Jack Morton Australia’s Extraordinary Sessions: Q&A with Lucy Adams

Jack Blog

February 14th, 2017 By Vinny Panchal


[important]“Today’s world presents opportunities for HR to drive innovation, creativity, collaboration and productivity.” – Disruptive HR[/important]

Jack Morton prides itself on aligning with leading industry standards who are at the forefront of innovation. We are fortunate enough to have Lucy Adams, former director of HR for the BBC and current CEO of Disruptive HR, speak at one of our upcoming Jack Extraordinary Sessions.

This will mark the first of 2017’s Extraordinary Sessions by Jack Morton – a series of intimate round table discussions with a select group of business thought-leaders intended to spark debate, inspire a healthy dose of divergent thinking and shed light on a popular topic within the world of Brand Experience.

At Jack’s we spend a lot of time working with our clients to shape fresh ways of managing, engaging and developing their people in today’s environment of change. So we are very excited to have Lucy discuss her experience and how she helps companies create irresistible places to work.

Before Lucy touched down, we had the opportunity to ask her a few burning questions.

You have been leading the charge in changing the perception of HR for a few years now with your company Disruptive HR, which must require a lot of passion for the cause. Where did this passion for HR begin for you and what made you want to change how it’s done?

I have always believed that the only way that companies can thrive in this fast-paced world is through their people. But as an HR Director in large corporations and particularly at the BBC, I became frustrated with the way we were doing things. I decided that, instead of moaning about HR, I’d do something about it. I have become convinced that there are much better ways and this desire to help HR practitioners has become a mission!

Throughout your career you have seen HR evolve substantially. How have you personally seen HR change in the last five years, and how vital do you believe it is for those that work in the HR industry to adapt?

We are still doing a lot of things that have been around for years – annual processes, a focus on compliance or “parenting” our managers and employees. Sure, there have been developments in new HR technology, but often we are just taking processes that don’t work, like the annual appraisal, and putting them online. I believe that we need a fundamental rethink of our role and the relationship with our leaders and employees. We’ve developed a new approach called the EACH model: Employees as Adults, Consumers and Human beings. Applying this new philosophy to the way we lead, manage, engage and develop our people enables organisations to be more agile, more innovative and more productive. If we don’t change, HR risks becoming irrelevant.

Is there a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?

The most significant things in my career were always the mistakes rather than the accomplishments. I’ve always learned more from them. But, sure there are things I’m proud of. Leading HR at the BBC was a big deal for me. I’ve loved the BBC all my life, so to be a part of it was great. I’m also thrilled that I finally wrote my book HR Disrupted, as I have the attention span of a gnat, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it.

Is there any piece of advice that you would give those already in the industry or who may be thinking of entering the industry?

When I’m speaking to groups of aspiring HR leaders, I always tell them that the key things for great HR are to have courage, to be creative and to have bags of common sense.


We would like to thank Lucy for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer these questions. We cannot wait to hear her speak later this week at our Extraordinary Session at Jack Morton Australia. 

If you’d like to know more about Jack Morton’s Extraordinary Sessions, please contact me at vinny.panchal@jackmorton.com.au. You can see Lucy’s work here.