Guru Dave Ulrich tells it straight at HR Forum event

Leading HR guru Dave Ulrich was in London last week, speaking to a select group of HR directors.

Personnel Today gained exclusive access to the HR Forum event, hosted by Richmond Events. Here are some selected pearls of wisdom from the great man:

Ulrich on… Business

“There is a crisis of confidence in the business community. Outsourcing, tech-­nology, globalisation and increasing competitiveness are all factors in this lack of confidence. But HR makes more of an impact in a changing world, and the world is changing.”

…HR challenges

“What’s the biggest challenge to HR? To add value. Value is defined by the receiver. Our job in HR is to figure out who the receiver is.”


“It’s not all about talent. It’s the processes around the people. You can have an all-star team but, if they don’t work well together, it doesn’t matter how good they are.”


“There are so many words people use to talk about strategy – such as objectives, principles and goals. But we have to look at what we’re trying to accomplish and help build clarity.”

…Organisational structure

“Often over the past 15 years we’ve been enamoured with organisational structure. It doesn’t matter what matters is the product. You can’t let the seduction of restructuring take over capability.”


“Change is not an event, but a process. HR should manage the process of making change happen. We have got to be a leader. We know what to do we’re just not very disciplined at making it happen.”


“Leadership is not a person, it’s a brand. If you look at the models of a Ford or a Land Rover car, they’re 70% the same. The brand is the differentiator.”


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