After more than 300 years in business, a few years ago, the global insurer Lloyd’s of London finally set out to establish its first true HR strategy, starting with the hiring of HR Director Suzy Black. “I was brought in to trans-form the HR function from one modeled on an old-style personnel office to a function that is more cutting edge, business focused, and value adding,” says Black. Black’s first order of business was to evaluate the
current state of affairs, particularly how the corpora-tion’s senior managers perceived the HR role. With this information in hand, Black and her team began to develop an overarching strategic agenda as well as specific tactics, addressing everything from recruit-ment to performance management to basic policies to rewards and compensation. Changing longtime employees’ perception of HR
took a bit of convincing, but employees quickly began to recognize the value of Black’s actions. Gradually, they could see how the HR strategies were effectively creating conditions in which they could develop in their careers, be successful, and find meaning and value in their work. Today, Lloyd’s employees list the company’s challeng-ing work environment, healthy incentive programs, and meaningful community outreach programs among the key reasons they enjoy working for the insurance giant. Black’s efforts also enhanced Lloyd’s position as a
desirable place to work. The average tenure of employ-ees at the company is, incredibly, 21 years. The insurer has been named one of the “Top 100 Best Companies to Work For” (in the United Kingdom) by the Sunday Times and hailed as one of the United Kingdom’s Top 40 Business Brands by an independent researcher. Each year, new graduates scramble to get hired by
Lloyd’s. These new hires rotate through three to four different assignments within Lloyd’s so they get a per-spective of the company and the insurance market as well as a better idea of the departments in which they would like to ultimately work. Lloyd’s also offers a
graduate program in insurance, apprenticeships, and internships. Work-life balance at the company is good. Although
sometimes extra hours have to be worked, that’s not the norm. Working mothers can choose to work part or full time. In addition, the company offers employees time to do charity and nonwork-related activities to further their personal growth, says Black. “Employees are very sophisticated people, and they have more drivers than just wanting to earn money,” she notes. Ironically, Black’s position was the first HR posi-tion she had ever held, having risen through the ranks in other arenas in business. But her experience has given her a clear definition of the ideal characteris-tics of the HR professionals. “They must understand change and transformation, excel at operations, and balance tactical and strategic thinking and acting,” she says. “They will have to be able to manage and navigate organizational complexity and ambiguities and not be afraid to say no occasionally in order to establish appropriate boundaries with the business.”
1. What skills does Black think employees need, to work successfully in the area of HR?
2. What are some of the outcomes of the company’s new HR strategy?
3. What do you think might be some of the challenges of establishing HR policies for a global company?
4. What types of situations do you think might require an HR manager to say “no”?





Sample solution

Dante Alighieri played a critical role in the literature world through his poem Divine Comedy that was written in the 14th century. The poem contains Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. The Inferno is a description of the nine circles of torment that are found on the earth. It depicts the realms of the people that have gone against the spiritual values and who, instead, have chosen bestial appetite, violence, or fraud and malice. The nine circles of hell are limbo, lust, gluttony, greed and wrath. Others are heresy, violence, fraud, and treachery. The purpose of this paper is to examine the Dante’s Inferno in the perspective of its portrayal of God’s image and the justification of hell. 

In this epic poem, God is portrayed as a super being guilty of multiple weaknesses including being egotistic, unjust, and hypocritical. Dante, in this poem, depicts God as being more human than divine by challenging God’s omnipotence. Additionally, the manner in which Dante describes Hell is in full contradiction to the morals of God as written in the Bible. When god arranges Hell to flatter Himself, He commits egotism, a sin that is common among human beings (Cheney, 2016). The weakness is depicted in Limbo and on the Gate of Hell where, for instance, God sends those who do not worship Him to Hell. This implies that failure to worship Him is a sin.

God is also depicted as lacking justice in His actions thus removing the godly image. The injustice is portrayed by the manner in which the sodomites and opportunists are treated. The opportunists are subjected to banner chasing in their lives after death followed by being stung by insects and maggots. They are known to having done neither good nor bad during their lifetimes and, therefore, justice could have demanded that they be granted a neutral punishment having lived a neutral life. The sodomites are also punished unfairly by God when Brunetto Lattini is condemned to hell despite being a good leader (Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). While he commited sodomy, God chooses to ignore all the other good deeds that Brunetto did.

Finally, God is also portrayed as being hypocritical in His actions, a sin that further diminishes His godliness and makes Him more human. A case in point is when God condemns the sin of egotism and goes ahead to commit it repeatedly. Proverbs 29:23 states that “arrogance will bring your downfall, but if you are humble, you will be respected.” When Slattery condemns Dante’s human state as being weak, doubtful, and limited, he is proving God’s hypocrisy because He is also human (Verdicchio, 2015). The actions of God in Hell as portrayed by Dante are inconsistent with the Biblical literature. Both Dante and God are prone to making mistakes, something common among human beings thus making God more human.

To wrap it up, Dante portrays God is more human since He commits the same sins that humans commit: egotism, hypocrisy, and injustice. Hell is justified as being a destination for victims of the mistakes committed by God. The Hell is presented as being a totally different place as compared to what is written about it in the Bible. As a result, reading through the text gives an image of God who is prone to the very mistakes common to humans thus ripping Him off His lofty status of divine and, instead, making Him a mere human. Whether or not Dante did it intentionally is subject to debate but one thing is clear in the poem: the misconstrued notion of God is revealed to future generations.



Babor, T. F., McGovern, T., & Robaina, K. (2017). Dante’s inferno: Seven deadly sins in scientific publishing and how to avoid them. Addiction Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, 267.

Cheney, L. D. G. (2016). Illustrations for Dante’s Inferno: A Comparative Study of Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Stradano, and Federico Zuccaro. Cultural and Religious Studies4(8), 487.

Verdicchio, M. (2015). Irony and Desire in Dante’s” Inferno” 27. Italica, 285-297.