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Will Hutton reflects on his lifetime achievement award

Will Hutton

20 September 2013

Earlier this week, Will Hutton was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the HR Most Influential Awards. He joins Lynda Gratton, Dave Ulrich, David Fairhurst and Charles Handy in HR Magazine’s Most Influential Hall of Fame. He became CEO of The Work Foundation in 2000 (then still known as the Industrial Society), eventually taking the role of Executive Director. In 2011, he became the Chair of the Big Innovation Centre, an initiative of The Work Foundation and Lancaster University. Below, he reflects on winning the award.

I am not altogether sure what I have done to deserve to being honoured by HR Magazine for a lifetime achievement award – but I am surprised and pleased in equal measure. I was standing at the back of the room at the awards ceremony enjoying a glass of wine and thinking that this year the winning names seemed more rounded and better deserved than in the past (people like me) while joshing one of the winners (Cary Cooper) who I have known for a long time – when to my complete astonishment a nomination was made that seemed to correspond to me, but plainly couldn’t be. I could not be given a lifetime achievement award. And then it was me. Let me put it on record : being honoured publicly is a fantastic thing. It takes a while to sink in. Somebody somewhere shares my passionate belief in the importance of nurturing men and women in the workplace as best one can , giving them voice, paying them proportionate to their contribution and respecting them whatever their foibles. I am not sure HR will ever get the standing it deserves: Britain does not value its people enough.  But despite that my great thanks to all those  who decided I was worth a lifetime achievement award.