Monday, 14 March 2011

Training content for trainers

Ready to use “off the shelf” training resources
Are you a trainer looking for ready made training course materials?

Save your time and run that training course in hours not days.
Why spend days designing a course when 80% of a Ready-to-use course will work for your company - just change the language to meet your participants needs and adda logo - simple!

Training solutions are needed this week, with little time to prepare effectively. adapting a ready-made solution is the sensible option.

In addition it is not only trainers that are asked to design and deliver training courses, but HR and line managers.

With our ready made training materials it is all here for you, a complete kit:

Facilitators guide with icebreakers and how to lead training sessions
Leaders guide – step by step what to do and say
Participant packs & handouts – ready for you to print and hand out
PowerPoint slides ready for you to brand & customize
Certificates – ready to print
Activities, exercises and other resources as required
Most of our ready made & ready to use courses are half day duration, some are one day. They are easy to shorten or make longer as you need.

Friday, 20 November 2009

This blog is moving/ has moved to CIPD conference

Hi All, due to a little lack of planning on my behalf (or lack of research) I failed to move the posts to the new address before the conference.  In essence I did not realise that you could rename these blogs or relocate existing content - so some more rapid learning when I returned from the conference tonight.

All of the final posts will be made at - my new home for all future posts and vlogs relevant to conferences

CIPD conference blog

CIPD conference blog

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Closing Keynote - Panel session

Closing keynote

A new leadership paradigm

Vicky Wright opens the closing session

An inspiring event – socialising, networking… we needed a session for the end of the is to continue this theme.

What sort of leaders do we need for the sustainable futures of our orgs?

An engaging and powerful introduction.

The session will be presided over by John Humphries

Gave a humorous intro, providing an insight into the intelligence of leaders based on his experience as chair of Mastermind and interviewing as a hack.

Sir Christopher Kelly

Successful leadership is defined by results. His focus in his role in public sector is about ethical leadership

7 principles of public life

1. Selfless

2. Integrity

3. Honesty

4. Openness

5. objectivity

6. accountability

7. Leadership


Good orgs need to look at how they do things not just what they do

A healthy ethical culture is likely to build in public trust and more likely to engage with people.

When there is an absence of openness and trust you can only expect problems to occur – look at the situation in government around MPs expenses

JH – can you impose ethical standards? CK you need strong leadership, its difficult to impose.

Steve Easterbrook – McDonalds

Leadership – context & qualities

Context of leadership has changes over the last few years – and those that were successful are now falling by the wayside. The context is much more complex than it used to be. It is impossible to meet all stakeholders needs at the same time – the role of the leaders is to identify the right solution in a given context.

To succeed in the new paradigm – will need 3 qualities

1. Integrity

2. Collaboration

3. Sustainability

Its cannot be the icing on the cake – it needs to be the cake.

Things need to be ethical sustainable

Values led decision making, decisions must be taken at the front line – have the values and stick to them – it provides quick and consistent solutions.

The Google generation – they have answers at their fingertips. The new generation use collaboration.

The silver approach is no longer realistic. Business in the past could have changes their position with a marketing campaign or IT system – that is no longer the case.

Senior team need to take collaboration to a new level with their peers – its no longer about silo thinking at any level

A means of creating value in and with employees.

Collaboration does not mean decision making by committee or abdication – but open communication channels

“I’ve looked at all the statues in all the parts and I have yet to see a statue of a committee”

There comes a time when we need to stop raking over the ashes and allow the new people at the top to get on with the job in front of them – not behind then

A new paragigm not just for leadership, but for HR as well.

JH – can you move on while some of those that got us into difficulties are still in post

SE – there must be a limit and allow people to move forward.

Sháá Wasmund – @shaawasmund

Historically leaders have been judged on results – recently many leaders have failed us. Where does that leave us?

Too much power in the hands of too few is a dangerous thing – but what are the options – democracy is not the best of systems – but the best we have

It will be interesting to see how social media will evolve in this area.

We are all in our own ways leaders – I want to see a future where leaders do not have the title – a future where we are all leaders and we all have responsibilities.

Stakeholders have changes

Old school thinking was a monolog – a one way communication – today things have changes – it is so very different and a dialogue

Tools like twitter share views and the importance of leadership starts to filter into every persons role.

The role of HR is changing, we can no longer look at leadership of the top few, but leadership of all employees, we need to develop these skills. Each and everyone of us lead in public life

Ethical leadership is vital as it will now be the public will judge through medis We must be genuine and honest. Do people lead out of authenticity or greed?

We will all be judges for this.

In this paradigm – we are at the beginning of the journey – not the end of it. Our responsibilities is for us to communicate these messages back to our orgs

We are all leaders – leaders without title

- - - - - -  - -

JH – what is this new paradigm? Lets go back to basics – what is this?

Leader have changed for single decision making, but now they need to facilitate

The context in which we operate requires a different type of leadership not just at the top – but throughout the org. you want leaders at every level and right across the org.

Its not just about the given service deliveries – not we have to do more – environment.

The speed of feedback and communications has increased and is more transparent

A paradigm shift is a change, a shift, evolution

You cannot control social media conversations but you can influence them, we need to be seen to engage with them. The public do not expect perfection, but they do expect humans

If you offer silence – people will fill it –

When in a hole – stop digging – the only difference now is the hole is much more visible than it has ever been.

The person that makes the decision, should be held responsible for that decision.

Change is faster, expectations higher, more people having their say.

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DRAFT post

Session L2 - Releasing your peoples creative genius

Session L2

Releasing your peoples creative genius

Karen Ver - Chair

Gordon Peterson –

Set the scene by measuring the energy in the group..

“has elvis left the building?”

Bono when going round asks “who is the elvis here?” what he is looking for is charisma, attitude

There is a little bit of elvis in everyone and our goal is to unleash the little bit of elvis in us

In pairs – face each other and looking at each other say I like you without smiling or laughing

As a Jedi – can you say “I love you” without laughing and smiling – they say it is impossible

There are some challenges that require us to use our social oomph

Told us a personal story of personal change, and how we often try to change but do not use the strategies that work and we wonder why.. we need to play to our strengths.

Innovation is about change, and sometimes we try to make change too early and not in the right context.

Introduces Yin/ Yang – all about balance.- doing-being

What gets lost in the doing stuff is the being how we do things.

Using simple mindsets can help us get into the mindset of

Productive creativity

The habit of doing new things to make a positive difference

Habit is counter intuitive – you don’t associate habit with doing nw things – you can build a habit of doing new things. Its not about crazytivity, its about something that can take us forward.

There is no right or wrong

Positive minded – you need a vision – how good are you and your organisations at killing ideas – 1-10

How do we kill ideas – write a report, do a business case, money, tried that before…. We are very good at killing ideas

Being able to nurture ideas is vital.


walk along a path – 3 little shoots – a genie appears

choose one…

1. rose

2. oak tree

3. gorse

what do you do? – wait nurture? See what is growing and changing

easy to say – difficult to do

in pairs – person 1 comes up with ideas to make the cipd conf better next yr

person 2 answers everyone with yes.. but

Say in your pairs

Remember that you felt like

Person 1 offers ideas to improve the conference

Person 2 answers with yes… and – offers ways of building

Recap on how people felt

When someone craps on someone’s ideas you sapp their power

How often do you have conversations of the second type – less judge mental and more supportive.

You need to be clear of what you expect from people – this is what de-bonos 6 hats is about. Being clear means you need to be careful about the language you use.

When we ask the question “what do you think?”

A better q would be “how could we make this better?”

Chris kissing the fish – there is a story behind this chris never used to like fish, he would go to dinner parties and be offered fish & DECLINED it – people took pitty on him. One day he tried it as he was wondering what he was missing out on. He tried it, found he liked it

Getting Fresh

Do you travel to work the same way?

Fav restaurant/ dish

Read the same mag/ news paper

Even when staying away sleep on the same side of the bed.

Why do we stay with our habits/ favourites.

Studies show that we can recall almost every piece of data we have ever been exposed to. We can hold an unlimited amount of data..

Why might having a lot of diff ideas in your mind – when you are looking to solve problems, if you have different experiences you have a wider pool of ideas to select from – fresh ideas

Get fresh, explore the ideas, get a fresh perspective. Buy a diff mag, go a different way to work. Consider doing something different every day – this may be as simple as going into a shop you would not otherwise go into, read a mag of something different that you would chose to read

Lighten-up! – do something frivolous

REAL – a fav company of mine is IDEO

Philosophy –

Get people engaged, bring the idea to life

Ask yourself the question – how can you bring your idea to life


Virgin spent months looking at virgin cola for months – then one day righard branson on morning TV answered the question “what is next?” he said in 6 ½ weeks is virgin cola – none of the project team knew this and were shocked, but the team delivered 6 ½ weeks later!.


BIG – do it, say it – take a personal risk. If you wait you will miss the moment. Be brave. If you take something away from this week be brave – do something

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Workshop w10 Building Innovation Capability

Building Innovation Capability

Facilitated by Ian Plover & Cris Beswick

22 people in the workshop where there were spaces for 32, strange as innovation is a key theme for many at the moment, I would have thought the session would have been full (31 people were expected)

Cris works in Innovation, Ian in Change management

Notes, flipcharts and other materials that are developed on the day will be sent to us later.

Ian gave the story of a former MD at Anglian Water that was your typical MD – unassuming, then took some time out & went to Harvard. When he returned he was gushing with ideas and drove change through involvement and participation.

Innovation as a tool – the challenge is to create an org that can thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Who feels that they work in an innovative org? many feel that they have innovation IN their org but not as a whole

Innovation is often seen as product or service and it is often seen to have covert teams at the top level that are innovative.

How do we increase or capacity for innovation?

To use innovation – we need to understand it.

1) innovation is not the sole domain of R&D, high tech industries or specialists

2) is not about being first

3) not about being the biggest and best

Innovation is about diversity – about people. Innovation comes from how we mix stuff together.

GM spent $8B on innovation/ R&D and they went bust – that is $1/4M per employee – but they did not innovate internally.

Strategy-people-community-physical environment-creativity-risk-leadership

Strategy – it has to be core of what we do. The word “innovation” has been bastardised by marketing teams which no longer add value. What we need to do is to pump people some value into innovation

Do you have a HR strategy? A business strategy – are they aligned?

People – as an MD I want great people – if we have poor people I want them out-quickly

Community – I want people thinking of the community in the org – doing things for other teams, not just their own – its about more than “culture” – Jim Collins – how can you be a help to others

Environment – Tom Peter – “cultivate great talent by creating great places to work-eliminate cubical slavery” look at Google, they have done things to make the workspace a place people want to be

Creativity – creativity is not about designers & wacky stuff – its about thinking differently – 20% time in Google – 20% of their time to work on ‘stuff’ they feel is the next….. this is Google giving people “white space” in their diaries. How can we give people time to help think differently? Create the environment and the time to use it.

RISK – the big one…. Risk is all relative – if we want people to be creative, if we want – mark Twain ”if you always do what you have always done..” If you don’t risk anything you risk everything. Risk is about what R&D do and call prototyping – they rarely get it right first time – they take risks, they have time for risks – but the final output is proven. Google “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible & useful” leadership is key to drive the vision.

Customers need to put the label “innovation” on something – not the creators…


The “Human Beings” department – rarely have I heard of HR & innovation mentioned in the same sentence

Thers is something about HR – we get on with the job and hide our lights under a bush. That is a shame as HR people are more innovative and we need to tell our businesses what we have done. If we want to be a real “business partner” we cannot wait for people to ask us – we need to take the imitative. You often see a FD on the right hand side of the MD – you rarely see HR on the left hand side.

12 yrs ago Ulrich said HR needs to be in 4 areas, HR are no good at selling ourselves – we need to learn the language of finance and marketing. David’s (Ulrich) message has never really be understood – HR has focused on T&C of work, it should be T&C of the work place. The only people that can make HR a business partner is for us to invite ourselves to the table – lead by doing and using business language.
HR is often seen as transactional, and until we change this we will never be a real “BP”
Interesting session – innovation in the org and political commentary about our role – innovation is a reason to be invited to the org

HR & Strategy

HR & People

HR & Community

HR & Environment – physical & psychological

HR & Creativity – how often are people allowed & told they are creative

HR & Risk – not about putting people lives at risk

HR & Leadership

Ulrick change agent is about changing the org in the area of human capital

Change through people not through gantt charts. No-one else in an org has the ability to change people like HR have.
Group task – brainstorm innovative areas – what great innovations have your done yourself, come across of heard of - nominate someone to feedback not to us but to everyone else in the room. – the ideas will be sent to us later.

Some innovative ideas –

1 + 3 = 5 one person carried 2 roles CEO & ops director (mat cover) devolved her roles to 3 managers where they did 5 months each, and the OPPs mgr on maternity was available to each of the managers. At the end of the period the company had significantly increased its Human capital
Confidence and competency

Keep-in-touch – diverse locations where people don’t meet, use of touch screen tech to allow people more access to intranets and social networks for people that are IT resistant

Proudly received – proudly given – a drive to share ideas openly

People want to be involved more – dialogue or monologue?

Incremental or radical innovation

If you put in the reward system people are more inclined to participate (but what is reward – we need to look at this) – In Qatar they pay managers extra to coach employees and the reward suggestion schemes with high value rewards – multiples of salary!

Tesco – where managers go “back to the floor” on a regular basis

We are about to go for a break – when you come back – leave your ‘HR’ hat outside and come back with a line manager hat on, without all the limitations of HR policy, regulations etc.

As managers – tell me what I can do – not what I cannot do

Exercise to build a culture where people want to work for and your customers want to spend money for.
We were given a scenario and asked to explore that in the context of the 7 steps from a business perspective – the what not the how at this stage.
Groups shared their thinking and ideas. This material will be “codified” and sent to us – I’ll add it here when we get it.
One concept that came up was based on the concept that Jim Collins mentioned which was to have a “not to do list” and from an L&D perspective and talent management perspectives what about having a “do not develop” list
DRAFT post

Social media come of age at CIPD conference 2009

It’s the start of day three of the annual CIPD conference 2009 - the premier conference and exhibition for Human Resources in the UK.

Last night there was a small but important informal meeting of like minded people... a tweetup, more than 10 influential members of the institute met informally for the first time face to face

those that met included:







@HRPUK - a fellow lead of a (competing) HR group on LinkedIn

and of course yours truly... @rapidbi

we met @thenorthpolebar in Manchester

Also throughout the day there were meet up of : the CIPD communities group, the opportunity to meet some of the regular faces, the CIPDmembers group on LinkedIn met for lunch. People that have 'met' online start to meet and build alliances in the real world.

Why is this significant? In the press we often hear of HR functions blocking or barring social networking sites - well here is a group of professionals that met online, communicated, learnt from each other and then yesterday took the leap from virtual connections to real connections.

In a rapidly changing world HR and everyone in business need to think about communication, decision making and innovation in a different way. the future is very much about collabouation, and not just internal collaboration - but collaboration with anyone, anywhere that has the expertise and passion to contribute. The future of organisations is changing and it is likely that what is currently called "social networking" will be at the vanguard of change.

What is in a name?

Social networking as a label sounds like it is informal and an option - ell this is not so for the business world. We need to communicate and learn faster than we have ever done before, these online networks are the only technology available which can link and respond fast enough. So what should it be called?

• Business collaboration network

• business innovation networks

• business learning networks

• Human capital network

• competitive advantage network

Ok the last thing we as HR need is more jargon, however when the current name does not work for us, much like "Cif" or "Marathon" a re-brand is required.

The amount of Tweeting from this event is significant, and not from just one player - from many, most providing added value about key messages (some about marketing messages only), however most of those were exhibiting and this was 'fair game'.

This year marks more content published on blogs and twitter from 'peers' than from the HR press. I also believe that even in the coming weeks the word count from this event will outweigh that from the 'professional journalists' 3:1

There is also a difference in content. That published by many of the journalists seems to focus on political decisions and report outcomes - the 'bloggers' seem to be focused on content to help other learn from the event. This shift is an important one, and one that will grow- peer based content.

The future

The future of HR conferences in the UK will never be the same again. Organisers need to consider the needs of social networkers by providing:

• Event wide wifi - free and not timing out every 15 mins

• Power sockets to charge laptops/ smartphones

• Seating with tables for netbooks to allow bloggers to work more effectively

• Stop messages telling delegates to turn off mobile devices!

• Provide twitter streams to allow audiences to communicate with speakers

• Start to stream presentations on the web (if speakers refuse then do not use them!

• Provide more time in between session for networking - i.e. at least 1/2 hr between sessions

• Ensure there is always a Q&A session with the audience and speakers

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

session F1 Harnessing the power of social media in the workplace

Nick Shackleton-Jones - BBC
On-line learning at the BBC

Its not about getting the information out – its about their behaviour – if they care enough they will look it up.

When you share something memorable, you get the relationship to a different level
Social networking is not about technology its about connections and trust.

The model of wanting people to learn is all about data – we are not, humans are not like computers, we tend to remember things that have emotional references. We surround data with a sort of emotional metadata

Blogs are more authentic then newsletters – it’s a personal insight, it comes from the heart. Internal communications & blogs are technically the same but have more human, emotional links

Social learning technologies is a bottom up approach. Most learning is informal 80% so it makes sense to use social technologies to harness this.

Most effective learning is informal through stories (metaphor) i.e. don’t touch that button, I did that once and….

In history you got to be an expert by being around for a long time, now as things change faster, expertise belongs to those that know, and seniority is no longer relevant.

Nokia have a concept of reverse mentoring, where new people mentor more senior people on technology based issues.

Social networks

Generation y is not an age thing its an attitude thing.

Formal learning is not good for retention (see long tail graph) on the other hand informal learning retention increases, the trend is that for formal learning to be squeezed to only mandatory training.
Rapid development tools are on the increase, in time this will be much more co-created, and is in effect gaining ownership and the devolvement of training.

The new role of the L&D professional is to work with the champion to transfer skills and to assist/ project manage.
Wikis are ok, they are mostly used for information dump – there is little/ no emotional engagement.

Blogs are not used (in the BBC anyone can create one – they have 300) in the way people originally thought. These people are increasingly seen as thought leaders. The impact that these blogs have are greater then traditional communications. The blog enables the story behind the decision, not just the outcome, but the process. The human element.
These social networks provide people with the opportunity to contribute. There ideas and thoughts at a peer level. To drive contribution a competition was set and the best videos on the bbc MOO site are chose to be commissioned into programmes for bbc3

This approach uses a croudsourcing methodology.

Does it work

The truth is if you try to introduce one in your org it tends not to work, this is mainly as most people like to lurk, rather than contribute.

You need to drive the environment artificially (pump prime) so that people start to see and feel comfortable. Feed it with best practice content, open it up to comments, then open t so that anyone can contribute.

The biggest problem is that most orgs have not determined if they want it or if it is legitimate yet.
This requires a shift in the role of L&D, we need to stop being experts and be seen ore as curators and coaches.
The trick is not about technology, but to find someone with passion.

This enables agility

The best models of L&D take best practice and strive to share

These blogs and environments need to be ‘informal’ they do not work as well when they are seen to be official.

Elearning professionals group on Facebook run by nick, currently has over 5000 members.


Draft post

Session D1 Beyond Employee Engagement

Rober Browton – Hay group insight

Clare Marriot – Rentokil pest control



Robert started by saying “hello Manchester”.. unfortunately the audience were not as engaging.

We were given the opportunity to talk with the person sitting next to us about yesterdays and our experience.

Robert wants our views on things.. is he expecting these things to be blogged or tweeted?


Today is about the idea of engagement and how you can measure it differently


Engagement is about unlocking peoples potential at work… what is your elevator pitch about it.. what does it mean to you? Passion, motivation, commitment were some of the ideas given from the floor.

Engagement is about enabling people to deliver there potential and the benefits it provides orgs..

The best orgs that do have EE are pulling ahead of the competition in the current downturn

84% of people say they are willing to help their team

85% say they are committed to helping their org to survive

People may think they are doing this – but are they actually doing it? Thought from the floor

63% feel their org is not appreciating the effort they are putting in

The leadership function is critical for engagement and having that engagement drive business performance and results.

To go beyond employee engagement we need to deliver – engagement-enablement-employee effectiveness. We need to look at a 4 box grid showing engagement-v-enablement

This matrix needs to be applied within the boundaries of the sector (i.e. finance) and to a lesser extent system limits.




Hand over to Clare

Clare gave on intro to the business and the scope that its 7000 people cover. With over 20 native languages, communication across the org can be a challenge.

Has earlier this year introduces new values – Service, Relationships, Teamwork – this was done to align all of the rentokil initial group. These were derived from global focus groups.

Measuring both customer and supplier engagement are linked and the org uses both for trend spotting and evaluation

With a show of hands 45-50% run staff surveys

30% use surveys to measure customer feedback

How many compare these two sets of results 5-10% - this beyond engagement is about looking beyond and customer surveys is a key part of this.

EE is linked to development of the brand of the company. Buy-in from the top of the business and BUMs for looking at EE was critical.

To gain the buy-in the key was to communicate, communicate, communicate and had conference calls every 2 weeks to manage and co-ordinate the process.

Communication included posters, reports. Powerpoint and this year an intranet site where the data is managed and feedback is available where resources are available for managers to help them improve key points. This is new this year but the group are excited about its possibilities.

Initial Rentokil run this annually in September and do the process on paper across the whole business. The survey window is 4 weeks long, and feedback is returned 3 weeks later.Rather than just feedback on the company, the system provides locally, and relevant results. The system produces powerpoint format presentation for each manager automatically

Recently the group has adopted the new Hay enablement survey as part of the process. Reports are produced for all teams greater than 5 people in size, this means that action is more likely to be taken on a team by team basis.

Response rates were 93% and have recently increased to 97% - this was much more than originally expected, this puts pressure on taking actions to deliver on survey findings.

Managers are targeted through objectives to improve results and included in every managers PDR


Key factors to make this work:
  • Invest in the management of the programme 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Link to everything – data internal and external


Draft post


Employee engagement surveys

Session c2 Unlocking Leadership Talent

Javier Bajer

On a 10 point scale look at you as a leader as how proud/ satisfied you are with the impact you have had over the world so far..?

Leadership development be more like yourself..

For years we have spent trying to be more like others

We profile ourselves to se how much we are not like xx famous people

The one thing leaders have in common is not style, but they are themselves. There is coherence between what they believe, say, do….

Only when we realise that talent lives in the individual the quicker the return on investment

Our goal is to unlock human talent – help them to be themselves

This is very different from where we have been developing people.

HSBC – have invested in leadership, they are reporting 50% increase in sales where this programme has been launched

Helping individuals to find themselves as a natural leader.

Individuals grow as their value as a leader, its about alignment

LAT leadership alignment tool…

Leadership – the ability to generate changes that add value





These things need to be aligned

The cost of staying misaligned is more than the change to get aligned. Doing this with many in the org at one time is a large lever for change

Opposite of leadership – victimship not being able to make anything happen but having a good reason for it

Victimship has an ongoing cost for you as a human being… how will this impact how you feel about your contribution?

If you want to see the real changes associated with leadership we need to get people out of victimship – and it is risky for those in it.

The minute we see challenges as a problem we are missing the point

The contextual stuff is exactly what we need for great leadership.

Forget about memorising the values.. based on what we do and HOW we do it what do you think the values are?

The brain is looking for patterns and this is critical – if we say look out for x things but only give y their brain feels trapped (thinking traps) – I,e all or nothing

Normal distribution – most of us fall in a normal boring world – the brain however like extremes.

The brain also over generalises..

The problem is when we over generalise in the negative – this can stop change in its tracks.

Fortune telling is another brain trap – “I know exactly what is going to happen”…the belief that I know the future stops people from trying change

When pushing resistance becomes a habit then you move towards the tipping point and culture change starts.

Take some of these concepts and start to challenge
Draft post

Session b2 Transformational leadership

James Longwell – Cadbury







Performance driven, values led

Most of our growth will come from emerging markets and this means diversity at a senior mgt level

Double solid line reporting:

Functional boss and business unit boss

In the past leadership dev programmes were for the top 100 or so people –i.e. those in post, we realised that we needed to look at those with potential.

The next step was a programme for those that would be in the top 100 in the coming 1-2 years. What they then needed to do was to start to build the pipeline.

This was built from scratch to meet the org needs.

“total business leaders” no longer able to rely on their functional expertise.

Model of leadership – Judgement, Drive, Influence triangle model.

Important “drive to have impact” and “self awareness” are important to the org and

Spotting issues and framing are key strategic skills

The programme stretches participants self awareness

Looked to use ‘volunteering’ as a key part of the programme – where there was a win for the ‘client’ and learning for the leader.

A simple idea…. 3 circle model

IT – the “it” of leadership – the IT is massive



Most people attending the org are focused on IT and they realise that ME & US is important – the goal is to achieve balance.

The programme is summarised as “meet ALICE”






This is a 5 day learning event. A lot of stakeholder engagement was used to achieve the duration of the programme – at both business & functional levels.

The research suggested that a standalone programme we integrated the prog with coaching – 4 pre event calls and 3 post event

We also coach the line manager of the delegate, so that they experience some of the context what their people were going through.

See photo, bits in pink were with the voluntary org and ‘real’ work to be completed by the end of day 5

Fantastic leadership can lead to sustainability
Draft post

Session A2- Emanmanuel Gobillot

Emanmanuel Gobillot

Leadership is contextual not situational

Welcomed us to leave our technology on and tweet!

Showed video clip “ did you know

Its not just about the data in the film, but how it came to be –

We live in a world where content is being generated and distributed differently

What are the trends for leadership?

4 trends:

1) Data

2) Expertise – but models are changing

3) Attention

4) Democratic

Leadership is DEAD

Increasingly we are working with people who are not like is

Companies v-s org

Mass customization – crowdsourcing – mass participation – mass collaboration

Why have an org? it used to be cheaper to bring people together to produce. When you bring people in you shut talent out.

Where to focus – one –to-one one-to-many….

How can I follow you if I don’t know you are there?

If you are not followed you are not leading

The “ikeazation” of work… you are involved in the design, resourcing assembly etc…throughout this experience we are faced with different roles

What it means to work is changing

Work used to define us…

We need engagement, alignment

Engagement – we engage through clarity, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what people want is mess, what we don’t want is mess to the point of being stressful

Rather than clarity we want simplicity simplicity=simplification + coherence

Coherence = punctualisation (functions.. makes sense…)

Humans align through narratives…. We share stories, people know what we mean through our tone and story..

The Elvis fallacy is everywhere a like less conversation more action – this is not true, if you restrict conversations, your directives need to be more comprehensive.

How do you achieve a sense of accountability – Roles

You have to be clear of the tasks and want to do it – why you do it does not matter.

Some tasks are maintenance & accountability if there is coherence then people will do the tasks that they don’t want to for the ‘greater good’

Commitment – how do you get commitment – you buy it. It feels like commitment but it is not commitment – its prostitution.. when someone else offers more they are gone. The commitment is gone. Love is our ability to value, nurture and help other people to grow – remember the advert – everyone remembers a great teacher.

“have I made that person feel stronger and more capable?” if you have you have ‘loved them’

Coronary heart disease – 90% of people with this choose death few chose to change.. so even when faced with the data and reality, many fail to make a decision and take appropriate action.
draft post

CIPD 2009 Keynote session & welcome

Jackie Orme

Reflection on a turbulent economy

Last year was the days after the collapse of Lehman broths

We are in a stat of flux. Some say the recession is over, but most feel that the recession is hitting

Predicting the end is not important, what is, is dealing with the current

High calibre HR professionals are important. It is clear now that the nature of the orgs we create is critical for the performance of our orgs.

The difference for the success is leadership and culture – when an org out grows its ability to provide talent leads to a collapse. Sustainable performance is critical

Hr needs to be a broad church – generalists & specialists – and those with a diverse background.

HR need to understand the interplay between people and business process – not just what you do but how you do it.

Deep understanding or your org and its context enables you to devise strategy to lead the organisation and create the greatest impact.

Understanding or your org is your starting point.

Knowledge – activity & behaviour

Jim Collins – the quest for greatness

His 2nd only visit to the UK the last was to Harrogate 5 yrs ago

Everyone in the room shares a passion – the right people and the right who

Far more important than what we do, is who we do it with… first who then what.

It all goes back to a driving force for curiosity –

Its not just about success – but CONTRAST – who were in the same situation and the comparisons did not make that success – contrast the ones that did not make the leap are those are those that figured out what to do then find the people – the great get the people then found out what to do (30 yr time line graphic)

Give the same circumstances – some become great others don’t – its is not the context/ circumstance – it’s a function of choice and discipline.

We learn as much from failure as we do from success – studying failure is of value.

Both grow at the same rate – but at some point one may fall (how the mighty fall) the process of decline is scary.
Like cancer – you look healthy on the outside but be ill on the inside (decline unlike cancer is self inflicted)

Five stages of decline – three of them look healthy from the outside.
You can fall to the end of stage 4 and come back as a great enterprise.

Is the journey depressing? We are all vulnerable to a point and to know that even if you stumble, it is still in our own hands to come back – gives me some hope.

The world is challenging for us – rate the environment in which you operate – 1 everything is in your control (1-10) 10 is environment big forces, high uncertainty turbulence
Put your hand up if you are… 1-4 5-7 8-9
Control of our destiny is in our choices not our environment – decline is self inflicted, so is growth!

Light – success… dark – failure
Lets look at both sides

What do you need to do differently?

It never hurts to reinforce the basics – level 5 leadership
Why would orgs fail to succeed.. ???

Fail to embrace the new

Fail to apply the fundamentals consistently and brilliantly
Hubris – outrageous suffering (look this up)
The moment you think you are great… you are not!
The very greatest orgs gave the greatest credit to others rather than themselves, even when the evidence suggests otherwise. If you ‘worry’ that you are lucky then you tend to work hard at success – if you think it is you, we tend to stop (Mike - remember status group)
I’m a leadership sceptic, you cannot remove a leader and expect good results? Many good to great ‘leaders’ have had a charisma bypass…

The type of leadership is what matter.. in great they had level 5 leaders – the contrast level 4
The difference between level 4 & 5 – humility – obsessive compulsion for the cause – not for themselves – their ego is channelled outward – not about them.

Level 5 is not about personality, some have it some don’t
The relevant question is.. What are you in it for? Great CEOs would die for their culture…
Those in power, root causes – what is the truth of their ambition, stripped for the truth – are they really in it first for themselves? In ever single case for decline at the end of stage 2 there is a problematic succession of power issue
No single person can make a great enterprise

On a downswing, the wrong person with power can single handed can bring the organisation down.
What are you doing to ensure that does not happen.
You may think that orgs fail because they become complacement – this is true, nut not how the mighty fall – over-reaching – too much growth…
How would you know if you are overreaching? There are few ‘laws’ of management – “Packard’s law” (from HP Packard)

Look at Rubbermaid – too many new products too often.

If you allow growth to exceed your ability to have enough of the right people in the right seats to manage that growth – you will fall
Great leaders say “I don’t know” because they don’t know what is going to happen
The data suggests that the great people do not vision the future – what they do better is they prepare for what they cannot predict.
Get the right people on the bus, get the wrong people off the buss – then the right people in the right seats.
Use whatever competencies you have – that when fin are discussed an even more important number is discussed – number of seats and right people on the bus – how many key seats, is it filled with the right people is it going up or down? Do this before any other business numbers. We love numbers this is the uber number.
Can you get that accomplish this before you attend next year?
Is your team on the way up or down?
When something is ugly – that is the thing to look at and examine.
Look at the Stockdale paradox – Admiral Stockdale – how did the situation not ‘put him down’ “I never wavered in my faith that I would get out, and that I would value the experiences” who did not make it out – the optimists.. those that said we would be out by Christmas… then Christmas would come and go…you must never confuse the need to face the facts with the unwavering faith that you will win in the end.

Like Shirlock Holmes – it’s the dogs that do not bark that give more away that is apparent at first.

No incentive system can transform good to great leaders

The right people are self motivating – the role of leaders is not to motivate,

The task is to find self motivated people and find ways not to de-motivate them

You do not need external people to ‘light’ the organisation.
Stag 4 grasping for survival – how do you respond? – basics.. right people, right seats…. Or do we grasp for salvation with a new leaders from the outside? If that silver bullet does not work.. well get another? If you stay here long enough you will go to stage 5

No leaders can do anything useful in less than 7 years –
Change does not happen overnight

Keep pushing in a consistent and intelligent direction.. it’s the small consistent steps that work not the sliver bullet

3 circles…. Focus on the middle.. we need the discipline to stay in the 3 circles

Think about it from a people standpoint – its not just an org value.
Imagine not taking a job unless the job fits your 3 circles.

Passion--best in the world--economic

If you have a to do list – do you have a stop doing list?
You have to have a personal reason to succeed….the reason to be must be much greater than just increasing shareholder value – it needs to be emotionally tangible
When we are under pressure do not compromise values – you will not have the strength to endure.

Hold your value – change your practices (yin yang slide)

The signature of mediatory is chronic inconsistency.

In the last 10 mins I would like to give you a to do list..

Be productively subservice to your orgs

1) conduct your diagnostics – a diagnostic tool – good to great diagnostic)

2) before you return you somehow implement Packards law – how many seats

3) build a personal board of directors – chosen not for their success but for their character

4) turn off you electronic gadgets – discipline thoughts take time to process give ‘white space’ time engage in thinking at least 3 days every 2 weeks

5) what is your questions to statements ratio, can you double it ----focus on being interested rather than interesting….

6) Help org build a council and make sure the co focuses on its 3 circles

7) Start your stop doing list – work is infinite – time is not?

8) Replace titles with responsibilities – the right people have resp not jobs

9) Re articulate and re commit to the value, no matter what the pressure you will not budge from

10) Set your Big Hairy Audacious goals BHAGS – 15-25 years in the future

Its easy to focus on survival…. The real question is… How can you be useful?

This entry is a raw input from notes taken in the session, in the coming weeks these will be refined

Monday, 16 November 2009

its all go in Manchester

I have just had a look around the new venue for the annual conference and exhibition for 2009 and it looks great... Although there are a lot of busy exhibiters getting ready.

Signs on Lamp-posts welcome visitors

Ouch - those bushes are prickly! late Mon afternoon - its all coming together.

Here is to a short evening to you all
See you in the morning

CIPD09 and beyond

Are you attending this years annual CIPD exhibition and conference?

Remember the event site containing blogs, discussions and networking opportunities.

If you are a user of the CIPD communities then this link will prove invaluable - Latest posts

For those that want to network "outside" the CIPD systems there is always the CIPDmembers group on LinkedIn and the conference networking group

You can also follow the action on Twitter 

Hope to see you there

Sunday, 1 November 2009

CIPD Manchester 2009 - speakers

Mark Adams

HR Director

Abbey Facing up to Global HR Challenges

Mark Adlestone

Managing Director

Beaverbrooks the Jewellers All You Need is Love

Sanjiv Ahuja

Chairman and CEO

Augere and former CEO, Orange SA Transformational Leadership

Greig Aitken

Group Head of Human Capital Strategy

Royal bank of Scotland Group Developing HR Metrics that Support the Organisational Strategy

Lacey All

Head, Strategic Talent Initiatives

Starbucks Coffee Co. Building a Strategic Workforce Planning Framework

Mike Anderson

Head of Corporate Strategy

DEFRA Working Together for Sustained Organisational Performance

Julie Armstrong

HR Director

Manchester Airport Communicating with impact: achieving buy-in and engagement

Anthony Arter

Partner, Head of Pensions

Eversheds Recession Driven Employment Law and Pension Issues

Javier Bajer

Founding CEO

The Talent Foundation Unlocking Leadership Talent

Christine Bamford

Director of Leadership

National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare Fighting Back Through Talent Innovation

Chris Barez-Brown

Founder, Upping Your Elvis, author of How to Have Kick Ass Ideas and former Global Head of Innovation Capability and Director

?What If! Releasing Your People’s Creative Genius

Angela Baron

Adviser, Employee Engagement

CIPD Demonstrating How Performance Management Drives Organisational Improvement

Sylvia Baumgartner


Labyrinth Coaching & Consulting, Embodied Learning and Transformation (formerly OD Principal Consultant for Roffey Park Institute) Facilitating OD Interventions

Nick Baylis

Director for Training in the Skills of Well-being

The Cambridge Well-being Consultancy The Rough Guide to Happiness

John Beadle

Group Head, Human Capital Performance

Standard Chartered Bank The Death of Performance Related Pay and the Bonus Culture?

David Benson

Head of Talent and Resourcing

Oxfam GB Building Capability: the agile organisation

Sir Howard Bernstein

Chief Executive

Manchester City Council Driving Transformational Change

Cris Beswick

Managing Director

Let’s Think Beyond Building Innovation Capability

Stephanie Bird

Director HR Capability

CIPD Leading the HR Function

Christine Brereton

Deputy Director for People and Development

Greater Manchester Police HR: Adding Value and Driving Change

W. Warner Burke

Edward Lee Thorndike Professor of Psychology and Education, and Chair, Department of Organisation and Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University Organisational Development

Lou Burrows

Global People Team Leader

?What If! Harnessing the Power of Social Media in the Workplace

Cathy Butterworth

Director of People and Development

Greater Manchester Police HR: Adding Value and Driving Change

Steven Cahill


Global Employer Services, Deloitte LLP The Death of Performance Related Pay and the Bonus Culture?

Andrew Campbell


Ashridge Strategic Management Centre and co-author of Designing Effective Organisations Organisation Design

Janice Caplan


The Scala Group and the ACE Network Europe Developing People Across Cultural and National Boundaries

Peter Cheese

Managing Director, Talent and Organisation Performance

Accenture A New Approach to Talent Management

Rebecca Clake

Adviser – HR Practice Development

CIPD Developing a Leadership Culture

Deborah Clarke

Joint Director of HR

London borough of Tower Hamlets and Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust Window on the Future of Business, Diversity and Inclusion

Nita Clarke


Involvement and Participation Association (IPA) The Government Engagement Review: findings and the next steps

Wayne Clarke

Managing Partner

Best Companies All You Need is Love

Jim Collins

Author of Good to Great and Co-author of Built to Last

The Quest for Greatness

An Audience with Jim Collins

Joe Connor

National Regional Resourcing Manager

Royal Mail HR Services, Royal Mail Transformational Leadership

Anne Copeland

Director of HR

Department for Children, Schools and Families Building Capability: the agile organisation

Charles Cotton

Public Policy, Adviser

Reward, CIPD The Perfect Pensions Storm

Richard Crouch

Head of HR and OD

Somerset County Council HR’s Role in Organisational Development

Siobhan Cummins

Managing Director Europe

ORC Worldwide Facing up to Global HR Challenges

Andy Dickson

General Manager

Impact International Practically Engaging

Practically Engaging

Sharon Doherty

Group HR and Organisational Effectiveness Director

Laing O’Rouke Beyond Business Partnering: truly aligning HR with the business

Joe Dugdale

Director of Human Resources & Organisational Directorate

UK Border Agency Transforming HR Efficiency in the Public Sector

Steve Easterbrook

President and Chief Executive Officer

McDonald’s UK, President, Northern Division, McDonald’s Europe A New Leadership Paradigm

Mary Edmunds

Head of HR, OD and Talent

Barclays Bank Beyond Employee Engagement

Rick Emslie - Principal - Emslie Analytics

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

CIPD annual conference 2009 - Manchester

As this years CIPD annual conference and exhibition gets closer - have you booked yet?

This is the first year that the CIPD is moving its conference from Harrogate to Manchester on the 17-19 November. It will be interesting to see how this move works. certainly moving from Harrogate - when it was the only conference in town, to Manchester where there will be other events on at the same time will be a cultural change for the event in many ways.

In days gone by, the CIPD 'main event' was surrounded by a number of unofficial fringe events - will the move to Manchester spark that same level of entrepreneurship?

Are you planning to go?

If you are into twitter check out hash-code #cipd09

Friday, 3 April 2009

#HRD09 are you going

HRD 2009 is nearing, while this year I will not be able to attend the whole conference I will be attending the exhibition.

What are you going for? what are you hoping to achieve?

Monday, 19 January 2009

Learning Technologies 2009

Are you going to this learning based conference and exhibition?

Mike will be blogging from here at see you there.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

World of Learning conference and exhibition

If you enjoyed the reviews on the CIPD annual conference then read Mike's blog from the World of learning conference and exhibition 2008 at the NEC.

Friday, 17 October 2008

HR v Personnel - reality or branding?

On one of the forums I 'frequent' there is a lot of discussion on the difference between HR and personnel. There are people that position one as proactive and strategic and the other as more maintenance and welfare. Sure the sentiments behind the drive and focus may well be true - however if there was any real difference other than a 'brand name' then wouldn't larger organisations have both HR & Personnel functions - or in the least use both job titles?

Certainly this is one of the many assignments people undertake as part of their CPP or other HR based qualification, or is it just that some authors are trying to sell books on the back of attempting to get students to differentiate between two sides of the same coin?

Monday, 29 September 2008

Crime Scene Investigators - a role for HR

Has the time come for HR to take on the role of CSI.

The role of Crime Scene investigation has been popularised by US TV, but can HR professionals learn from their methods?

Is there a place for looking at the dead in organisations?

Read more about CSI in HR

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement was very much a common theme throughout many of the sessions at this years conference. many of these sessions have prompted me to do follow up research and I found the following presentation to be particularly thought provoking

I have started to compile a roundup of the various approaches to Employee Engagement models so check back for updates...

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

CPD for CIPD members and conference delegates

My main reason for attending the conference was my own CPD and this blog is forming a part of my PDP and record.

What did you learn at the conference? or what have you learnt from this blog or from articles about sessions from the conference.

Key learning

Key learning for me was that many of the speakers were highlighting the importance of engagement of employees (both current and future) to the culture of the organisation, rather than the traditional corporate approach of competence recruitment. This is particularly interesting as the six years I spent working with SME's I noticed that many entrepreneurial owner managers recruit to 'fit', in the company rather than skills as the priority. They would prefer to recruit to culture and attitude and then to train in-house. Although many did not recognise this as training. This has interesting implications for governmental initiatives like train to gain, as these are skill, qualification or competence based programmes

Press reports on the CIPD annual conference

It has been a few days now and time to reflect. One of the interesting things is the diversity and level of coverage the annual conference gets.

A round up
I thought that we were setting a new pace in blogging but Personnel Today did something unexpected - they transcribed the keynote sessions for example Jackie Orme keynote and Surviving and thriving through turbulence . These are useful transcriptions for the keynote sessions.

People Managements site offers us Keep cool and talk during tough times

John Philpot on the CIPD site blog - a scant entry as part of his overall offer.

On TrainingZone Annie Hayes provided an overview of the event.

It will be interesting to see the articles that arise in the coming weeks from the conference content.

Earlier press coverage
Earlier in the year the announcement of the CIPD's decision to move from Harrogate to Manchester caused upset as can be read about in the Yorkshire Post - but can the CIPD be blamed? Customers have increasing demands on suppliers and it appears that while the venue has adapted - the infrastructure around the conference centre has sat back and relaxed. The CIPD annual conference is the second largest conference held annually in Harrogate.

Experience the annual conference and exhibition

Throughout the event the CIPD had its roving camera crew. This caught up with a large number of people and this clearly shows that it was a stimulating event for them.

Unfortunately they appear to have missed:

  • The community regulars...
  • The community moderator...
  • CIPD staff...
  • The Apprentices
  • Yours truly
... maybe that was not a bad thing....

But I am sure YOU are there - have a look.... watch the vox pops video
What do you think of the video - does it inspire you to attend Manchester 2009?

For those that want to know more about vox pops at wikipedia, vox pops can be powerful tools for employee engagement, measuring staff satisfaction etc as well as for event promotion.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Presentations from the CIPD annual conference

The MyEvent secure social networking facility that the CIPD have been trialing throughout the conference now has some of the presentations used in the seminars. The ability to access and discuss handouts and presentations is a wonderful value added facility.

It appears that some presenters have not given permission... a shame as people have seen them and versions of the presentations were given out in a handout form (small & black and white). If the presenters did not want people copying them they could have been made available as a secure PDF. This is particularly true for some of the presenters who had far too much data on a slide to be visible in the conference session itself. A/V skills (the use of visual aids) of presenters is another topic for another day....

Towards the future
I would urge the CIPD in the furure not to engage with speakers for events that are not willing to share resources (be it PPT or PDF format). We are now firmly in the knowledge age and we should only be engaging with people that are prepared to share. The conference circuit is a wonderful sales opportunity for many of these individuals (they get paid to speak and they get the opportunity to 'sell' their services to many other potential purchasers) and the cost of sharing knowledge should be one they are prepared to pay...

Monday, 22 September 2008

MyEvent - is it or isn't it...?

Having returned from the conference I was keen to look at the presentation promised in the comprehensive session handouts. On Friday one representative from the CIPD sales team returned my call and left a message. When I spoke to the member of the team he told me that due to circumstances beyond their control the presentations from Harrogate would not be up until mid week at the earliest... not what was suggested in the notes from the conference session suggest that they were available immediately... but that is one the joys of being an early adopter.

It is a shame as the promised networking from this facility appears to be a bit of a pipe dream... at least at this stage. This may well be down to too few early adopters registering on the system and more down to the users than the system itself.

Some of the facilities are 'restricted by administrator'...maybe someone has forgotten to throw the 'switch' and I am sure it will all work wonderfully when this is corrected....

Update -
Having spoken to the Conference Producer, it appears that some of the functionality is available only to users with certain profiles - this was a challenge the CIPD community had last year - so looks like it is just teething problems.

The expectation of the presentations being available 'instantly' was an expectations management difficulty - the wording on the handouts saying one thing but realistically the conference organisers needing time to confirm changes with speakers - so with the reassurance that content will be available in a couple of days all is well in MyEvent land.

User Error
With any new system there are two types of error - errors in software.. and user errors.

When I experienced errors when searching I was searching from the wrong page - so the results I obtained were not what I expected - at the right page it was working fine... DOH!

The future
It looks like the CIPD are continuing to invest in this platform and it will provide members and event attendees with some very useful facilities in the future... Next test HRD 2009

When the teething difficulties have been sorted (common with all new IT systems) and users educated (it is very different from traditional forums) and integrated with the existing CIPD community forums, this will be a tremendous facility for all members - taking membership facilities to a new level.

MyEvent... is it or isn't it....
Well that is not a CIPD decision, this is down to users to make use of the excellent facility made available to event delegates. I would encourage CIPD branches to consider educating members in the use of this technology so that when members attend events they can make the most out of it.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Reflections on the CIPD annual conference and exhibition

What were your reflections on the CIPD annual conference and exhibition? Were you attending as:
  • Delegate
  • visitor
  • Exhibitor
  • CIPD Staff
  • or the Press

Will you attend Manchester next year? Why?

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Final round in the exhibition halls

The sessions had finished for the conference and the final keynote delivered.. what else was an HR professional to do but take one last walk around the exhibition stands. Many had started packing up early, but as homage to those that 'went the distance' and smiled as us weary 'punters' paced the halls, here are a few that caught my eye...

Management Pocket Books Management Pocket Books

Dove Nest Group (DNG)
Dove Nest Group (DNG)

Training Foundation & TAP Training Foundation & TAP

DPG and MAP (Goldilocks with the three bears?)

Success-Stories Margaret ParkinSuccess-Stories



People management
People Management

On your feet and ready for action... ever ready?

Being on an exhibition stand is one of the hardest roles and times.. your feet are killing you, you are attempting to engage with people that do not believe they want to talk to you, the relentless rejection - unless you have lots of freebies to give away.

I hope that all the exhibitors obtained the amount of business they deserve based upon the amount of effort each person on each stand delivered... go home.. put your feet up and soak in the bath..... World of learning, HRD and learning technologies are just around the corner.. hope to see you again in 2009 in Manchester.

The Apprentices & other celebrity's in Harrogate - Raising the bar

The Apprentice at the CIPD

Kristina Grimes and Jennifer Celerier... raising the bar Performance Excellence eventKristina Grimes and Jennifer Celerier

The Apprentice at the CIPD

Did you meet Alan Sugar's former apprentices Kristina Grimes and Jennifer Celerier?

They have been in the exhibition representing their company kgjcp, meeting people and promoting their event "Raising the bar" a performance excellence event featuring Jack Black.

What other celebrity's did you meet?

Who else was among us but did not have a stream of press following ?

CIPD celebrity's

Other celebrity's I met included many of the CIPD staff who were quietly ensuring that the event went well and delegates and visitors found their way around - I won't mention everyone by name - but you know who you are - well done and thank you.

Yes you are HR heroes too.


Be a hero - a HR hero

HR Hero

The theme of this years event has been HR individuals as organisational heroes. Each session has commencement with a short, yet punchy video showing HR professionals doing a wide range of activities. Key messages were:

  • Challenge
  • Drive performance
  • Predicting the future
  • Leading change

All around the exhibition have been references and activities promoting the "individual practitioner" as a hero.

Delegates have had the opportunity of video blogging their thoughts, have their photo taken in a seaside style cut-out and several other fun and lighthearted activities. I suspect much of this will make its way into People Management and the CIPD site in the coming months.

At the begining of each session a short video was played - this was based on the theme of the HR hero... No version of this appear on Youtube or the CIPD site - so appologies for the quality.

Talking talent (in turbulent times)

Closing Keynote

The Panel

Vicky Wright - President CIPD

Liane Hornsey - Google

Satish Pradhan - Tata Sons

David Smith - ASDA

Alex Wilson - BT

This panel session was introduced by Vicky Wright , President of the CIPD. Wright in her introduction directed us to the fact that all four of these organisations had one thing in common - they have all experienced and are experiencing transition currently.

Jon Snow facilitated the session featuring;

  • David Smith - ASDA
  • Liane Hornsey - Google
  • Alex Wilson - BT
  • Satish Pradhan - Tata Sons

Snow's opening words were "in the 20 years of Channel 4 news I can only think of two major events that have impacted all of us. One was 9/11 the other is our current economic challenge "

Snow posed a number of question to the panel and this was followed by the opportunity to ask questions. Below is a summary of key messages from each of the panel:

David Smith -

"you have to have an employer brand.. and mean it"

"it (business) is not just about making money, we must make money ethically and stability"

"one of the roles of HR is to say the unpopular messages/ news to the CEO"

"HR & Business strategy are the same thing"

"we recruit to the culture more than skills - all staff including hourly paid staff have to complete a 1/2 day assessment centre as part of the recruitment process. If they are gregarious, we will hire them, if they are shy or difficult we don't want them."

"we set out to befriend our people, managers are expected to know their people at an individual level"

Alex Wilson

"The further staff are away from the front line the more we (and other organisations) need to remember that customers are important."

"This is our (HR) time, now we need to shine in the tough times"

"our first choice in tough times is always redeployment rather than redundancy" - The alumni of people that have left the organisation is bigger than that employed - we do what we can for the majority to remain advocates"

Liane Hornsey

"HR is about picking the right people for the job. Google will not compromise - we only hire people that will add value to Google". Hornsey mentioned one example of this where she has a vacant head of HR post for over 18 months as she has yest to find a suitable candidate.

In answer to a question about retention strategy for Google...

"We make the environment a place people want to be

We develop people relentlessly

We give then the work (and challenge) they enjoy"

Google also recruit to the culture not the job - often recruiting people without offering a particular role and then work with the individuals to find the right role for them.

At Google they use people and their hobbies and encourage people to run workshops and short training sessions on their hobby - this helps to create a culture of learning and people are free to attend anytime - they do not need to ask permission to attend - the business trusts that this action will encourage loyalty and a drive to work harder.

Satish Pradhan

"always use the best people to solve the biggest challenges"

"communicate what you are doing.. why you are doing it and most importantly in an authentic way. You must do what is right for that business, not just for the stakeholders."

Diversity is not a universal formula, and what is relevant for one organisation and context. Successfully businesses cannot work to a mathematical formula to diversity. What is right for one is not necessarily right for another.

Tata is an organisation that is run more like a federation rather than a traditional hierarchy, so they enable and empower people. Tata believe governance and culture is critical. Often staff that were employed under previous owners can do and deliver given the right context.

You cannot and must not see unions as adversaries... you must see them as advocates, if you don't take this approach you lose before you start.

The Close

Wright summarised the week and reminded us that this week is the changing face of business. Wright reminded us that Orme had earlier said in the week that the CIPD is changing to provide "relevant help to you".. just in time.

Wright had the belief that the conference had provided delegates with "relevant things you can take away... something new that you can do... HR and the role of HR is changing"

  • Wright reminded us that Harrogate had been the home of the annual conference for 60 years (IPM, IPD etc..) and that they needs to change. The move to Manchester in 2009 would provide:
  • Better exhibition space on one level
  • The conference would be different - more relevant and provide more opportunities
  • Smaller groups
  • Select master classes
  • More events within the exhibition space (this has worked well for the last two years)
  • A more intimate environment

Wright also reminded us that the CIPD annual conference and exhibition 2009 would take place in NOVEMBER 2009... see you there...


This was an engaging and fitting end to the conference, we have had the Academics, the CEO's and finished with the HR directors. It was a shame that the audience by this session was somewhat depleted, many traveling back home and not fully engaged with the whole event. There were so many messages that would benefit many HR team members.

Now to travel home, to reflect on the weeks events and the overall impact of the exhibition and conference.. but that I will leave for another day.