HR heavyweights clash in London

Duncan Brown, assistant director general of the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development (CIPD), and HR consultant Paul Kearns clash tonight
in a head-to-head debate on strategy.

They will discuss whether HR is heading in the right direction and what, if
anything, is driving HR to become more business-focused.

The debate was prompted by Kearns and Brown squaring up in the pages of
Personnel Today (21 January and 4 February) and will be hosted by the West
London branch of the CIPD.

Kearns argues that HR has never been strategic and has attacked the CIPD’s
efforts to improve.

"At the risk of sounding patronising," he wrote, "I would not
expect the vast majority of CIPD members or HR practitioners… to appreciate how
[strategy] impacts upon their own work. What they fail to realise, is that HR
activities at a purely tactical or operational level, that are not an integral
part of a well-conceived strategy, have little or no real value."

Brown responded: "I would respectfully suggest that if anyone is stuck
in a… time warp, it is he. Kearns seems blissfully unaware of the changes
that have occurred in the profession."

The debate, ‘How strategic is HR?’, starts at 6.30pm at the Ramada Jarvis,
Ealing, London. The event is free and open to all.

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