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HR must conduct staff through recession, says Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander

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Human resources professionals must act like "conductors in their organisation" and take advantage of the opportunities provided by the recession in order to survive it, according to Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.

In an exclusive interview with HR magazine Zander, who is in the UK to speak at Cheltenham Music Festival on The Art of the Possibility, said: "HR is my favourite group within business. It is responsible for the spirit of an organisation - but it is mistakenly downtrodden."

He added: "In an organisation the CEO sets the vision but it is up to HR to conduct the staff. They need to coach staff to make everything clear and have clarity and transparency."

Turning to the role of HR in a recession, Zander said: "The economy got into recession because we were blind and myopic - but breakdown leads to breakthrough. In Chinese, the word ‘crisis' is made up of the words danger and opportunity so businesses need to redirect its attention and HR will be at the forefront of this."

The Cheltenham Music Festival will be held next month and Zander's presentation on ‘how to get the best from those around us' will take place on Friday 3 July at the Pittville Pump Room in Cheltenham.