Jackie Orme is fast becoming the Fred Goodwin of personnel and development. Just released accounts see her pocket a 400k salary. Her £85,000 bonus, is up by 49% from £57,000 last year. Not bad for an organisation whose commercial revenue has plummeted (down 23%), research down and ridiculed (down 57% & report pulled), magazine imploded (down 83%), investment returns bombed (down 74.7%) and membership angry and alienated about a command and control culture that leaves them with less services and starved of cash. A curious position for the supposed leader of the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development, the main professional body for HR and training!
Forever twittering on about ‘leadership’, the CIPD is a rock-solid case study in poor leadership. All Orme has achieved is fiscal failure, while awarding herself a £400,000 salary and obscene bonus. This is a manager whose rewards are truly in inverse proportion to achievement and performance. On top of this she’s awarded herself a nice little 6k on top of her base salary, and don’t forget the 13k of benefits in kind – whatever that means. Then there’s the pension. She’s also creating a culture of greed through a dramatic 50% increase in the number of staff on £60k plus from 14 in 2009 to 21 in 2010. There’s no end to this gravy train. What are the remuneration committee playing at?
Collapsing commercial revenues
From her written text in the Annual Report you'd think the CIPD had had a bumper year. Despite its aggressive push into commercial activities, using an acquisition and its brand to squash commercial competition, its revenues are down by 20%. This is all the more surprising as they bought a consultancy i.e. bought income this year. Take away this acquired income and you have a drop in commercial revenues of 23.7%. Revenues from the branches are down by 45.6%, revenue from investments down by 74.7%. Of course, this all means that there’s been a lot less spent on membership services, education, research and branches. So much for measurable KPIs!
Bridge Communications: a bridge too far
Then there’s the odd acquisition of a consultancy, something that has been widely criticised by members. Surely the CIPD, as a charity, is in the business of supporting its members, not competing against them for business. The sum paid (£3.8 million plus a £900,000 earnout) seems massively overpriced. In any case, it’s not right to buy an advantage in the market which you’re supposed to serve. If I had a HR consultancy, I’d be none too pleased that my subscriptions have gone into buying my competitor.
People Management: managed to collapse
The CIPDs house magazine (a dull, bi-weekly recruitment rag) has gone into almost terminal decline under her watch, with an 83% decline in revenues - yes 83%. Feedback suggested that almost everything was wrong with the magazine; low on features, lack of innovation etc. It's going to be relaunched, apparently but you can't relaunch a shipwreck.
Research: a calamitous year
Much is also made, by Jackie Orme, of the CIPDs research activities. What she didn't mention was the huge PR disaster, when they published a research report attacking the spend on Quangos in Education and Skills (seen as a thinly veiled attack on rivals). Tom Richards, the young researcher responsible for the report had nowhere near the depth and experience to do this type of report, so it was sketchy and wildly inaccurate, so factually wrong that several CEOs wrote public letters decrying the document, eliciting a groveling apology from the CIPD and it was pulled from their website. Then there’s the opinion pieces, that are overtly political, promoting, for example, a bonus culture in the public sector (wonder why?). Oh, and by the way, revenues in this area plummeted by 57%. Success - I think not.
Conclusion – fiscal failure
Under Jackie Orme, the CIPD has managed something quite unique; collapsing commercial revenues, an expensive acquisition, reduced services to members, disastrous magazine performance and poor quality research. Serious questions were asked about her qualifications and ability when she was appointed. Those questions have now been answered. The AGM is at 13:15 on Tuesday 7 December 2010 at the Royal College of Physicianson, open to all members. Go along and ask a few scary questions.