Peter Cheese (CIPD head honcho), Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones (very smart people who make you reflect on your quality of leadership) are delivering the opening speeches. The future of the CIPD and the best workplaces will be covered… I’m hunched over my keyboard… I’ve got a press pass and am looking forward to it – stand by for bullet points… this is a bam, bam review of the session.
What did I learn?
i) it’s a very big hall
ii) Social media presence is going to be massive at this conference
iii) CIPD is pledging to do more, better and on a broader landscape (SME’s get a special focus, as do consultants – which makes me feel special…)
iv) The world is changing – we probably knew that but it’s actually something we forget all too often
v) The science of HR is a key opportunity for the profession, it is our foundation – it is about people not process
vi) CIPD are working with Ulrich on a piece of work that is beyond Ulrich because Ulrich never meant for Ulrich to happen in that way. I’m collaborating with them on a ‘beyond D’Souza’ piece for 2014
Creating the best workplace on earth – Rob and Gareth
What did they say…
i) HR is in the truth business, not ‘what is new’ but ‘what is true’
ii) exceptional performance is not luxury, it’s a survival technique. Its tough out there kids
iii) be yourself more with skill
iv) a key question is ‘why should anyone work here?’ – culture, performance, employer brand, engagement – all tricky
v) look at dreams, reality isn’t there yet
vi) modern leadership is as much about authenticity of task and place as anything else, it’s about DREAMS – see below…
D – difference, I can be myself here. Beyond diversity. Close down the ‘department of rules’ that is HR. Allow people to go a little bit beyond by being different. Build cohesion without homogenisation. Encourage conflict. Nurture characters. Involve the line in recruitment, selection and induction. Recruit a few people who don’t fit in.
R – radical honesty. Say what is really going on. HR can no longer be the keeper of corporate secrets, tell people the truth before they have to discover it. Don’t sanitise the bad news. Confront the elephant in the room (I think that’s what he meant). Can/would everyone sign their name on a comment on your intranet? Would there be comfort in that.
E -Extra Value. the task for an organisation is to add value to people to attract people who can add value to the organisation. Think volunteers at the Olympics or McDonalds investing in people’s training. Ducati use Ducati riders to feed into their engine design. Be the place where the best want to strut their stuff. Let people grow on the job and then be creative about training.
A -authenticity. You know where we are coming from and what we stand for. If we compromise to achieve higher profits, what have you achieved? You need a rooted sense of identity, roots are important. Undisputed origins. Live the culture obsessively. Leaders need to model the values. Be vigilant on brand and culture. Link the individual to the organisation. Acknowledge legacy.
M – meaning. The work makes sense. Lack of sense can be caused by scale, division of labour or time lags. Help people feel enriched and not knackered. Help your people find meaning. Enjoy both work and leisure. Help connect things to avoid silos – and the worship of isolated smart people. Community – life is changing and so is the time spent in work in your lifetime. Community building needs to be simpler *hint, twitter and social media…*. Provide a cause, profit alone is only so compelling. Make a difference to the world (or lives within the world). Profitability does not always come from profit orientation. Organise around enthusiasm.Work on connections. Build the right social architecture to help create belonging
S -simple rules – the dream org is full of stupid rules. It isn’t anarchy it is sense. Freedom rest upon constraint and good rules. Simple and agreed. Systematisation and bureaucracy aren’t the same thing. Culture codes (call, don’t email) are safeguards, not threats. Be vigilant to prevent rule creep. Involve and check. Keep things fair.
That all seemed like a very sensible place to start. More to come…There is optimism…there is a whole future to fill and people really want to do good work