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Most Influential 2011: Charles Handy enters HR magazine's hall of fame


David Fairhurst, senior vice president/chief people officer at McDonald's Restaurants Europe, has been voted HR magazine's most influential practitioner for the fourth year running, while Dave Ulrich, professor of business at the University of Michigan, was rated most influential international thinker.

This year a special award was presented to Charles Handy, author and broadcaster, who entered HR magazine's Most Influential Hall of Fame, for a lifetime of achievement in the HR arena.

Lynda Gratton, professor of management practice at the London Business School, was voted most influential UK thinker.

For the full rankings, as well as profiles of the Most Influential practitioners and thinkers, plus news, video interviews and lots more, visit our Most Influential website.

Most Influential 2011

Collecting his prize from Ceridian's MD Doug Sawers, last night at Claridge's in London, Fairhurst (pictured below with Sawers), said: "in HR we are on a journey, but we are becoming more connected year by year – influence doesn't happen in a vacuum and through this connectivity comes insight. This honour is brilliant to receive."

David fairhurst Most influential

Handy (pictured below) said on receiving the accolade from Ceridian's Sawers: "There are so many high achievers out there, so it is reassuring and comforting for me to receive this honour."

Charles Handy most influential

Every year HR magazine compiles the HR Most Influential ranking: the definitive list of directors and thinkers who have the greatest influence in the field of people strategy.

The ranking is based on elements such as:

  • Challenges conventional thinking in HR
  • Brings credibility to HR, both inside and outside the business
  • Plays an ambassadorial role
  • Commands the respect of peers and key stakeholders
  • Adds value to the business
  • Is visionary and transformational

HR magazine's editor and publisher Siân Harrington said: "Some are perennial favourites, some are controversial and many reflect the business environment in which they are operating. But all are ranked by their peers: leading HR directors and management academics.

"We develop a longlist from industry nominations, experts and the HR editorial team's expertise. An independent panel of judges debates these names and a shortlist is created. This shortlist is then sent to readers of HR magazine for voting.

"As part of the academic work undertaken by Ashridge Business School on behalf of HR magazine, interviews are also conducted with business leaders/CEOs, media commentators and City analysts."

This year's list includes the top 30 practitioners, top 25 UK thinkers and the top 20 international thinkers.

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