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Payne McClendon

Global transformation executive & thought leader

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Leading transformation by empowering leaders to unlearn their incremental change mindset, breakthrough big thinking and re-imagine the possibilities of everything.

As a gifted speaker and facilitator, and an authority on strategic alignment, transformation and leadership, due diligence and people and culture Wesley Payne McClendon balances a unique blend of successful experiences as a partner in professional services, corporate executive and academic thought leader across seven continents to deliver a powerful, practical and uplifting message of change.

With over 20 years’ experience inspiring and working with organisations, business leaders and corporate teams in more than 50 countries, Wesley delivers a transformative message that is not only memorable, but also gives his audiences something tangible to take away and apply where they work and live.

Current work

Wesley is the CEO & Chairman of the Board at The GROW Project Foundation and Non-Executive Director at Vortex Innovations.

Whether working with a focus group to transform people and culture, developing a 100 day blueprint with a leadership team ahead of an acquisition, or work-shopping the commercial benefits of strategic alignment across an organisation, Wesley’s practical experience, global knowledge and passion are evident from the word go.

Wesley maintains academic roles at Melbourne Business School and Victoria University Graduate School of Business and leads a research group, MRG, Inc. Wesley has published over 20 articles including “Measuring ROI” in AITD Magazine, “Constructing the Strategic HR Value Chain” in HRD Magazine, and “Future Proof: Building Industry Disruptive Capability,” in Power Equipment Australasia.

Previous experience

Education: Wesley holds a PhD and MSc in Human Resource Management and Industrial Labour Relations from Penn State University and an undergraduate degree in Music Composition and Orchestration from Columbia. He describes the way he works with people and organisations like a conductor directing an orchestra. From a score sheet or business strategy, Wesley has the ability to look up and down the page at the people and their functions, from left to right discern the individual part each plays in time, and describe with fulsome detail how the organisation plays and works together.

Engagement: This creative and knowledgeable perspective has allowed Wesley to engage with extraordinary people and organisations all over the world. Wesley served in President Bill Clinton’s Working Group to pass transformative legislation, appointed US Delegate to the United Nations in Germany to engage a world view on partnerships, appointed to the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board and Chairman, Department of Education Advisory Committee to lead initiatives developing workforce capability, appointed Fellow, US Embassy in London and advised the Blair Administration’s Cabinet member Tessa Jowell on the viability of education and training programs.

Employment: Wesley’s professional services experience includes Managing Director, Edinburgh Institute in Hong Kong and UK; Principle and Melbourne Practice Leader, People Advisory Services, Ernst & Young; and Partner and UK Practice Leader, Human Capital Services, Mercer HR Consulting in London. His most recent corporate roles include Executive General Manager, Head of People & Capability, GROCON in Australia; Group Director, People & Culture, Dar Al Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and General Manager, Talent and OD, Fonterra in Australia and New Zealand.

Author: He has also authored 2 books, most recently “Strategy, People and Performance.” A third book, “Leadership, People and Culture Due Diligence: A Strategic Guide for Mergers, Acquisitions, Integration and Restructure,” will be published later this year.

Talking Points

Strategic Alignment (Talk/Workshop)

Companies that align business and people strategy are more likely to perform better than companies than companies whose strategies are developed and function in isolation.
Following empirical work with 70 CEOs and HR Directors from 35 companies in the UK, business-people strategic alignment resulted in higher return on assets, xxx compared to companies in which business-people strategy functioned separately.

Key outcomes: Business leaders understand the relationship between business strategy and people strategy alignment as a source of business benefit and competitive advantage.
Take-out: 1) Business and people imperatives; 2) Aligned business and people strategy; and 3) Measures for ROI and assessment framework (KPIs, etc.)

Transformation (Talk/Workshop)

An evidence-based approach to change using value to drive decision making, data to pinpoint required action and identify return on investment to measure commercial benefit and development utility.

Take-out: 1) High-level analysis of values framework used to make decisions; 2) understanding of how the values in your organization are currently being used through scenarios; and 3) how to transform the values of your organisation using my methodology.

Leadership Due Diligence (Talk/Workshop)

Leadership, people and culture due diligence in mergers, acquisitions, integration and restructure (based on forthcoming book detailing mergers and acquisition client engagements in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York).

Following my research with three global companies in the midst of mergers, acquisition, integration and restructure, I developed a model for leadership, people and culture due diligence. Given most deals fail within the first 24 months after day one, the focus of the organisations in the transaction should be on both tangible and intangible assets. This model provides the context and understanding for the importance of leadership, people and culture in change.
Take-out: 1) Understanding of leadership, people and culture in transactions; 2) business cases detailing the financial impact of intangible assets; and 3) a 100 day blueprint for leadership, people and culture due diligence.

Seven Practices for Highly Influential People Leaders (Talk/Workshop)

Details and case study examples of strategic and practical tools for people leaders: alignment, performance, talent, build, buy, move, risk.
Take-out: 1) An understanding of the seven practices; 2) why these practices are important; and 3) how you can apply them in your workplace (through role play).

Five Questions to Organisation Change (Talk/Workshop)

Covers a practical approach to measuring organisation change.
Take-out: 1) What is the required change; 2) What evidence supports the need for change; 3) What is the change solution; 4) Who will support the change; 5) What is the commercial value of the change to the business

Strategic Workshops - KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for Leaders

One of the missing pieces of organisations is quantifying performance as a means of understanding not only what are you doing well, but also what you can do better.
Take-out: 1) What are KPIs; 2) how to use KPIs to identify performance gaps and manage risk; and 3) development of KPIs within your organisation by job family or function.

Strategic Workshops - Transforming Culture

Identifying the components of current culture, future culture and incorporating transformation into candidate, employee experiences and performance.
Takeout: 1) Understanding the theory, output and outcomes of culture; 2) Detail the process of identifying your organisations culture based on values and behaviours; and 3) Developing an end-to-end solution for transforming culture from candidate through to exit.

Dr. McClendon’s insights into leadership and interacting with executive teams was great. Insightful words about delivering a message of value and commercial benefit. Truly enjoyable speaker. HR Summit Brisbane

Very engaging, enjoyed the topic and the encouragement.

HR Summit Brisbane

A fresh perspective on business partnering.

HR Summit Brisbane

He was an excellent speaker, and managed to covey his experience and that he was an expert on the topic without being patronizing

Human Resources Direction
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