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  • Frazer Jones Chronicle 2015

    The Talent & Culture Series


  • 2 FRAZER JONES CHRONICLE 2015 @FrazerJonesHR

    Introduction & Thanks


    2015 has so far been an incredible year! In 2014 we highlighted the increase in organisations globally driving new talent initiatives, attraction and retention being a top priority.

    Its exciting to see that this has continued in 2015, talent, engagement, development, technology and globalisation are key topics for the HR community. Technology and data have had a huge impact on how people work and how we measure output and performance.

    Culturally organisations are changing quicker now than at any other time in history and this new world requires innovation in the people agenda. This is HRs greatest challenge and its golden opportunity. 2015 and 2016 is about bold leadership, developing great leaders and putting talent and culture at the top of the agenda!

    Best wishes

    Darren WentworthPartner, Frazer JonesT: +44 (0)20 7415 2815E:

    London 95 Queen Victoria Street London EC4V 4HN T: +44 (0)20 7415 2815

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    From the Editor

    Our clients have highlighted over the last 6 months their renewed focus on Talent challenges as organisations return to growth and invest more in this critical area of HR. As businesses look to maximise the effectiveness of their workforce HR is increasingly expected to help shape and develop organisational culture to achieve business objectives. More so now than ever business leaders are awakening to the importance of focusing on people and not just numbers and the role HR experts can play in nurturing this invaluable asset. This edition of the Frazer Jones Chronicle is focused on Talent and Culture, with articles from HR professionals and thought leaders from around the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the contributors and I hope you take away a small lesson, renewed vigour for current challenges or changed view on the obstacles ahead of you.

    Enjoy this edition!

    Brad LawChronicle EditorHead of European Search Frazer Jones T: +44 (0)20 7415 2815E:

  • 3/company/frazer-jones THE TALENT & CULTURE SERIES


    Kim Schmidt, Director People and Culture & Ian Herman, National Managing Partner, Grant Thornton Australia

    Cultural transformation drives competitive edge for Grant Thornton AustraliaPage 4

    Daniel Gallo, Group HR Director, Manchester Airport Group

    Talent considerations in M&A scenariosPage 8

    Ashley Harshak, Partner, Telos Partners

    Culture as a competitive differentiatorPage 11

    Gary Sagar, Head of Talent Management, Amgen

    Structuring talent development and measuring ROIPage 16

    Niko Veenstra, CHRO, Eneco Energy

    Agility as a measure for succession management and job rotation Page 18

    Michael Schulz, SVP HR, Petrofac

    Maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit through rapid growthPage 21

    Felicitas von Kyaw, Business Area Customers & Solutions, Vattenfall

    Developing an agile organisation and talent in a changing industry Page 24

    George Tan, Regional Director of Group Human Resources, AIA

    East meets West. Why we shouldnt put too much focus on managing cultural differencesPage 26

    Charlotte Sweeney

    The key steps to creating a diverse and inclusive culturePage 28

    Frazer Jones Global Management Team

    ContactsPage 31

  • 4 FRAZER JONES CHRONICLE 2015 @FrazerJonesHR

    Kim Schmidt Director People and Culture Grant Thornton (GT)

    Cultural transformation drives competitive edge for Grant Thornton Australia

    This has been in no small part due to a cultural transformation, underpinned by turning a previously inwardly focused partnership, into a highly engaged, highly focussed team that is now (literally) singing from the same hymn book.

    The agenda for change

    Ian Herman, National Managing Partner, Strategic Performance and Engagement, has been a Partner with Grant Thornton (GT) for the best part of 8 years. When he joined the firm, Ian said the professional services sector in Australia was strong. Clients needs were localised and as such, professional services firms took a similar approach to client delivery. Internal operations were also managed at a local level and the pathway to Partnership was about the amount of work sold individually. Ian says the market has changed and clients now demand a more integrated approach nationally, or globally.

    Kim Schmidt joined GT Australia as Director of People and Culture in August, 2012. She accepted the role, sold on the firms clear growth agenda. Yet upon joining, Kim quickly discovered that at a time when the market was demanding a unified, integrated approach,

    the firm was considerably inwardly focussed. There were a number of contributing factors:

    The firm was grappling with the transition from a state-based to a national firm (and in particular the indifferent commitment levels of Partners to fall in line);

    The ongoing integration of 2 smaller firms whose employees were used to a more agile environment and were up for change;

    A recent merger with (parts of) BDO, another mid-tier consultancy firm. Whilst this doubled revenue and headcount of the expanded firm, it threw two previously fierce competitors together overnight.

    Kim recounted that the sum of these factors led to a culture whose personality would be best described as introverted, with a lack of confidence among Partners in the firms ability to change/be different, let alone aspire to be something great. There was also a sense below Partner level that there was little opportunity for progression and hence no real aspiration toward a future in the business, as if the local book (ie. clients and

    Ian HermanNational Managing Partner Grant Thornton (GT)

    Grant Thornton Australia thinks, acts and feels like a very different firm these days than it did 5 to 6 years ago. It has moved from a federated firm, with a localised (state-based) approach to the external market, to one firm nationally, now collaborating across geographies and practice areas, to deliver integrated, client centric solutions that is creating a demonstrable competitive advantage in the Australian marketplace.

  • 5/company/frazer-jones THE TALENT & CULTURE SERIES

    revenue within respective states) did not justify the appointment of additional Partners, there were no development opportunities.

    Kim gave a wry smile when she recounted her early discussions with Partners about talent management. With GT and BDOs Sydney and Melbourne offices coming together, there was no clarity on what potential Partner talent the organisation had. Kim added it was even more challenging further down the line. Each office had their own processes regarding promotions and frequently when the firm had a vacancy, they would go to the external market. No real surprise then, that an engagement survey completed just prior to the BDO merger delivered a pretty ordinary score.

    Added to Kims challenge was the fact that the People and Culture function within the firm was not taken seriously. It was seen more as a support area that would run some programs and reactively facilitate promotions, mobility and recruitment, rather than as a strategic, enabling function.

    Ian added that there were further challenges in the business. Whilst the merger with BDOs Melbourne and Sydney offices was definitely in line with GTs growth strategy, it happened very quickly, which had a significant impact on day-to-day business. Ian, an ex-AFL footballer, likened it to throwing together two arch enemies and asking them to become teammates overnight. Both firms had different ways of doing things (with varying views on which were better) and the former BDO Partners were not necessarily bought into the firms future strategy, as they had not been involved in its creation. Kim added that there were further tensions coming from GTs Board related to under-performance in top line revenue, as well as timelines around

    when synergies and associated efficiencies from the merger would be achieved. This had a knock-on impact on Partner remuneration. Even after structural and systems changes had been addressed as part of the integration of the previous two entities, there was still a feeling that the firm was not meeting its financial potential and there were significant concerns around retention of their people and their clients, in particular clients of the merged BDO practice.

    Plan of attack

    Dont focus only on performance, seek to understand whats happening in the culture that supports or hinders the performance

    With a burning platform for change, Kim set about designing a plan to engage the Partnership group, as to achieve sustainable transformational change you have to build belief. Kim indicated that for GT to achieve its business strategy, Partners needed to collectively believe in the firms direction and understand their contribution