Christ, but that was a good day. The HR Game Changer UK chapter gathering at Wragge & Co.s Victorian, Addams Family-style mansion in London’s not-quite-trendy Holborn.
With SoMe whirlwind, Perry Timms, taking the Bruce Forsyth slot, some of the UK’s best and brightest HR, OD and L&D minds took the torch from the enlightened souls in New Zealand to try to make sense of the battle royale for the hearts and minds of the business of people business.
Having only a 2 minute slot to actually speak up after the wake for performance reviews, I had the luxury of listening along without interruption for the whole day.
It’s late at night here but I wanted to jot down some unfiltered initial ramblings by way of working out loud.
1) CFOs are allowed to put intangibles and goodwill on the company report and accounts without detailing exactly how these are calculated and, from experience, these are often finger-in-the-air calls. People deliver every single penny of profitability the business delivers. If you need to talk people stuff to the CFO, bring up intangibles and goodwill.
2) Dick Fosbury (look him up, you can all use Google FFS) is the epitome of the phrase “game changer”. But Fosbury was a fish playing in a small pond that remains small to this day. HR is a big pond. Changing the game will require bringing a great many unenlightened souls along for the ride. We didn’t really talk about all the other fish today but you need to find ways of reaching them and turning them into game changers.
3) We have got to get much better at talking about how IT can enable HR to drive business performance.
4) As custodians of the people side of businesses, you need to start with actual humans. It’s something like “trickle up humanomics” but you cannot focus on the kind of macro issues we’ve touched on today without putting real people with real lives in the context of those issues and understanding how to establish personal responsibility and accountability for their life at work while they juggle an ever-shifting set of priorities in their life outside work.
5) SoMe is a business priority. If you don’t take part in the conversation, people will take ownership of the conversation without you and set the agenda.
6) A company’s complaints handling process is highly visible. It is perhaps the truest reflection of how you feel about your customers. Candidates can see this when they look you up before they decide to apply. Who are you missing out on as a consequence.
7) Once again, there was a sense that, for many in the room, this was stuff we’ve talked about for a long time now. Revolutions of the re-invented wheel rather than revolution.
8) You were all in the room because you care. What sense do we have whether others really care enough to want to try to change things? Is ennui more powerful that the desire for change.
9) Many, many people working today have never read an HBR article or seen a TED talk. How can we translate these things for a mass audience.
10) er…that’s it. Time for bed.
Good luck to all the game-changers in New Zealand who retrieve the baton overnight. I look forward to hearing how the conversation develops and, hopefully, how you think all these fine words can be turned into real action with real humans.