What is HRLP?

HRLP is a unique learning experience for senior-level and high-potential HR professionals from leading global companies. Each session is an intensive eleven-day learning consortium involving participant teams from forward thinking companies. HRLP weaves together three streams of activities: playbook, project, and personal. 

HRLP offers participants the knowledge and tools HR professional should master to deliver value. The playbook for HR includes the ability to:

  • Understand global business contexts.
  • Create value by seeing HR from the outside/in (value created).
  • Master organization capabilities at the heart of the Strategy-HR linkage.
  • Create and apply HR metrics.
  • Make change happen.
  • Learn and improve HR competencies.
  • Coach self and others.
  • Learn the latest trends in talent (e.g. growth mindset, employee experience, active engagement, contingent workforce, career moaics).
  • Appreciate latest overall digital trends and master HR digital practices. 
  • Update and ensure the quality of leadership.
  • Learn trends in executive compensation.
  • Create a talent productivity formula: Competence x Commitment x Contribution.

Each company team works with their top HR executives to identify a project that will significantly impact HR within their business. This requires preliminary meetings to determine depth, breath, and scope of the project.


We work aggressively to make sure that team projects deliver real value to the participating companies. Each project has an assigned faculty coach. Collectively our coaches have over 100 years of experience.

We encourage personal reflection time during the two weeks. We complement this with extensive peer coaching during the day. Dave Ulrich offers an individual coaching session with each participant on professional and personal issues.


The faculty members of the program are the acknowledged leaders in their respective areas of HR expertise. The faculty has been selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Publicly acknowledged thought leaders in their respective areas of expertise.
  • Outstanding track records as communicators of their ideas.
  • Experience in working with more than forty Fortune 200 companies .

Application of their ideas in non-US as well as US settings. With these criteria in mind, we have selected the best faculty members available in their respective areas.

Dave Ulrich is a cofounder and Partner at The RBL Group and Professor of Business at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Professionally, he studies how organizations build capabilities of speed, learning, collaboration, accountability, talent, and leadership through leveraging human resources. He has helped generate multiple award-winning databases that assess alignment between strategies, human resource practices and HR competencies. He has published over 175 articles and book chapters and 23 books. He was the Editor of Human Resource Management Journal (1990- 1999), served on the editorial board of four other Journals, is on the Board of Directors for Herman Miller, is a Fellow in the National Academy of Human Resources, and cofounder of the Human Resource Learning Partnership. He has been awarded a number of annual and lifetime achievement awards.

Erin Wilson Burns is HRLP Co-Program Director with Dave Ulrich and a Principal with RBL. Erin has almost 20 years of experience in leadership development, executive coaching, and organization design and transformation consulting. She has worked with Fortune 500 companies from a range of industries and has been closely involved in many of RBL's research initiatives including the Top Companies for Leaders (with AonHewitt and Fortune) and the Human Resource Competency Study (with the University of Michigan). At RBL, she has also been responsible for the development of new products and methodologies. Erin has an MBA from The University of Michigan Business School (now Ross School of Business).

Norm Smallwood is a cofounder and Partner of The RBL Group. He is a recognized authority in developing leaders who create more value for their organizations. His writing, speaking, and consulting work relate to increasing business value by building organization, strategic HR, and leadership capabilities that measurably impact market value. He is co-author of six books, with two released in 2007. He has published more than 150 articles in leading journals and newspapers and has contributed chapters to multiple books, including two Harvard Business Review articles. He was selected as one of the Top 100 Voices in Leadership by Executive Excellence magazine in February 2005.

Mark Nyman, President of Business Development with The RBL Group, has spent his career assisting organizations in transforming themselves by creating strategic focus and then aligning the design of their organizations and/or support functions. He has used his expertise in large system change and executive development in startups, existing organizations, and in mergers/joint ventures settings. Mark uses high involvement as a way of building ownership and helps his clients think differently about the issues that challenge them. He has worked with numerous clients including: Adidas, American Century, AT&T, Buffalo Wild Wings, Cisco, Comcast, Denver Children's Hospital, Honeywell, Invesco, Johns Manville, Kellogg, Merck, Pfizer, Rio Tinto, RR Donnelly, Saudi Aramco, Shell Oil, Sun Microsystems, and Williams Energy.

Jessica Johnsonis The RBL Group's Managin Director for North America. She consults with organizations worldwide in various industries for both leadership development and strategic alignment of human resources. Jessica serves as a certified executive coach, teacher, facilitator; and is dedicated to advancing the fields of Leadership and Strategic HR by connecting leaders with practical tools, leading edge theory, and opportunities to learn from each other.

Dick Beatty is Professor of Human Resource management at Rutgers University and a core faculty member of executive education programs at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Professor Beatty teaches in the areas of applied behavioral science and human resource management in changing individual and organizational effectiveness. He has worked as a management consultant at over half of the Fortune 100 firms. He has authored more than one hundred and twenty articles and papers and won numerous research and publishing awards. His specialty is working with organizations to design and implement strategic change initiatives, emphasizing the building of workforce capability (and intellectual capital) through the human resource “tool kit.”

Marshall Goldsmith has been recognized again as one of the top ten Most-Influential Business Thinkers in the World and the topranked executive coach at the 2013 bi-annual Thinkers50 ceremony in London. Marshall has received professional acknowledgements and awards too numerous to mention. Among them are “World's #1 Leadership Thinker” from Harvard Business Review and “Lifetime Achievement Award (one of only two ever awarded) from Institute for Management Studies. Marshall is a world-class thought leader, educator, and executive coach, and we are honored to count him among our HR Learning Partnership faculty.

Charlie Tharp is the Executive Vice President for Policy of the Center On Executive Compensation. In that role, Dr. Tharp is responsible for setting overall policy positions and research initiatives undertaken by the Center and representing the Center in public forums. He is also an instructor, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, at Cornell University.

Gordon Hewitt is Adjunct Professor of Business Administration, and formerly Distinguished Visiting Professor of Corporate Strategy, at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. His interests cover the fields of global competition, corporate strategy, and the value added of executive leadership. Gordon has been the highest rated core faculty member on Michigan's senior executive programmes for many years. He is also Distinguished Professor of Corporate Strategy and International Business at Duke Corporate Education.

Wendy Ulrich has been a licensed psychologist in private practice for twenty years. Wendy brings a personal touch to corporate complexities. Her focus is on helping leaders create meaning at work that contributes real value to employees, customers, and investors. Wendy helps organizations build people skills and personal strengths to succeed: communication, relationships, change, creativity, resilience, and happiness. She speaks to thousands of people every year on these topics.

Program Offerings (dates)

In 2018, we offer two sessions:  
April 24 - May 4 and September 4-14

Past Companies

In our 20 year and 34 offerings of HRLP, we have had 70 different companies attend. Some of those companies are listed below:

3M, Ascension Health, American Express, Applied Materials, AstraZeneca, Avanade, BASF, Baxter Healthcare, BBC, Black & Veatch, Boeing, British Telecom, Campbell Soup, Capital One, Cardinal Health, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Dignity Health, Dupont, Eli Lilly, Flex, Ford, GE, Gilead Sciences, GlaxoSmithKline, General Motors, Herman Miller, HP, Humana, ICI, ICICI Bank, Ingersoll Rand, Intel, Invensys, Johnson & Johnson, Juniper Networks, Kinross, Lafarge, Logica, Lucent Technologies, Maersk, McKesson, Motorola, MSCI, Nokia, Nokia-Siemens Network, Oracle, Owens Corning, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, PraxAir, Quantum, Rio Tinto, Saudi Aramco, Sears, Shaw Communications, Shell Oil, Staples, Statoil, Time Warner, UBS, Unilever, UPS, Walgreen's, Westinghouse, Williams Energy

What Past Participants Have Said

It was a wonderful experience to go away and delve deeply into the areas which interest me the most in my professional life. The whole experience was intense, informative and challenging and I have taken back some very important nuggets which I will cherish, and learn and grow from on both a personal and professional level. Thank you.
Esther Girgis, Kinross

I got a tremendous amount of value from the HRLP, both personally and professionally. Our coaching session was particularly valuable to me personally. It has helped to frame some of my thoughts and reinvigorating me to truly drive positive change within the organization.
Jason Campbell, Westinghouse

RBL was a wonderful experience, definitely one of my ‘best ever’ development experiences, so thank you for that.
Leigh Weissbaupt, Intel

Thank you so much for this great learning experience with you and your team. You created for me a wonderful platform for sharing and receiving knowledge and building cross company relationships.
Hans Plienegger, Flex

Many thanks for an insightful two weeks, lots of learning, networking and time to reflect on why I work in HR and how I can continue to bring value to my business partners and the profession.
Grant Weinberg, Gilead

Although I agree that it is a significant personal and organizational commitment to spend that amount of time, I can definitely say that it was well worth the investment for you. You and the entire team certainly challenged us to think different, not be complacent with the status quo, and understand the potential role and impact that HR should have in achieving business results.
Michael Tuller, PepsiCo

I can honestly say that the 11 days I spent with you was the most beneficial experience I have had so far, both professionally and personally. Looking back, there isn't one part of the program that wasn't valuable to me.
Ed Daech, Ascension

Program Agenda

Day 1

  • Program Introduction
  • Global Business Strategy
  • Group Introductions
  • Best Practices Sharing 1 & 2

Day 2

  • HR Value Proposition
  • Best Practices Sharing 3 & 4

Day 3

  • Organization Capabilities
  • Best Practices Sharing 5 & 6
  • Team Building Activity

Day 4

  • The New Workforce Metrics
  • Personal Change
  • Best Practices Sharing 7 & 8

Day 5 (weekend)

  • Challenge Project Kick-off

Day 6 (weekend)

  • Review of 1st week/Framing and overview of 2nd week
  • Group Dinner

Day 7

  • Talent
  • Company HR Challenge Projects

Day 8

  • Executive Compensation
  • Company HR Challenge Projects

Day 9

  • HR Competencies
  • Company HR Challenge Projects

Day 10

  • Leadership Brand
  • Intercompany Presentations of Company Challenge Projects
  • Graduation Dinner

Day 11

  • Group Presentations
    (in private sessions)
  • Program Closure/Vision
  • Senior HR Executives Forum

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many people should we send?
A: This is a team-based experience and we price it according to your company sending a team of 5 people.
Q: Can we send individuals?
A: We believe it strengthens your delegates to have common experience with others in the company, and thus have designed our program so that you send a team of delegates. 
Q: When is the deadline to register for the program?
A: We do cap the program at 8 companies and will keep places open until all slots are filled. Because of the preparation time needed, both for your participants and to designate a project for the session, we recommend program confirmation usually by 3 months out before a program starts.  We can be somewhat flexible with that.

Q: What kind of Project should we designate for our delegates to tackle? 
A: We consider the Project to be a major part of the program.  Your team will work on the Project during the session.  We hope that you are able to select a project which will be implemented (or continued developing) upon the return of your delegates.  Because of the project coaching and development during the program, we encourage companies to consider a project that has significant impact on the company (one that you would have spent $150-200k on consulting if not for this program).  A list of previously tackled projects is available upon your request.
Q: What individual development is designed into the program?
A: Each delegate will complete a 360-degree feedback survey.  An individual coaching session (for those who desire it) with Dave Ulrich is also built into the program.  Additionally, we have modules on coaching, change, and career path that are designed with individual progression in mind. 



HR Learning Partnership is held at Hotel Park City in Park City, Utah