HR Most Influential 2008

Now in its third year, HR’s Most Influential ranking has been created using a new methodology.

What makes someone influential? According to HR’s Most Influential ranking 2008 it helps if you share your first name with the Biblical second king of Israel, best known as the shepherd boy who skilfully slew the Philistine giant Goliath with a single stone to his forehead. Or with the Patron Saint of Wales, who spread his message far and wide and whose shrine in South West Wales was an important pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages.

Both the above clearly demonstrate elements of influence: consistent visibility, originality, the ability to lead others and gain followers, relevance and impact. And for the first time in our annual ranking we used these same criteria to discover whom leading HR directors, academics and commentators rated as the top 25 most influential practitioners and top 25 most influential thinkers in the field of human resources.

For this, the third Most Influential survey, in association with global human resource service provider Ceridian, HR magazine devised a brand new ranking methodology in partnership with Henley Management College. Henley’s School of HR, Leadership and Change prepared and validated a set of criteria to measure influence in the field of HR, based on current ideas of leadership in HR, including promoting HR’s role within the business, as well as looking at external measures of influence, such as position held, and internal measures including originality of thought, clarity of ideas and demonstrations of leadership. The school also investigated other popular published rankings of admiration, influence and leadership.

Three standard criteria were developed for both practitioners and thinkers, with one additional criterion for each category. A shortlist of influencers in each category was drawn up following nominations from HR’s readers. These were then put to members of HR’s exclusive Leaders Panel, which comprises leading HR directors, academics and commentators, who were asked to rate each of the shortlisted names on the criteria.

Doug Sawers, managing director of the UK arm of Ceridian, comments: “As our industry develops and the standards by which we judge ourselves rise, it’s impressive to see such a wealth of talent fielded across so many different organisations. Ceridian is proud to support the role the Most Influential plays in recognising the best thinking and achievements in HR. As a provider of HR services, I find it particularly powerful to see so many HR leaders realising their potential in terms of their personal impact on UK business success.”

Top 25 practitioners
2008 Name, title and company Overall Visibility Originality Personal influence Impact on practice
1 David Fairhurst, senior VP/chief people officer, McDonald’s Restaurants Northern Europe 4.66 5.48 4.34 4.31 4.48
2 Neil Roden, group director HR, Royal Bank of Scotland 3.96 4.58 3.42 4.03 3.81
3 Martin Tiplady, HR director, Metropolitan Police Service 3.95 4.37 3.72 3.90 3.83
4 Vance Kearney, vice-president HR, Oracle EMEA 3.83 3.96 3.69 3.85 3.81
5 Duncan Brown, director of HR practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers 3.80 3.76 3.64 4.00 3.79
6 Clare Chapman, director general of workforce, Department of Health 3.76 4.38 3.29 3.86 3.50
7 Angela O’Connor, chief people officer, National Policing Improvement Agency 3.72 4.21 3.32 3.86 3.50
8 Imelda Walsh, HR director, Sainsbury’s 3.52 3.69 3.36 3.57 3.46
9 Jackie Orme, HR director, PepsiCo, and CEO, CIPD 3.34 3.59 3.10 3.38 3.28
10 Philippa Hird, group HR director, ITV 3.28 3.23 3.24 3.34 3.31
11 Bob Stack, chief HR officer, Cadbury Schweppes 3.21 3.23 3.07 3.31 3.24
12 Therese Procter, HR director, Tesco Stores 3.12 2.82 3.19 3.30 3.19
13 Beverley Shears, director general of corporate HR, Ministry of Justice 3.01 2.96 2.85 3.19 3.04
14 Stephen Kelly, director of people, BBC 2.97 3.17 2.79 3.00 2.90
15 Jean Tomlin, HR director, London 2012 2.91 3.10 2.68 3.04 2.82
16 Caroline Waters, director of people and policy, BT 2.71 2.73 2.76 2.76 2.60
17 Tim Miller, director, people, property and assurance, Standard Chartered Bank 2.62 2.63 2.66 2.66 2.55
18 Rachel Campbell, head of people management, KPMG 2.37 2.30 2.31 2.38 2.50
19 Stephen Moir, director of people and policy, Cambridge County Council, and president, PPMA 2.34 2.30 2.28 2.36 2.44
20 Paul Chesworth, European HR director, Vodafone 2.34 2.35 2.32 2.48 2.20
21 Beryl Cook, chief human resources officer, News Corporation 2.25 2.19 2.36 2.40 2.04
22 Hugh Mitchell, global head of HR, Royal Dutch Shell 2.17 2.11 2.04 2.30 2.26
23 Helen Giles, HR director, Broadway 2.07 1.85 2.16 2.04 2.24
24 Christine Lloyd, executive director, people and organisational development, Cancer Research UK 2.02 2.00 2.00 2.07 2.00
25 Madalyn Brooks, HR director, Procter & Gamble UK and Ireland 1.96 1.78 2.04 1.92 2.12