‘ To ensure that we improve our HR, we must know the challenges the business is facing.’

To understand and deal with HR challenges better, we must first understand what we are dealing with in the general scale—what are the overall business challenges? No matter on what level it is, external or internal, it will still affect the performance of the team.

This Episode: Why HR is a Circus and the best job you can have – with Nick Holley of CRF.

It’s always better to know the root cause before we build any plans in HR Management. So, in this episode of The HR Uprising Podcast, Nick Holley, the Associate Director of the Corporate Research Forum, dives deep about strategies on how to improve our HR, without removing the traditional ones, and opening our eyes to the unnoticed ones. Discover also the concept of systemic thinking, which can help every OD professional. Other topics that were discussed involve building credibility, determining every individual’s drive, maintaining a business’ sustainability and many more.


Key Takeaways

  • “Value is not created to be operationally efficient in the here and now, but it’s really understanding the future trends in your market and developing a strategy to respond to it. ”
  • To ensure that we improve our HR, we must know the challenges the business is facing. Determine the external and internal factors that affect them.
  • If HR professionals want to establish their credibility, then it’s easiest when they bring actionable solutions inside the business. Make changes not just in the HR space, but also for the entire company/industry.
  • Let’s act on what the business needs and not on what the line managers want.
  • O.D. professionals are systemic thinkers—meaning, they know and understand that every element is interconnected with each other and with that information, they’re able to drive improvements and prevent complications.
  • Systemic thinking – understanding that there are several elements in each system that are connected and impact each other
  • ‘What drives performance and what can we do?’ This is the most basic question we shall ask in HR.  It’s not going to start with planning HR management, but to understand what motivates every individual.

Best Moments

  • “HR is not about HR; HR is about the business.”
  • “The world is full of solutions looking for problems.”
  • “The questions you need to start with: Why is our business in trouble? How are we going to get out of trouble? And, what is HR going to do in that journey?”
  • “We are not accountable to line managers; we are accountable to the long term sustainability of the business.”

Valuable Resources

About The Guest

Nick Holley

Nick has extensive experience not only in researching key trends in HR (he was voted the fifth most influential thinker in HR) and working with major global businesses, but he also has a background in senior HR roles as a partner at Arthur Andersen and Director of Global People Development at Vodafone.  This gives him a highly focused commercial and practical outlook on HR.

Nick has worked as a coach and facilitator for HR leadership teams and helped them develop their people and organisational strategies and plans in Allianz, BAT (London and Kiev), BSkyB, Centrica, CERN (Geneva), Danske Bank (Copenhagen), Heineken (Lisbon), HSBC, Imperial, ING (Amsterdam), KAUST (Jeddah), Legal and General, Mercedes Benz, Nationwide, Nordea (Copenhagen), Qatar National Bank (Doha), Salesforce, Saudi Aramco (Dhahran), the Serbian Government (Belgrade), Serco and the United Nations (Copenhagen).

He has also developed and delivered HR capability programmes for the Abu Dhabi Government (Abu Dhabi), Avanade (Frankfurt, London, Seattle and Singapore), Celtel (Lagos), Cisco, Credit Suisse, Danone (UK, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Jakarta, Mexico City and Paris), Ecobank (Accra), Egmont (Copenhagen), Health Education England, HRNorge (Oslo), HSBC (Birmingham, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, New York and Vancouver), ING (Kuala Lumpur), ITV, Johnson Matthey, Kier, KPMG, Ladbrokes Coral (UK and Gibraltar) , Marston’s, Mitsubishi UFJ, Morgan Stanley, NATS, NetJets (London, Lisbon and Zurich), NHS, Oracle, Oxfam, PZCussons, Rolls Royce, Rosneft (Moscow), SABMiller, Saudi Telecom (Riyadh), Shell, Spirax Sarco, Statoil Hydro (Stavanger), Thomson Reuters, UBS (Hong Kong, London, New Jersey, Stamford and Zurich), Whitbread, Yahoo and Zebra Technologies.

He is an internationally recognised speaker at HR events in Barclays, BT, California Strategic HR Partnership, Dansk HR (Copenhagen) , EPIC, Flora (Icelandic HR Association), GSK, Henley Business School, Hovis, HR Forum, HRNEurope, HRNorge (Oslo), HRTech, Kone, Lloyds TSB, Mercedes Benz, Nestle, NHS, Prudential, Royal Mail, SABMiller, SDWorx, Shell, Siemens, Sony Ericsson and Willmott Dixon.

He is an Executive Fellow at Henley Business School and was a professor and for ten years head of the Centre for HR Excellence.  Nick is Associate Director of Learning for the Corporate Research Forum.

About The Host

Lucinda Carney is a Business Psychologist with 15 years in Senior Corporate L&D roles and a further 10 as CEO of Actus Software where she worked closely with HR colleagues helping them to solve the same challenges across a huge range of industries. It was this breadth of experience that inspired Lucinda to set up the HR Uprising community to facilitate greater collaboration across HR professionals in different sectors, helping them to ‘rise up’ together.

“When we look up we rise up”

Contact Method

Subscribe To The HR Uprising Podcast Now:

Podcast on ITunes

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the HR Uprising Podcast

Podcast on ITunes Listen on Stitcher Listen on TuneIn

Listen on Google Podcasts