Paula Leach is the global Chief People Officer for FDM Group, a role which she undertook in April 2019 having previously been Chief People Officer for The Home Office.
Paula is a member of the executive committee and responsible for the people agenda across a fast-growth, global, FTSE 250 organisation in the tech sector. FDM Group recruits, trains and deploys thousands of consultants (graduates, returners and ex-military) by providing critical academy development and upskilling programmes and meeting the tech needs for major global clients.
Previously Paula was Chief People Officer at The Home Office, responsible for an HR function of more than 300 professionals, supporting the people agenda for approximately 30,000 civil servants responsible for critically-important areas across the security, policing and fire, and borders and immigration systems.
She joined The Home Office after 18 years working across all HR disciplines at Ford Motor Company, including a three-year assignment in the US. During this time Paula worked with a diverse range of functional disciplines including operational manufacturing, product development, IT and marketing and sales.
Paula is FCIPD qualified and passionate about optimising inclusivity and the potential of individuals and teams. This professional experience and understanding is coupled with a keen commercial sense enhanced with a first-class honours business degree and an MBA. She has undertaken many professional development programmes including organisational design, change management and most recently the prestigious 'Top Flight' programme through The Pipeline.
She married and is mum to two beautiful daughters.
Do you often find that resource planning in your organisation is more reactive than proactive? Are the leaders you partner with designing teams based on achieving not only financial or budgetary requirements but also to optimise the Diversity and Inclusion agenda at the source of the design? How clear and specific are your leaders with regards to the specific skills that will be different tomorrow versus today? And to what extent is your organisation building the conditions for a thriving, healthy workforce into the structure of the organisation’s design?
After many years working with leaders and organisations committed to creating teams which are diverse, thriving, skilled for tomorrow and affordable, Paula observed little or no impact in terms of the achievement of this as a sustainable change or shift. Despite the commitment and genuine passion, leaders and organisations engaged in complicated organisational design approaches which were difficult to practically implement and sustain or reverted to short term financial parameters for planning resource allocation. The fundamental proposition she has developed is that in order to create the organisations that we dream about for tomorrow, we need to think holistically and systemically about organisational design at the source of resource planning. Her passion is facilitating leaders to own a more proactive and well rounded approach to planning for resources to break the cycle of reactivity, and to create thriving teams to serve an organisation’s future ambitions.
Paula has developed a simple yet holistic model which facilitates any leader – whether they manage a small team of a handful of reports, through to a global organisational head with multiple thousands – to use key data to help guide them to important decisions which can transform their ability to resource against multiple strategic ambitions (be those Financial, Diversity, Skills, Geography or Wellbeing related).
Strategic Workforce Planning: Simplified, Practical, Insight driven, Systemic.