Humane, Resourced – out on Kindle

I’ve just had a bizarre experience where Twitter has once again managed to beat other technology to the punch. At about 6pm someone tweeted me a picture of Humane, Resourced available in the Amazon Kindle store. It was another hour before I got an email from Amazon to say it was available in the store – and it is available here…

A quick recap and then a call to arms

The recap

1. Over 50 authors contributed – if you were one then congratulations, thank you and it couldn’t have happened without you. People also checked the text, created a cover and promoted the book – thank you, it couldn’t have happened without you

2. All proceeds go to charity. The book will be available for free next week, but if you can spare a couple of pounds (or a few dollars) then please know your money is going to a good cause. And you are only paying about 4p per chapter

3. There will be some errors – I’ll correct them, if I can, in future revisions

A call to arms

  1. Share it – share it and then please share it again. On LinkedIn, Google +, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and word of mouth. People have given their time and effort for free so let’s make the most of that.
  2. Share it at different times in different ways and not just this week – talk at conferences, networking events and family parties – something brilliant has happened here
  3. If you have connections that might want to review it for a publication etc then put them in contact with me – likewise if they want to talk to me about the story behind it I’ll do that
  4. Encourage people to post reviews – let’s get it properly backed on Amazon
  5. Enjoy it. There is something of real substance and ambition here and some exceptional content.



BoB cover

Humane, Resourced – on the way!


!BoB cover

So, I’ve finally pressed the ‘publish‘ button after a near endless email chain with Hugh at Pressbooks. Essentially the issue that appears on my screen, previewer and physical Kindle – where the book starts in the middle of the index – doesn’t appear on his. I’ve therefore taken the gamble and published in the hope that for new readers the book starts at…the start. I’m hoping when I wake up it will be available in the Kindle store.

A few final notes:

-The book can only be ‘free’ for 5 days out of every 90. I therefore will make it free from Tuesday next week – so it is free to download throughout the CIPD conference

-This has been a ‘homebrew project’  – there will be formatting errors and I’m sure at least one typo will have managed to sneak in there. If you let me know any that you come across I will do an update in a month or so that will be available for anyone who has downloaded it. This a natural consequence of my relaxed nature to things like this and the speed of the book’s production.

– I guarantee someone has sent me something I haven’t included. It is just bound to have happened. To that person (or people) – I apologise, it wasn’t intent, it wasn’t an assessment of your writing – it is just me being rubbish. I’ll try and update it if I can, but please just let me know I’ve left you out without shifting into ‘I can’t believe you left me out you “£%”£$% mode’.

– There are links to videos and articles throughout, these won’t work on a ‘normal’ Kindle but will on iPad/Android/PC. It seemed a shame to leave them out and their presence is the reason that, at the moment, the book isn’t available as a physical copy. If it is successful then I might try and edit it so it makes sense in a print version. It would be nice, I’m sure, for all of the authors to have a physical copy of the book.

– There will be a second book that will improve upon the above….next year folks!

The final list of contributors is below, it is an incredible crop and I’m just delighted that the book has enabled me to come into contact with them. People haven’t just submitted articles they have supported, cajoled, edited, crafted the cover and promoted the book. They are great folk and they made this project happen for each and every one of the other writers

1.    Simon Heath (@SimonHeath1) – blog, glossary and cover
2.    Doug Shaw (@dougshaw1)
3.    Sukh Pabial (@sukhpabial)
4.    Ian Davidson (@ianandmj)
5.    Bruce Lewin (@fourgroups)
6.    Ben Morton (@Benmorton2)
7.    Richard Westney (@HRManNZ)
8.    Lembit Öpik (@Lembitopik)
9.    Emma Lloyd (@engagingemma)
10.  Gemma Reucroft (@HR_gem)
11.  Stephen Tovey (@StephenTovey13)
12.  David Richter (@octopusHR)
13.  Amanda Sterling (@sterling_amanda)
14.  Wendy Aspland (@wendyaspland)
15.  Peter Cook (@AcademyOfRock)
16.  Julie Waddell (@jawaddell)
17.  Leticia S. de Garzón (@letsdeg)
18.  Vera Woodhead (@verawoodhead)
19.  Nicola Barber (@HRswitchon)
20.  Tim Scott (@TimScottHR)
21.  Amanda Arrowsmith (@Pontecarloblue)
22.  Inji Duducu (@injiduducu)
23.  Anne Tynan (@AnneTynan)
24.  Neil Usher (@workessence)
25.  Louisa de Lange (@paperclipgirl)
26.  Megan Peppin (@OD_optimist)
27.  Ian Pettigrew (@KingfisherCoach)
28.  Steve Browne (@stevebrowneHR)
29.  Kate Griffiths-Lambeth (@kateGL)
30.  Tracey Davison (@mindstrongltd)
31.  Jason Ennor (@MYHR_NZ)
32.  Bob Philps (@BPhilp)
33.  Kat Hounsell (@kathounsell)
34.  Simon Jones (@ariadneassoc)
35.  Mervyn Dinnen (@MervynDinnen)
36.  Alex Moyle (@Alex_Moyle)
37.  Julie Drybrough (@fuchsia_blue)
38.  Susan Popoola (@susanpopoola)
39.  Ruchika Abrol (@ruchikaabrol)
40.  Simon Stephen (@simonstephen)
41.  Damiana Casile (@damiana_HR)
42.  Honeydew_Health
43.  Malcolm Louth (@malcolmlouth)
44.  Perry Timms (@perrytimms)
45.  Sinead Carville (@SineadCarville)
46.  Jon Bartlett (@projectlibero)
47.  Jane Watson (@JSarahWatsHR)
48.  Broc Edwards (@brocedwards)
49.  Sarah Miller (@whippasnappaHR
50.  Meghan M. Biro (@MeghanMBiro)
51.  Anna Lloyd (@buggilights)
52.  Luke Thomas(@springccr)

Humane, Resourced – almost there #bookofblogs


So, today I spent most of the day cutting and pasting and swearing and exporting and grumbling and drinking tea. It looks like we are one step away from publishing a book – an incredible achievement when you consider the original ‘anybody fancy doing this?’ blog post only went out in mid July

I have just sent the review copy off to People Management – that is quick.

Over 50 authors – that is big. BoB cover

Simon Heath, who designed the cover, spent a chunk of the day at my house, sipping tea and solving problems. We have one problem left which is that when I move the book from Pressbooks (where we designed it) to Kindle it opens in the middle of the index. This isn’t the end of the world, but it is far from ideal.

I hope a couple of service calls I’ve put in will resolve the issue and the next button I get to press on Amazon says ‘SAVE AND PUBLISH’. 

I’d extend thanks to lots of people – several are mentioned in the book – but Peter Cheese, CEO of the CIPD spent his Sunday writing me a foreword. That is a classy and supportive thing to do.

So what can you do to help if you are an author or want to support the project?

  1. Tweet and Linkedin when we launch – Google + if you can and certainly Facebook
  2. Remember it is all for charity
  3. Consider updating your LinkedIn profile with the book cover or something imaginative
  4. Talk to people – you’ve been part of an amazing community journey, share that. We have inspiring content but we also have an amazing story
  5. Enjoy it – if you weren’t before you are now a published author

I’ll let you know more when I’ve stopped breaking things.


Music and change

Over a decade ago I was starting my career in HR. I was so far down on the organisation chart you probably had to turn it over to find me.

I was working in an office with lovely people but, nevertheless, it was pretty sterile. I spent as much time away from my desk as possible. I needed interaction and activity. I wasn’t getting any.

I asked my boss at the time if I could play some music in the office. He was a lovely guy, but couldn’t do conflict.

‘can I play some music please?’
‘we don’t really do that’
‘that’s why I’m asking’
‘it’s not really been something we do’
‘you can’t block change simply because it isn’t what existed before. Are you pro slavery?’
‘no, and I don’t think that’s a f… ‘
‘excellent, I’ll go and get the speakers that training use’

The next stop was the HRDs PA. The source of all power in the office.

‘can I put some music on please?’
‘the HRD won’t like it’
‘I’ll obviously turn it off if he asks’
‘he will be displeased’
‘if he is then you can tell him you told me not to do it’
‘I AM telling you not to do it’

So, an hour later the HRD returned from a meeting. He walked straight over to my desk.

My heart sank – and to be honest I was young and more than a little apprehensive.

‘erm… Hi Kevin, good meeting?’
‘what’s that?’
‘it’s… er… well actually, it’s Billy Ocean’
‘my god! I haven’t heard Billy Ocean for years – do you have ‘red light spells danger?’
‘is that a request?’
‘absolutely, this place needed livening up’

And so the music came to pass.

A few months later…

I leave my IPod on shuffle, I go for lunch. I return to my desk with the Head of HR the only person left in the room. Her mouth was open in shock.

Blaring out of the speakers is the voice of JayZ.


It took some time to explain that one.

Change is never without risk. It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.

Role models and George Bailey

English: Screenshot of Jimmy Stewart and Donna...

I’m 34 years old. I look older. I’ve reached the point in life where the good days are gone in a flash and the less good days seem to drag like they never did before.

The way time itself works in changing – seasons just seem to drift into each other and my daughter is growing and changing two steps faster than I could ever keep up. I feel old before my time – or this may be my time and I can’t quite comprehend that yet.

I went for a walk this morning. During a very English downpour I attempted to remember all of the role models – or people that I’ve wanted to grow up to be – that I’ve had at different times in my life. I think they have changed as I have.

In broad chronological order I can remember the following

  • Elliott from ET
  • Spiderman
  • Han Solo
  • He Man
  • Dogtanian (a Muskahound)
  • Atticus Finch
  • Robert Howley/Robert Jones (Welsh rugby players)
  • Maverick in Top Gun
  • Jack Russell (English wicketkeeper)
  • My Uncle Mike
  • Alexander the Great
  • Demetrius the Besieger
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Chief Brody (from Jaws)
  • John Nash
  • Stephen Levitt (of Freakonomics fame)
  • Jefferson Smith
  • Malcolm Gladwell
  • George Bailey
  • Real people that I’ve met

George Bailey is the main character in It’s a Wonderful Life. If you haven’t watched it then stop reading this blog and watch it. If you don’t enjoy black and white films then watch it anyway.

George Bailey is the odd one out in my list for a few key reasons

i) George Bailey has held a special place in this list for almost 15 years

ii) he has no superpowers

iii) he has no fame, he has little recognition, he has no access to untold cash reserves.

He is just a man who does the right thing when faced with difficult choices – willing to compromise his own ambitions to help others and focused on family and community. George Bailey, above all things, wants to be worthwhile and as the years have passed by and my dreams have been replaced by principles, I’d be quite happy to have people say that about me when I’m gone.

I’m interested in making organisations better, primarily because I’m interested in helping people. This may not sound very businesslike, but that is simply because there is a tension between business commercials and compassion that has always existed.

If you want to hear someone speak passionately about that tension then don’t hire a motivational speaker, just listen to George Bailey. Some lessons endure.

Keeping the love alive – Business sexy

Dear Uncle Dave

What can we do to keep the magic alive once we’ve been through the first flush of romance?



Hi Tim,

Glad you asked about this all too common problem. If you look at typical measures of relationship satisfaction there are a few key things you can expect based on the research.

During the first three months you have a honeymoon period. You have made a big decision to change partners and you are focused on the things that validate that choice. They look after you better, they are more attentive to your needs – they may even give you better food! Everything is sunny.

After about 6 months reality sets in. You notice they turn up late to things you have arranged, the extended family holds some odd views and suddenly you notice – for the first time – that some of the things they told you when you first started dating are true, but not quite how you see it. You may stop going to the gym and want to spend more time with other friends. Maybe even see people from past relationships – it’s just coffee, it’s not cheating. Or so you tell yourself.

From this point on things do get better. As you climb towards the two year mark the problems become ‘loveable foibles’ and the bond becomes stronger. Your decision to stay is rewarded by pride in your relationship.

To help get through the early rocky patch there are some things you can both do

– listen to each other attentively
-understand every relationship has its ups and downs, those that survive are based on both sides being honest
-keep checking how things are going, maybe have regular meetings to do this
-go out for drinks together, keep it informal and fun before you fall into a routine
-speak to other people about your relationship, not to wallow but to provide perspective
-avoid speaking to dating agencies, they will always claim to have someone perfect for you, but you’ll never have a long term relationship if you don’t commit
-All those things that you always wanted to do with your old partner? Do them in your first six months with your new partner so you can understand that you have ‘traded up’.

If you plan together, you will stay together. Any relationship works with shared history, an enjoyable present and a future to look forward to.

Hope this helps,

Uncle David

Business Sexy Advice column

This post follows last week’s blog on applying lessons from business to real life relationships. Tweet me @dds180 if you have any made up issues you would like me to address.

Dear Business Sexy,

I’m having trouble selecting the right man – or maybe I’m just struggling to attract the right man in the first place.

Have you got any advice for me?


Nicky T

Hi Nicky,

This happens far more often than you would think. The challenge is understanding whether there is a sufficient candidate pool where you are recruiting, whether you are skimping on the expected compensation package compared to market rate and whether you are making the most of the contact with the applicants you do have.

Usually it is a combination of the three – and employers mistakenly attempt to reduce the complexity of the problem by only addressing one.

So there are 3 key steps

i) benchmark candidate availability – speak to other individuals who are recruiting in the same areas and demographics and understand if they are facing the same challenges. If they are then simply try a different pub.

ii) check benefits vs market rate – in recent years benefits packages have been tailored more to shorter term incentives. This shift doesn’t represent the fact that employers are, in some sectors, still looking for an enduring partnership. Do some spot checking to ensure that candidates expectations of duration of the role are in line with yours – specifically do you have candidates interested in assuming a particular position temporarily when you are seeking a permanent appointment.

iii) check your candidate experience – so much is written about candidate experience these days – but people forget it isn’t about having a process, it is about a genuinely engaging experience. The best way to understand the quality of your offering is to engage a third party to speak to a recent candidate to get some unbiased feedback. This could yield some painful information, but it could also give you a greater insight into the strengths of your proposition that you can leverage in the future.

Hope this helps,