Successful HR Business Partnering 2015 – Presentations


A pdf of presentations, available following the event. (NB. Does not include event access)

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The aim of this conference is to examine how a successful partnership between HR and the business will drive organisational success and can help develop a competitive edge. The event will examine the latest strategies and will offer practical advice in developing business driven HR.

To become a true partner to the business you must understand current and future business and customer needs. To achieve this, HR must sit at the heart of the organisation and strategically shape the way people are managed. This conference will look beyond the Ulrich model and will examine how strategic HR continues to evolve for business success.


Amy Butterworth, Director, A Butterworth Consulting

Amy is an independent HROD and development specialist, whose consulting focus is on HR functions, and what makes them most effective. Prior to working independently, Amy led the HR Capability service area for a leading HR transformation consultancy, and has conducted research on the use and value of HRBPs as part of the modern HR organisation.

Amy works with groups and individuals as a facilitator and coach, and presents to learning groups and conferences on the topic of HR business partnering. Amy is experienced in designing HR services and roles, and in assessing and developing capability in critical HR roles.

Her experience across several sectors and many organisations has led her to identify common factors that are crucial to success when using a business partnering model.

Dave Jones, Head of People, Virgin Media

Dave Jones has been working in the HR profession since 1996 and has held a number of generalist, business partner positions across five different sectors. Currently he works for Virgin Media in the role of Head of People and is responsible for supporting the IT, central change, network operations and engineering functions.

Diane Thornhill, Head of HR, UKMEA, Arup

Diane is the HR Director for UKMEA in Arup.

With over 28 years experience within Human Resources, spent in a mainly generalist role across 4 different sectors; Financial Services, Retail, Manufacturing and Professional Services.

The last 12 years spent in Arup have seen a journey from Senior Business Partner, to HR Sector Leader to Region Director with a firm belief that partnering with the business can deliver real organisation value.

Mark Porter, Operational HR Manager, London Boroughs of Havering and Newham

Mark is the Operational HR Manager for oneSource, a unique partnership working arrangement between the London Boroughs of Havering and Newham.  He manages a multidisciplinary team across both boroughs.

He is also the Chair of the pan London Workforce Planning Group which provides advice and guidance to all London boroughs on human capital metrics and how best they can be used in organisations.

Mark has extensive experience of working within the HR field and also as a manager which gives him the unique ability to understand how managers think and what they want from an HR team to run their business.

He is passionate about the importance of using good data to tell an organisation’s ‘story’ and inform strategies – but not to the point of being a geek about it !

Linda Kennedy-McCarthy, Group HR Director, SIG

Linda is Group HR Director for SIG. Previously she was Vice President of People for Orange UK and then Chief Change Officer at EE, the UK’s largest mobile operator, where she was successful in delivering Orange UK into the Sunday Times Best Companies and in leading the merger and integration of Orange and T-Mobile. Prior to EE, Linda was Group HR Director at international service company Serco, where she was responsible for the development of its people strategy and the implementation of a new leadership and talent management framework.

Julian Thornley, Head of HR Centre of Excellence, Travelex

Julian’s  role is to define and implement the people strategy across Travelex to support in particular the digital transformation of the business. He  manages the portfolio of people change with a focus on talent, leadership development, employee brand and performance. He successfully implemented  Workday, Peoplefluent and Cornerstone OnDemand across Travelex –  providing colleagues with and end to end digital experience. The programme was recognised by winning the 2014 Nimbus Ninety award for Cloud Innovation.

Julian has a passion in understanding how technology and analytics can be used to transform the employee experience to support both work life integration and the bottom line. He holds a MSc in Organisational Behaviour from Birkbeck College and has held a range of HR, IT and business transformation/change roles at Fidelity International, BT and HSBC.

Nicky Riding, People Director, UK, Standard Life

Nicky is responsible for the People & Premises Functions of the UK, Europe & Strategic Corporate Centre.  Nicky has accountability for the full range of Human Resource service provision (Reward, Resourcing, Business Partnership, Talent Development and HR back office operations to the Group) to UK, Ireland, Germany and the Strategic Corporate Centre.  In addition, Nicky has accountability for Property & Premises for Standard Life Group.

Nicky is also executive sponsor of the Women’s Development Network in Standard Life, which has over 400 members.

Nicky joined Standard Life from Discovery Communications, the cable media organisation where she was Vice President HR EMEA.  She has extensive global experience across a variety of sectors and has held several senior human resource and line roles with Cable & Wireless, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclaycard.  Her career has been built on a strong sales, business development and retail foundation.

Nicky’s aim is to help others be the best they can be in the organisations she supports and shapes, the people she leads and the leaders she influences.  The values that define who Nicky is are integrity, passion, curiosity and a sense of adventure.

Gordon Latham, HR Business Partner, HR & OD Service, Warwickshire County Council

With 22 years front line HR experience in the private and public sector, Gordon is currently an HR Business Partner for Warwickshire County Council providing a service to Warwickshire schools and academies and the Council’s Education & Learning functions.  Previous roles included, HR Business Partner for Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, HR Manager for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, Head of HR for Coventry Technical College, Senior HR Advisor for Rolls-Royce plc and LD & OD Officer for Nuclear Electric plc. His most important advice for you is “get even better at what you’re good at” and “really understand what makes you happy and act on it”.

Fiona Thompson, Group Head of Learning & Development, ATS Euromaster

Fiona Thompson is an HR professional with over 15 years’ experience in Learning and Development.  Throughout her career, she has worked across a number of sectors including Finance, Sales and Retail.

For the past six years, Fiona’s worked for ATS Euromaster.  During this time she’s played a pivotal role in driving forward a major cultural change programme.  This has involved launching a robust Talent & Succession strategy, that’s helped turn the business around.  Fiona is currently studying ‘The Psychology of Organisational Development and Change’, which she is due to complete at the end of 2015.



09:00 Coffee and registration

Chair’s opening remarks

Amy Butterworth, Director, A Butterworth Consulting

Practical tips for business partners and de-mystifying the term ‘strategic’

  • Increasing your impact on the business
  • Tips to developing HR’s role in delivering success
  • Adopting the right behaviours for a HRBP
  • Essential expertise and areas for focus
Dave Jones, Head of People, Virgin Media

Developing staff to behave as true business partners

  • Building HR capability for organisational results
  • Demonstrating listening, responding and build trust
  • Managing through austerity and changing the way you work for future success
Gordon Latham, HR Business Partner, HR & OD Service, Warwickshire County Council

Questions and discussion with speakers

10:55 Refreshments and networking

Using data and analytics to support strategic HR business partnering

  • Linking to the business case
  • Using data and analytics to guide improvements
  • Interpreting and using data to influence business decisions and determine focus
  • Demonstrating measureable progress around the right KPI’s
Linda Kennedy-McCarthy, Group HR Director, SIG

Business perspectives: what the business needs and how they can engage with HR

  • Understanding the business and colleagues views
  • Building commercial acumen
  • Using HR data/evidence to talk to clients in clients’ language and help them make better decisions
  • Build credibility and better working relationships
Mark Porter, Operational HR Manager, London Boroughs of Havering and Newham

Questions and discussion with speakers

12:30 Lunch and networking

Knowledge share networking


Creating a sustainable and agile model

  • The journey of change; repositioning against a changing economy
  • Responding to growth
  • Increasing the level of connection with the business
  • Ensuring HR are visionary and innovative
Diane Thornhill, Head of HR, UKMEA, Arup

Cutting edge use of technologies

  • Demonstrating how HR technology is a key enabler to the business
  • Examining the role HR technology plays to support business partnering
  • Strategies to increase adoption of technology through self-service
  • Insight into how HRBP’s can sell the importance and value of HR technology to the business
Julian Thornley, Head of HR Centre of Excellence, Travelex

Questions and discussion with speakers

15:00 Refreshments and networking

HR’s role in turning around an organisation

  • HR at the heart of profit
  • Changing culture and harnessing talent
  • Increasing HR’s impact on the organisation
Fiona Thompson, Group Head of Learning & Development, ATS Euromaster

Beyond HR business partners: what are the next steps?

  • HR Business Partnering in 2020 and beyond
  • Examine the next generation of HR business partnering
Nicky Riding, People Director, UK, Standard Life

Questions and discussion with speakers


Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference