My biggest break: Juris Grinsberg

Grinsberg has more than 25 years’ experience in HR and was a member of the
Equal Pay Taskforce. His last position was head of HR at Littlewoods and he is
now in consultancy. He describes his big break:

was working as an HR director for Express Dairies in 1987 – a time of enormous
change in the industry. I was responsible for 4,500 staff, and sales were being
badly hit by supermarkets stocking milk. We were closing milk-processing depots
on a monthly basis, with a number of jobs going. At the same time, we had to
ensure that milk was still delivered to our doorstep customers.

the space of two years, I learned a lot about industrial relations in a highly
unionised environment. Those smoke-filled rooms were a good learning ground for
consultation and negotiation.

experience gave me belief in my ability and confidence to follow my own
judgment, even if that meant going against received wisdom. It was a
challenging environment and prepared me for dealing with change-management
issues, which are regular features of many industries."

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