuity.

 


Helen Martin


Associate head of HR, Credit Suisse Private Banking


Recruitment


The Terminator. He would be great deterrent against the competition, who would not stop until he’d got the right man.


Reward


Barbara Woodhouse. A behavioural psychologist in action who can demonstrate the benefits of a reward strategy and has a working knowledge of positive reinforcement.


Training and development


Tracy Drewett, from Maxim/Knowledge Pool. Charismatic, knowledgeable and able to convince even the most cynical about the benefits training and development can bring the organisation and individual. Good eye on cost versus benefit.


Equal opportunities


Ben Elton. He is able to deal with EO issues on an informed basis in a non-patronising fashion, and capable of enlightening the prejudiced. I would also choose Jo Brand for the same reasons.


Health and safety


Any traffic warden. They are sticklers for the rules and have a sharp eye for detail and (usually) a healthy degree of paranoia.


Workplace culture


John Major. The ideal holder of such a role would be someone with almost no personality of his own!


HR systems


Difficult one. Once you’ve got one of these you really want to make sure you can hold on to them because they are very difficult to replace. Arthur C Clark springs to mind.


Legal


John Grisham. As an author and former barrister, he has a sound legal mind and the intelligence and creativity to deal with any situation.


HR systems


Bill Gates’ clear track record in building a high user-base for IT systems should ensure excellent take-up of the new HR system. Additionally, by identifying external business opportunities early, Bill would be able to market the system to other companies, eventually ensuring that our system becomes the industry standard.


Employee communications


Paul Whitehouse of the Fast Show, who is likeable, clever and imaginative with visual flair, and has the necessary ability to present information in an appealing fashion.

 


Graham Kettles


HR director at the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (Dera)


Recruitment


Lord Kitchener has a proven track record through his extensive experience of recruiting troops for the British Army. The use of his image on recruitment posters in the past has ensured he retains a high profile, and he is able to offer an innovative approach to recruitment through strategies such as conscription, which is as yet untried in the private sector. Although his image might be somewhat dated, it is considered that an induction course with the new training and development manager together with a carefully managed PR exercise should resolve this.


Reward


Father Christmas, as he has an uncanny ability to meet everyone’s requirements without incurring cashflow problems, and would be able to ensure that all annual pay increases are actioned in a single night. With his preferred transport of reindeer and sleigh, any future petrol shortages would be unlikely to impact on the business.


Training and development


Steve Redgrave, as his ability to stay focused on the long-term objectives, together with his high level of personal commitment, mean he will have no difficulty in training and motivating the workforce.


Pensions


Ebenezer Scrooge’s innate ability to hoard vast sums of money bodes well for future funding of the pension scheme. He will, however, need an intensive one-to-one session with the new training and development officer in order to ensure all entitlements are paid promptly.


Health and safety


Tom (from Tom and Jerry) would be able to show, with clear, practical demonstrations, the dangers of bad health and safety practice, while at the same time incurring no lasting injuries himself. As an added bonus, if it ever proved necessary to terminate his contract this could be achieved quickly and simply, and without the worry of possible tribunal appearances, by using a pencil eraser.

 


Anna Geoghegan


HR manager, Renaissance Worldwide


Reward


Chris Tarrant, as he would make salary reviews interesting: "I could give you a cheque for £1,000, but I really want to give you this cheque for £2,000. Now you can phone a friend or ask the audience – take your time."


Training and development


Steve Redgrave. All training would start at 5am by the river and involve hours in the gym – and if he couldn’t motivate the team across the line to gold, who could?


Employee communications


Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen (BBC’s Home Front). He could change the offices on a regular basis to affect mood and inspire creativity and open expression.


Employee communications


Winston Churchill. That voice is guaranteed to make even the worst news sound a mere inconvenience, and would inspire the company to great things.


Legal


Inspector Morse – no arguments, good legal brain, great car and an appreciation of fine music – a good all-rounder and a fun member of the team.


Employee relations


King Arthur as a good motivator, negotiator and leader, with his own spin doctor and adviser – Merlin.

 


Hilary Simpson


Head of organisational development, Oxfordshire County Council


HR systems


Steve Shirley, founder of FI and first woman president of the British Computer Society.


Legal


Helena Kennedy, not just for her work on human rights, but also for her commitment to widening participation in lifelong learning.


Outplacement consultant


Max Clifford. I have a lot of admiration for him, and he seems to be able to find lucrative niches for the most unlikely people.


Equal opportunities


Nelson Mandela. Who else?


Pensions


The Beardstown Ladies Investment Club, a team of amateur US investors who have outperformed professional fund managers for nearly 20 years and built retirement portfolios of enviable proportions.


Employee communications


Mo Mowlam, but only if she wants it – she’s had enough of being offered jobs she doesn’t want.

 


Kim Freeman


HR director TMP Worldwide


Recruitment


This would be a job share split between Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo, because men and women would be drawn to them, plus they have experience of working together in films – essential for a good job share.


Diversity


Anita Roddick, for her appreciation of the effect of ethical issues on the commercial case. And to redeem herself for her recent comments on piercings.


Training and development


The "awesome foursome" (coxless four gold medalists), or Steve Redgrave at least. It would definitely have to be someone who knows about motivation for improved performance.


Compensation and benefits


Gordon Brown, because he is a good manager of money, and he might enjoy a job change that would give him a more popular profile. Harry Potter would be his assistant, to produce money as required and because of his ability to travel to multiple sites at low cost.


HR systems


Bill Gates – no more licence costs, and a great opportunity to exploit e-learning potential.


Employee communications


I’d go for Richard Branson. He’s perfect for branding and internal marketing. Plus we can use Virgin gift tokens and trips to New York to show staff recognition.

Comments are closed.