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Denise Canning FCIPD

In 2003, Denise was appointed a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD). In 2000, she was appointed as HR Director for Sutherland Consulting Limited and in 2006 was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Altran CIS UK (formerly Sutherland Consulting UK).

Having joined Marks and Spencer plc Management Programme in 1983, Denise rapidly progressed through a variety of roles during her 17 years with the organisation. Initially specialising in Human Resource Management (HRM), Denise very quickly attracted board level attention for her performance and innovative approach to HRM, which clearly evidenced incisive business acumen.

During her time in store management, Denise was operationally and commercially involved in a number of M&S flagship stores. In 1986 M&S undertook their largest ever investment in commissioning a store in the new, state of the art, Metro shopping complex in Newcastle, England. She was drafted in to design, implement and manage the training of all staff in challengingly short time frames.

As a result of the enormous success of this project, Denise was appointed, in 1993, to spearhead the Gyle development (outside Edinburgh). This was the first ever seven day trading store for M&S with a staff requirement of 500, and the innovative compensation planning with harmonised terms and conditions for existing staff along with the creative working patterns developed for integrating new staff which Denise designed, was presented to the board of M&S. This subsequently became the operational blue print for seven day trading ventures.

In 2000 Denise was headhunted by Sutherland Consulting, a rapidly growing IT consultancy company working within the financial services sector in London. She took up the role of HR Director and successfully launched the opening of the European operation in Frankfurt. The chairman, Alan Sutherland, had set the agenda that the HR function would not only acquire and develop the best talent but would do so in a commercially prudent fashion with clear impact on bottom line profitability. This led to Denise to developing and applying innovative processes to improve organisational performance and competitiveness.

A systematic, commercially-focused approach to setting and communicating business objectives, implemented in the latter part of 2000, ensured that Denise was able to attract, retain and develop the most talented people to meet these objectives. In 2001 Sutherlands were award the FT Tech Track award as the 20th fastest growing [unlisted] company in the UK (the highest ranked consultancy).

Sutherlands was acquired by the Altran group in December 2001 and in 2003 Denise presented the joint boards of Sutherlands a model to radically reorganise the HR services across the twelve UK owned Altran companies. Her aim was to provide an HR and Management development service to the Altran UK companies which closely aligned with the business needs.

The UK between 2004-2009 proved to be the number one region for development and profitability within the Altran Group and in 2006 Denise was promoted to Chief Operating Officer whilst providing HR Consultancy to a range of clients and fulfilled this role until March 2010 when she left the Altran Group and in June 2010 set up 121 HR Solutions Limited.

121 HR Solutions demonstrates in its commitment to client delight, the epitome of Denise’s business expertise. She has developed a business model of three services – the 121 HR Business Partnership, the 121 HR Business Manager and the 121 HR Business Project. These services deliver:

• Consistency and transparency in their pricing
• Value for money
• Commercial benefit with demonstrable return on investment
• Client peace of mind

With clients in every sector – public, private and charitable, across the UK and Ireland, 121 HR Solutions has proven itself to be a unique consultancy that works with businesses to optimise their people processes and performance.

Denise has 25 years’ experience in the field of HR and management development, operating at a senior level in a wholly commercial context. She has an ability to deliver effective results and see business opportunity and risk which will ensure that 121 HR Solutions services offered will be the most effective, most creative and most business changing.

Denise has built up a team of qualified CIPD HR Consultants to engage with clients throughout the UK. Our team at 121 HR Solutions pride ourselves on building a close working relationship with our clients.

Denise is a fun loving individual yet fiercely determined and prides herself on extraordinary planning and organisational skills – allowing her to juggle successfully, both her career and bringing up 4 children.

My Business Tips

Be passionate and believe in what you do
Understand your customer needs and listen
Ensure your business model is clear and easy to understand
and never promise something you can't deliver!

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