Lucy Adams

Fee Band

  • Conference Speakers£5k to £10k
  • Reputation, Branding & Marketing, Change Management, Diversity, HR & Training, Transformational Leadership

Lucy led BBC HR during a turbulent period. She was responsible for employee relations, reward, training, development and redundancies. During her time the corporation adjusted to four new Directors General, the move to Salford, 30% reduction in management and the Savile scandal. Lucy’s decisions were exposed to frequent media and political scrutiny. In speeches she considers how to instil resilient leadership, break down silos and manage resistance to change.


Lucy Adams was the BBC’s HR Director during one of its most turbulent periods. Responsible for all aspects of employee relations, reward, training, and development, she reduced the BBC management by over 30%, saving the organisation £25m a year. She also faced a torrent of personal and professional criticism as the broadcaster dealt with a series of crises. In her five-year tenure Lucy saw four Director General’s come and go, oversaw the move to the Salford site and coped with numerous, very public crises including executive payoffs and the Savile scandal.

She is now the CEO Disruptive HR. The agency seeks to challenge the status quo, reimagine traditional practices, and inspire leaders and HR professionals to approach their roles with renewed vision and energy. Lucy has spent the last eight years working with HR teams and leaders from some of the world’s top brands. She combines her strategic HR expertise with practical implementation, and advocates for an innovative yet grounded approach which aims to put the “human” back into Human Resources.

In speeches, Lucy discusses how to deliver real change within a large, complex organisation, and why it isn’t always popular, balancing the need for quick decisions with possible moral backlash about severance, and issues relating to employee engagement. She states that in an uncertain world, many accepted ideas of leadership aren’t up to the job and by looking at everything from management theory to neuroscience she considers fresh perspectives on leadership, employee engagement and management organisation. Lucy also addresses how businesses can deal with public scrutiny and adverse publicity, and the nature of leadership and change in organisations.

Lucy is the author of HR Disrupted, which shows practical ways to innovate approaches to leading people in a disrupted world. Her book The HR Change Toolkit, is a handbook showing HR professionals how to go about making the change to create a function fit for world-leading 21st century organisations.

Prior to working at the BBC, Lucy was Group HR Director at Serco, the government services business, covering everything from transport to nuclear facilities. She was in position during a period of extensive expansion and acquisition for the business, incorporating new employees and cultures. Prior to Serco Lucy worked for the law firm Eversheds.


Keynote Speech

JLA Speakers Breakfast: Lucy Adams

More Details

Agent Recommendation

Thanks to her experience in turbulent times at the BBC, Lucy's speech is incredibly insightful – but she also has a natural ability to engage the room. The self-confessed "recovering HR director" even manages to inject a sense of fun. Whether she's asked to talk about the scourge of annual appraisals or the challenges of virtual teams, you will come away with a fresh perspective.

JLA Agent Adam Harkness
Read More


Book written by Lucy Adams
Book written by Lucy Adams


We’re on hand to help you find the perfect speaker, presenter or performer for your events. Call or email our London office and use our agents' experience to expertly match you with the right person for your programme!

From time to time we send out emails announcing new speakers and free tickets to our showcase events including Speakers Breakfasts and the JLA Real Variety Show. Please tick the box below if you would like to receive these emails.

Don't miss anything!

We will never share the data you submit here with a third party. Information is stored in a database in order to service your enquiry, but is deleted once it is no longer required. You may request to have this data removed at any time.

JLA Presents

Event - 30/04/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Understanding AI Now

Priya Lakhani and Anne-Marie Imafidon

We were joined at 87 Barts Close by three brilliant speakers on a panel that delved into the complex world of Artificial Intelligence. Over the hour our panellists de-mystified AI, speaking about AI’s immense promise for enhancing our lives, alongside the apprehension it has generated regarding job security, privacy infringement, and ethical considerations.


87 Barts Close, 87 Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7EB


Event - 06/02/2024 - 9:00 am

Speakers Breakfast

Looking Ahead to International Women’s Day

Samira Ahmed, Eniola Aluko, Julia Gillard, and Alex Mahon

We were joined by four fantastic speakers to look ahead at International Women’s Day. With the theme of this year’s event being #InspireInclusion, we were lucky enough to hear from four women who have each blazed a trail in their respective fields: CEO of Channel 4, Alex Mahon; the former Australian Prime Minister and Chair of Kings’ Global Institute of Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard; one of the leading voices in football, Eniola Aluko MBE; and broadcaster and journalist, Samira Ahmed.


Bishopsgate Institute, London