Business Partnering – Reality or Fantasy?18th Mar 2011


Over the past 15 years, a significant number of organisations have adopted the Business Partner model. The rationale for the model is sound – Business Partners need to contribute to the leadership of the business by understanding its challenges, making the business case for key investments and being skilled at intervening to add measurable value. We have been working with a number of leading companies to help them chart the right course to deliver tangible value from Business Partnering within the HR, IT, Finance and Legal functions.

Many organisations have invested heavily in communication and training, but what progress have functions really made in re-defining the contribution that they make to the success of the business?

In order to progress our thinking and practice in this area, we carried out some research to enable us to gain a clearer understanding about where organisations have reached in driving the development of business partner capability and delivery.

This workshop, held at our offices in St James’s Square, was designed to enable senior function leaders to gain clarity about the challenges and issues they face, and to strengthen their resourcefulness in facing the future. We tackled key questions, including:

  • Is there a maturity model for Business Partnering emerging, and how can we use this to further develop our function?
  • What are the business challenges that organisations are facing today in harnessing organisational capability to deliver short term performance and sustainable success?
  • What responsibility does the function take for these challenges?


Agenda & Speakers

Martyn Hindley, Chief Financial Officer, Emap
Martyn is responsible for finance and treasury activities together with IT, procurement and legal services. He spent the previous eight years with Northcliffe Media, the regional newspaper division of DMGT plc, as Finance Director with responsibility for IT and procurement activities. He created a shared service centre environment for Northcliffe improving the information flows within the business and led a cost reduction programme removing £50m from the cost base. He led the corporate development programme including the strategic review of the regional newspaper division within DMGT’s portfolio.

Tracey Gray, Performance Director, Emap
Prior to Emap’s acquisition by Apax and GMG, Tracey had worked as Group HR Director at Emap Plc, leading the people elements of the strategic review process and eventual sale of the different Emap businesses. She started her career in HR and Development 14 years ago as HR Manager for a joint venture distribution company, Frontline Limited. Since then she has held various roles, ranging from HR Director in B2B, to several lead project roles on business change and developing organisational capability.


0930–1000 Arrival with tea/coffee

1000-1330 Business Partnering at Emap” – Martyn Hindley (CFO) & Tracey Gray (Performance Director), Emap. Followed by Q&A

  • Key research messages
  • Table group sessions, facilitated by Value Partnership consultants
  • Actions & conclusions

1330-1430 Buffet Lunch & Networking


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“The event provided a thought provoking introduction, a practical business example, case study in table groups and some networking including the excellent lunch.“

“The opportunity to discuss real issues with other professionals.“

“What I learnt from the participants is better than any leadership course that I have attended.“

“Hearing about the challenges faced by other companies helped me realise that my company is not alone in this area.”

“This event allowed me to think about the bigger picture and see the world not just through my own business’s perspective.”