#CIPD13 – day 1 = reflections and connections

I find people interesting. That’s why I enjoy bumbling about in this profession.

I can’t network, I’m just not wired to think about people that way, but I do love meeting new people and chatting to them. Some people might argue that is networking, but I always think the distinction is in intent.

I’m not sure what I expected from the CIPD conference, but this is what I got in addition to the formal sessions. Interesting connections. I hope other people had similarly randomly good experiences.

I got…

– about an hour of Peter Cheese’s time (the CIPD CEO), talking about the event itself, social media, the CIPD’s future and the evolution of business practices. Someone took this photo of me, seemingly, in a Pacino-like rant as we talked, whilst in the background the lovely Julie Dryborough can’t quite believe what I’ve said to Peter http://instagram.com/p/gYgoRLPCjo/

– about an hour of the Deputy CEO’s time, talking about how much of the CEO’s time I had taken up

– the business card of the CEO of the Human Resources Professionals of Canada, specifically so that I can send him a link to the book (Humane, Resourced – free until the end of the conference, #1 bestselling HR book on Amazon, a host of awesome thoughts on HR from 50 different authors, I sort of had to mention it – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Humane-Resourced-A-Book-Blogs-ebook/dp/B00GA323TW/ref=zg_bs_362191031_7)

– a trip to Facebook (a long held ambition of mine)

– a trip to see the fine folk at Innocent Drinks (a long held ambition of mine)

– to meet one of the candidates from The Apprentice (this adds to an unexpected trip to the BBC breakfast studio yesterday

When I add the above to a quite brilliant insight into the Crossrail project and a host of interesting conversations, well, that isn’t a bad day. Not a bad day at all.

The only thing that could make it better would be an early morning session with Doug Shaw and Meg Peppin tomorrow – and a bacon butty too…

#CIPD13 Leading People through Organisational Change

Andrew Wolstenholme (CEO Crossrail, that is a quite a big project)

It’s a great start when someone says ‘I’m going to tell you a story’. The story of the Crossrail project so far was captivating and enjoyable.

Observation – HR is about business, having a CEO talk about business is a really useful thing. We are in business, you learn from people who do business exceptionally – regardless of ‘discipline’. The world is out there, invite it in.

The best quotes from the session

Here are my favourite awesome quotes from that interesting story.If you think the word awesome is inappropriate, well, you probably weren’t here.

‘there’s lot’s of responsibility out there, go and find it’

‘my job is to get the right team around me and to create an environment where they can excel’

‘my the end of today we’ll have created another 4m of tunnel under London’

‘the challenge is to move frontiers forward faster than we are currently able to’

‘some of the inspiration for now, is understanding how inspirational leaders were in the past’

‘aligned objectives keep everyone together’

‘we believe it is in our power to make things better for people’

‘skate to where the puck will be’

‘if you get safety right, only then do you have permission to talk about time and costs’

‘what would we have to do to be seen as an organisation where innovation is a definitive output?’

‘we want to be in a place where we are wealthy in giving ideas up to other people’

‘pigs do fly’

‘it’s fine to be different and to be yourself’

‘give people ‘I was there’ moments’

‘make people part of your story to make them part of an industry’

‘what do I want of HR? Understand my business. Provide expert counsel. Have the courage to challenge.Be a troubleshooter. Envision the future’

‘give people work where they can go and tell their children and grandchildren’

Thomas the Tank Engine

PS – safety messages on the back of gloves – genius. Internal innovation at its simplest and most effective.

Keynote address at #CIPD13

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.

Peter’s 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.

Ducati Logo
Ducati Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

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)