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HR Business Partnering: Transforming the HR Organisation to Create Value

Tuesday, 30 June 2020 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm


Covid-19 Update – these training courses will now be delivered online. All existing bookings will be honoured and new bookings can now be made again too. All content from the previous face-to-face training will still be covered.

HR Transformation, whether based on the ‘Ulrich model’ or something else, often has two key drivers. The first driver is cost reduction and this is always going to be important. However, it is the second driver, becoming more strategic and creating more value, which offers more potential for HR to take a driving seat within its business, and for creating a more compelling and more human business organisation. Doing this nearly always provides a bigger impact on firm profitability than reducing HR costs.

This virtual training session on transforming HR to put more focus on creating value. Dave Ulrich explains that this will generally involve three things. The first is the approach of business partnering, getting closer to and having more impact on the business. The second is the role of strategic partnering, aligning HR activities with business needs in order to transform the success of the organisation. And the third is the job of the embedded HR business partner. The jobs of the specialists within the centres of excellence are important enablers for business and strategic partnering too, but are also simpler and more straight forward to get right.

Therefore, whilst the training is focusing on the Ulrich model, most attention will be paid to the job of the business partner, and in particular, the idea of a fully fledged business partner, which participants can use to compare against their own role, or the role of embedded business partners within their own organisation.

However, the training will also look beyond the Ulrich model, suggesting a new potential archetype, the melded network HR model. But even this is just another best practice model. What really makes the difference to business partnering, particularly when focusing on its strategic impact, is moving from best practice to best fit.

The training will therefore review best fit opportunities to develop new HR structures, processes, cultures, HR practitioner skills, and client relationships. It will also review the opportunities provided by digital technologies, not just in the service centre, but also to increase the effectiveness of specialists and business partners, or people working in similar, strategic roles.

Through leveraging these opportunities, HR can substantially increase its credibility and contribution, and the impact it has on the organisation it works within.


10.00-11.00 HR as a Business Partner

  • The objectives and requirements for HR business partnering
  • Partnering as an approach which all HR practitioners can engage in, a role linking HR to the future of a business / business unit, and a job in a transformed HR function
  • Ulrich’s conceptual and physical models, helping meeting needs for both centralisation and decentralisation
  • Research evidence on current levels of success in transforming HR into an effective business partner
11.15-12.15 Structuring HR to Enable the Business Strategy

  • The increasing diversity of HR roles and structures
  • Opportunities beyond the Ulrich model / three legged stool
  • Impacts of increasing automation in HR service centres, new approaches in centres of excellence, and the resulting increase in the importance of partnering
  • Challenges and opportunities in HR career development
  • Looking forward: the melded network HR model
1.00-2.00 Taking Broader HR Action

  • Other enablers for an effective HR organisation
  • Why HR is not and should not be seen as a support function – within HR or from the perspective of another business leader
  • Developing new capabilities and behaviours to underpin a more strategic approach
  • Retaining a ‘One HR’ approach in a dispersed HR function
  • Developing better project management and relationship management competencies and activities in working with business clients
2-.15-3.15 The Fully Fledged Business Partner

  • Reviewing the day in the life of a fully fledged business partner (embedded in a business, supported by a centre of excellence and service centre, and with an appropriate set of competencies and technology etc)
  • How centre of excellence specialists would need to work alongside business partners in this scenario
  • Broadening business partnering beyond HR, eg working / merging with IT Business Relationship Managers
  • Looking to the future, the role of the HR to business network broker
3.30-4.30 Developing a Strategy to Transform HR

  • Common problems and resulting opportunities to develop HRBP effectiveness
  • The importance of organisational context, and of identifying and developing line manager capability
  • Aligning HR transformation with business strategy and organisational outcomes
  • Using HR principles to steer effective transformation
Conclusions and Action Planning


Trainer: Jon Ingham

Jon Ingham is an independent strategic people management and organisation development consultant. His projects often involve helping companies innovate their HR approaches responding to changes in the world of work and also to tie more closely to their own strategic needs. His work is informed by a strong belief in the potential offered from a smarter investment in people and the consequent opportunity to create new value for a business.

He has worked with companies in UK and Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, Asia and Australia. Recent clients have included a financial services firm where HR had to sign up to providing half of the firm’s planned financial growth.  Also, acting in an interim head of organisation development capacity for a leading retailer, planning for the introduction of a new digital business strategy.

Other activities include providing in-house and open training programmes. His Symposium courses have included strategic HR; digital HR, HR business partnering; people planning, measurement, analytics and reporting; HR and innovation; HR and social media; organisation design and development; process design; employee experience, change management, and specific courses on recruitment, learning, performance management and reward.

Jon has BA in Psychology, a Masters in Engineering and an MBA. He has frequently been recognised a leading influencer in HR, and he was listed as the 7th most influential UK HR Thinker in 2013.  HR Examiner includes him in its list of the top 100 global HR influencers and states “Ingham is still early in his career.  It’s not outrageous to imagine him as the next Ulrich.”

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Tuesday, 30 June 2020
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
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Symposium Events
020 7231 5100