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Lessons Learned from a Head of HR: Assessing Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Project PlanWe had the pleasure of hosting Jodie Blake, Executive General Manager of Human Resources, Health, Safety, Environment & Quality at Jemena, for a webinar on how she continually advances her function’s capabilities and influence across the enterprise. This blog summarizes her and her team’s ongoing journey to improve functional effectiveness and business alignment.

Following a change in shareholder ownership, the business services provider Jemena needed to reevaluate its five-year business strategy and plan, which included its HR and talent-specific strategy and plan.

To do this effectively, Ms. Blake and her HR leadership team required a solid understanding of current functional performance and a reliable assessment of future capabilities and needs.

Instinctively the team knew the function’s strengths, weaknesses, and value to the business, but they needed credible, validating data to share with other functional leadership—especially to inform the five-year, long-term corporate mission.

So they conducted a thorough assessment of HR’s specific strengths and weaknesses against a comprehensive, robust, and best-practice framework and dataset.

The assessment revealed areas of functional performance that were of high priority but not receiving adequate investment—e.g., managing workforce strategy.

The assessment also provided Ms. Blake with the language and framework to have productive dialogue with other functional leaders around processes that are traditionally categorized as HR-owned activities, but that could benefit from cross-functional collaboration and shared accountability—e.g., recruiting executive talent.

Furthermore, the assessment was useful in assigning milestones and documenting progress toward higher maturity and achievement of strategic goals.


More On…

  • If your organization, like Jemena, needs to assess its functional effectiveness to inform short- and/or long-term plans, CEB can help. Members of select memberships can launch, at no additional cost, our functional maturity diagnostics; to learn more or get started, login to your member website.

  • Non-members can learn more about these offerings, and download a product white paper, at


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