EVENT: Driving positive cultural change in a challenging business environment

EVENT: Driving positive cultural change in a challenging business environment

On Thursday 23rd April 2015, The HR World hosted its seventh round table debate in London:

Driving positive cultural change in a challenging business environment

There are many reasons a company may need to undergo fundamental change; a drop in profitability, new customer requirements, increasing competition... But no matter how well structured at their inception, most organisations eventually reach a point where they must transform. What ever the reason, in current challenging business environments, organisations need to rejuvenate in order to thrive. As Lou Gerstner, former CEO of IBM, wrote, ‘the hardest part of a business transformation is changing the culture—the mindset and instincts of the people in the company’.

To discuss approaches to and the challenges of driving cultural change, we were joined by The HR World member Orlagh Hunt, Group HR Director at AIB (Allied Irish Banks Plc) who led our round table dinner.

The financial crash of 2007 resulted in devastating change for AIB. They were forced to close branches, take a 50% reduction in headcount and an investment of €21bn from the Irish government to stay afloat. Orlagh is responsible for leading the people strategy to deliver business and cultural transformation, and is a vital member of the AIB Leadership team that are driving change in the bank, supporting its return to viability. On 5th March 2015, AIB announced a pre-tax profit of €1.1bn, its first full year profit since 2008. As well as sharing her experiences with us, Orlagh focussed on the following areas:

  • Navigating the change agenda; when to lead and when to co-pilot
  • Driving the business to invest in people leadership, accountability and employee engagement
  • How to build a clear partnership as an organisation transitions out of crisis, ensuring that the business take ownership of performance management and engagement, maintaining sustainable cultural change

A brand new white paper will follow the debate, and is due to be published in June. Click here to read our previous white papers.

Author: Caroline Beer

Posted on: Tuesday 7th Apr 2015