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How Did I Get Here? Tom Russell, Director of Strategic Resourcing and Reward, Cancer Research UK …continued

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Tom Russell explains why HR may be held back by a fear of disrupting the status quo, and reveals an urge to make his favourite artist paint for his supper.


9. What are the key issues preventing HR professionals from getting a seat on the board?
Frozen beliefs about the value of HR at this level, probably based on perceptions from the ear of personnel. Given that good HR is about organisational development and change, possibly the fear that someone at this level will more than likely challenge the status quo.

10. If you have a mantra or motto what is it?
Don’t be afraid to do something bold.

11. What are you currently reading?
Understanding Psychological Contracts at Work by Conway and Briner. This is a great book about an area that can have a huge impact upon the effectiveness of people initiatives.

I am also reading the Rough Guide to China. I am a Cancer Research UK representative on a Great Wall of China Trek in May, so I need to swot up.

12. What would be your desert island disc?
I am a big ’80s fan, so there are many cheesy tunes to choose from. Anything by Simple Minds would be wholly acceptable!

13. If you could have lunch with three famous people, dead or alive who would they be and why?

  • George Orwell – a fascinating author with very straightforward way of describing life.

  • William Roberts – an English painter of the Cubist / Vorticist movement. His paintings are fabulous. I would bring some materials with me and ask him to paint there and then – he can eat later.

  • Chris Evans – makes me laugh.
  • 14. If you’d like to be remembered for one thing what is it?
    Being the best daddy to my children.


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