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Unveiling the leadership dynamics: Exploring the skills of Chief People Officers

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In collaboration with Cappfinity, we present insights into the skills of Chief People Officers (CPOs) in UK-based organisations. As an addition to our CPO Pathways report, this research delves into the intricate fabric of leadership strengths, shedding light on the unique attributes that define and distinguish the strongest Chief People Officers.


The Skills of a CPO banner for download


Introducing Cappfinity

We are delighted to partner with Cappfinity, the talent technology company who specialise in skills based assessment & development, on this supplementary report.

Each year, Cappfinity delves into the realms of leadership, dissecting trends and analysing the essence of effective leadership across various functions. Here we focus in on the skills of leaders within the People function, offering analysis of their strengths and characteristics.

Our analysis is anchored on the Leader Strengths Profile, a comprehensive tool that illuminates leaders’ proficiencies across 60 key skills. These skills are categorised into ‘Realised Strengths,’ ‘Unrealised Strengths,’ ‘Learned Behaviors,’ and ‘Weaknesses,’ providing a panoramic view of leadership dynamics.


In this report, we explore some key areas:

  • How do leaders within the people function nurture belief and potential in others?
  • Evidence that HR leaders strategically mix compassion and consideration in their decision making, challenging past perceptions about their role within organisational strategy?
  • How HR leaders navigate the complexities of change in the post covid era.
  • How humility and a tendency to champion others is a core skill in this population, often at the detriment of one’s own opportunity for progression and recognition.

Undeniably, HR leaders have grown and adapted to the huge challenges presented by seismic changes in the employment landscape. This research shows that with a mix of compassion, strategic thinking, and expertise in managing change, they are well-equipped to guide organisations to new levels of success.

Ultimately, this research shows that HR leaders have unique and important skills around the executive table, and we hope that this research enables reflection and a deeper level of recognition of the impact the function can have.


Continue reading and download our 2024 edition of the Chief People Officer Pathways report to find out more.