Neil Morrison

Penguin Random House Director of Strategy, Culture, and Innovation

Neil Morrison
  • Played a major role in merging publishing giants Penguin and Random House
  • Writes the blog "Change Effect" where he discusses shaking up HR teams for the better
  • Shares lessons about embracing digital change and forward-looking strategies

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Neil Morrison played a major role in the merger of Penguin Random House, which saw him promoted to Director of Strategy, Culture and Innovation.  This followed five years as HR director at Random House, which he joined in 2008 after stints at Rentokil and Argos.

Having overseen the merger of two major publishing houses Neil is acutely aware of the anxiety changes can bring. He believes that concentrating on culture and leadership whilst being really clear about genuinely looking for the ‘best solution’ helps to avoid being dragged down to tricky phrases like ‘consolidation’, ‘integration’ and ‘harmonisation’.  ‘It’s really important to keep our heads up and look at the horizon, rather than getting caught up in detail after detail’, he claims.

Neil is excited about the opportunities we have when creating something new.  Building an organisation for the twenty-first century is something that not everyone is lucky enough to be able to do; and that in this modern era people can be part of more than one culture, and they are central to the success of a company.

In engaging and thoughtful presentations Neil speaks about leading in times of disruption, embracing lessons from leading an organisation through digital change, the future of work; and technology and work; how technology is impacting the way we work and think about work. He believes purpose and values are what drives organisational success - getting this right is key.

Neil is forthright in expressing his frustrations about the shortcomings of his chosen profession in Human Resources and in his provocative blog, Change Effect, he’s passionate about how the profession could be shaken-up for the better.

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Speaker Video

Having a Passion for HR

Group HR Director of Penguin Random

Beyond Commercial. For years we’ve talked about HR being strategic and being commercial, but without being clear what it looked like. As we move into a new future of work, it’[s time to reappraise how HR really can add value, what it means to be commercial and how can we help shape the future of our organisations.

Agile Leadership. Changing market conditions, changing business models and increasing unpredictability means that agile and adaptable leadership is more important than ever. But what does it look like, how do you help it to happen and how do you convince experienced leaders that they need to change?  

Penguin Random House. How did an organisation that has been in existence for 200 years learn to adapt, change and be successful in a volatile and changing market place. What are the lessons in leadership, people management and navigating change? 

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