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How Did I Get Here? Massimo Macarti, HR Director, Canon Europe

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HR Director of Canon Europe Massimo Macarti talks about achieving credibility through business expertise, and why his career history gives inspiration to his staff.

1. How strategic is your current role and what does it involve?

As chief of HR for Canon Europe and covering the Middle East and Africa, strategy is highly involved. I’m a bit suspicious talking about strategy because what’s most important is to execute it and secure it to the end. So, strategy is partly important because it gives you the base, but what’s more important is the execution capability, making things happen.

2. How is the HR function perceived within your organisation?

Very well. In many other organisations, this perception has a difficult balance between being a service function which serves managers, and leading functions, which give us some direction and stronger leadership to follow. The balance between the two is very important and will only be achieved through good leadership.

3. How does your business use HR practices to get ahead?

Our strong emphasis on HR as a business partner has helped us to use our HR people for delivering business results. Such partnerships create an intimate knowledge of the business, which has helped us to use HR as a weapon for reading business results. Also important is the harmonisation of HR practices in Europe – it is a way of reaching a more common approach to the market, and a tool for reaching more general business goals across Europe.

4. Why is your company such a great place to work?

I’ve been with the business for 14 years, working in various positions at Canon Italy. My personal history suggests lots of development possibilities to people. The company has also moved from a national corporation to a more integrated European firm, which has created lots of interesting opportunities for employees.

5. How does HR win hearts and minds in your business?

The single most important factor involves business possibilities. If people see you as a credible person to talk to, not only about personal issues but about business aspects, you will win them.

Why are the best things in HR and the worst things the same?

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