Lucy Adams

Former BBC Director of Human Resources

Lucy Adams | NMP Live

Lucy Adams was the BBC’s Director of Human Resources between 2009 and 2014, one of its most turbulent and publicly scrutinised periods. She was responsible for the design and implementation of the BBC's HR strategy to ensure that the BBC had the right people in the right roles, performing at their best.

In her five-year tenure, Lucy reduced the corporation’s management by over 30% and witnessed four Director Generals come and go, oversaw the move to the Manchester Salford site, and coped with numerous and very public crises, including executive payoffs and the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Alongside this Lucy also led a team responsible for the delivery of a full range of HR functions, including training and development, internal communications and engagement, recruitment, employee relations, remuneration and benefits, organisation design and change management, diversity, HR administration and policy. She was also responsible for the BBC's outsourced HR services.

Lucy joined the BBC in 2009, having previously been Director of HR at the international law firm Eversheds LLP. Prior to this she spent nine years at Serco Group plc, the government services organisation, starting as Change Director in the Rail Division before becoming the Group HR Director in 2004.

Since leaving the BBC, Lucy has been in constant demand on the conference speaking circuit giving keynote presentations on topics including
disruptive HR, leadership, communication and employee engagement. Together with her business partner, Lucy also runs workshops and consults on many topics within the HR arena. She specialises in helping HR and other business professionals to step back from their old assumptions about motivating people and to see more creative and effective ways of engaging employees. Recent clients have included Oracle, HSBC, RBS, Swiss Re, Jaguar Landrover as well as some large sector-led conferences.

Lucy Adams is also the author of the best-seller “HR Disrupted”, a book packed with practical ways to innovate your approach to leading people in a disrupted world.

If you believe it’s time for something different, if you recognise there’s a better way of working with your employees, if you know your systems and processes are not delivering, if you feel you’ve lost sight of the obvious — of the common sense approach — and if you want to create a positive impact, then you need to hear what Lucy Adams has to say.

Speech Topics

Today’s world presents endless opportunities for HR to drive innovation, creativity, collaboration and productivity. Lucy Adams presents keynote speeches on a range of topics, addressing the biggest challenges facing business leaders and HR today:

• How to manage, engage and develop people in the 21st century
• How to lead in a disrupted world
• How to create more innovation through your people
• How to build a digital capability
• How to build resilience

Lucy is on a mission to help organisations bring their human resources departments into the 21st century. She aims to provoke the HR community into creating new ways to support businesses in today’s complex and ambiguous world. In doing so she challenges leaders and HR professionals to learn from sources as varied as management theory, consumer organisations, marketing, neuroscience, and the latest thinking on motivation and reward.

As a follow-up to her keynote presentations, Lucy presents workshops which share approaches to attracting, developing and managing people that are fresh and innovative – and of course disruptive!

She also addresses how businesses can deal with public scrutiny, and advises them on leadership and change.


I invited Lucy Adams to address a corporate dinner for Business Leaders, and I have to say she ticked every box. Her personality is exceptionally warm, positive, and most of all engaging. The aspect of Lucy’s talk that will stick with me, is that she obviously knows her subject matter; She talks passionately from experience, and finds a perfect balance of professionalism, humour and relevance. She’s thought provoking, and dynamic in her opinions, and quite clearly very well positioned to talk to Business Leaders. I expect every aspect of her business life will be successful if she adopts the approach to Commerce as she does to Public Speaking. She’s obviously a very unique and exceptional professional, and I would recommend her without question. If you have the opportunity to spend time in her company, you’ll find it hugely beneficial.

Sebastian Pennells - Business Development Manager, RSM.

Lucy Adams spoke at one of our recent HR Community events and she was passionate, entertaining and most importantly engaged with the audience of HR Professionals in a way that was fresh and very thought provoking.

Belinda Whitehouse - Employee Relations Lead, Accenture.

I heard Lucy speak recently and was more impressed by her presentation than I have been by any other for a good few years. Lucy provides informed, evidence based theory and practice to deliver a pragmatic but stretching proposition which calls us all to be better in what we do. She uses her experience, in particular at the BBC, but not in a prurient way. She is professional, insightful, personable and very knowledgeable. I look forward to hearing her speak again.

Ffion Griffith (FCIPD) - HR Director, Efficio.

You were fantastic! The levels of enthusiasm, engagement and participation from the audience were unprecedented with this group. I found you insightful, educational, inspirational...


You were the star turn of our event! Everyone was buzzing. You were superb: fluent, charming, engaging and so authentic. I am so very grateful to you. Outstanding.


You were our number one speaker. People have been talking about it for weeks after the event.

Johnson & Johnson.

You were great! Exactly what we needed. The feedback about you was glowing.


Books and DVDs

Clients often ask about purchasing books for giveaways and delegate packs. Below you’ll find a selection of products by Lucy Adams. Click the images to view on Amazon's website. For bulk orders, please speak with your Booking Agent.

To book Lucy Adams, please submit an online enquiry, send us an email or speak with one of our friendly booking agents on +44 (0)1372 361 004.

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Lucy Adams | NMP Live
Lucy Adams

Former BBC Director of Human Resources

you made the whole process of finding and engaging our speaker very easy.
Julie Smith, Head of HR - Hastoe Group
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