Berwick Partners’ Overview of the 2014 Executive Grapevine HR & Talent Management Conference

Published: 14 March 2014

Berwick Partners sponsored the 2014 Executive Grapevine HR and Talent Management Conference which took place yesterday in the excellent setting of the Brewery, near Moorgate.

Speakers from 14 different companies across multiple sectors including Innocent, GE, RBS and Unicef each had ten minutes to talk about three different topics: The Future of HR, Talent Management, and Performance Management & Metrics.

There were many highlights but a few stick in the mind:

When speaking about leadership development, Ben Chambers, Global Head of Leadership Development at GSK, spoke of putting a “clean fish in a dirty pond”. He was illustrating the point that if you take one leader out of their environment for development and then send them back in, they will continue to do what they always did. GSK have found success in taking a number of people out together so that when they go back to the business, they support each other to “clean the pond”.

Colin Minto, Global Head of Resourcing at G4S loves data! He gave examples of how they have used Facebook data to understand what their potential employees are interested in so that they can better tailor their recruitment campaigns.

The presentation that arguably caught people’s imagination the most was by Tom Fraine, People Team Leader from Innocent. Their culture is very well documented and he told the story of how they developed the knitted hats marketing campaign, an idea created by someone who thought the drinks looked cold in the fridge. He knitted a hat in the office and as years went by, more and more people did the same before it was launched as a campaign that now engages millions! A demonstration of how they harness the entrepreneurial spirit that exists there. Innocent believe that “culture eats strategy” and Tom did well in answering questions from the floor on the impact the Coca-Cola acquisition might have.

Finally Jim Richardson, Global Head of Recruitment from RBS, gave an inspiring presentation. Jim shared a very personal story following a recent, major brain operation from which he has made a recovery. He went on to speak about high performance, using the example of the Olympic cycling team and their analytics and performance improvement. Jim challenged the idea of the annual performance review, suggesting that a “real-time” approach would be a more effective alternative, which caused debate.

The aim is take away a few nuggets, ideas and thoughts that can be used back in your own business and this was achieved. It’s also a great opportunity to network and many a business card was exchanged.

If you are interested in finding out more about the HR Practice at Berwick Partners please contact Debbie Sutton or Tim Baker.

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