A racing start to CIPD MAP 2017 from Derek Redmond

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Derek Redmond has got CIPD MAP 2017 off to a flying start, I particularly enjoyed his opening line that he used to run around in circles for a living!

Whilst Derek may have swopped lacing up his trainers for driving high performance in his role at Thomas International; his motivation remains the same, to get the most out of people in his role as Performance Director.

Engagement may be a strange term but it is a topic that many are passionate about, even as an individual, we always have a team around us to help us deliver. There’s always a coach behind us cheering us on to achieve our goals.

Derek might have been alone on the track, but he had a team of people around him to help him achieve his aspirations,; a track coach, flexibility coach, masseuse, sports physiologist, physiotherapist, exercise physiologist, S&C coach, partner, agent and his Dad! All have a key role to play in the story of his success and it is no different in the world of work, they are experts in what they do.

Reflecting on Margaret Heffernan’s opening keynote to CIPD ACE 16, this demonstrates the importance of people working together, knowing their roles and ultimately, who has supported you to get you where you are now? These people are vital to our success and achieving what sometimes feels impossible. When people understand their roles, it improves relationships, communication and when they understand what each other are doing, that is where the magic happens.

Recognition to keep people engaged is essential, simply say thank you. It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture but those people will never forget it and they will feel appreciated. Last week, I was speaking to my husband Mark at home and I turned to him and simply said “thank you for everything you do, I wouldn’t be here at this point in my career without you”. He seemed a bit taken back by it but it is true and I realised that I don’t say it enough, we should all do this more often.

Empowerment, alignment, involvement; these words are part of our daily lives, it’s not new but these resources can be constantly applied to every area of our performance. They are supported by our attitude and approach to how we undertake tasks to help us deliver to the best of our ability.

One thing that we should all do regularly is to reflect on our career journey, Derek mentioned that doing this each year is important; ask yourself, where were you this time last year? Are you behind? Have you kept on track? It’s vital to consistently monitor where you are on your journey and more importantly, are they fitting to where you want to be?

High engagement drives high performance; if you have highly skilled people that are not engaged, then you will simply not getting the most out of them. Engagement is as simple as that, so taking steps to improve engagement is essential to driving high performance within your business so the need for investment in this area couldn’t be more critical. Skills are irrelevant, it’s engagement that is truly important.

People and performance; in the world of business, the most common mistake is to judge upon business performance. Too much focus on figures and strategy often sacrifices understanding the role, team spirit and leaves little room for challenging each other; a distinct lack of people focus. If you look after the people, your performance will take care of itself, it sounds simple but too many organisations forget this which hinders the level of performance.

Understanding your people is the key to driving your organisation forward, as Derek demonstrated when he won the Olympic gold medal with his team in 1991. It demonstrates the capability of a truly engaged team, the same principles can be instilled in organisations.

Most organisations have the right people to deliver but they might be in the wrong roles, or there could be a lack of communication, it’s about understanding and mindset. These words will resonate with everyone so why do we continue to stay the same?

We don’t need to be told that the world of work is evolving, if this is news to you then you are already miles behind. You can’t expect to do something different if you’re doing the same thing.

A fantastic start to this years CIPD MAP Conference and a lot of food for thought to take us through the day.

 

 

 

The future is bright and not all heroes wear capes… The key points from MAP Student Conference

What – a – day! So much to say in one short blog post but I’ll give it my best shot! Firstly, I just wanted to say it was lovely to meet so many people, thank you for taking time to speak to me, it was a pleasure to meet you and I hope you had a great time today.

Today’s student conference was held at Aston University and was focussed upon the future of work, thinking about options to consider to structure your career and ultimately what you need to do to get there.

“You have one career, (unless you believe in reincarnation) so make the most of it”

David D’Souza

After welcoming the delegates and getting into the swing of the day we first heard from David D’Souza – (you’ll be hearing his name a lot in this post!) who talked all things Superman and Jurassic Park and the lessons from this were that just because that things are done in a certain way, it doesn’t make a compelling reason for continuing to do things that way. Start looking at things differently and start today, think of the different outcomes that could be and determine the type of HR professional that you want to be. He finished with a line that really resonated around the room – “you have one career, (unless you believe in reincarnation) so make the most of it”.

“The world of work is changing, don’t jump on the trend bandwagon”

Dr Richard MacKinnon

We swiftly moved into an insightful keynote with Dr Richard MacKinnon who begged the question “is it worth considering the future of anything these days” referring to the appointment of President Trump and Brexit and he’s right, if we were reading these headlines 10 years ago, we would have thought that the world had gone mad! But it’s true, our inability to predict the future from all aspects; technological, environmental or in a work capacity, we as humans are terrible at predicting the future and that is simply human nature.

He emphasised that there are a lot of myths in the workplace, be it about people, situations and others in our organisations so it’s about identifying those myths and challenging them whilst thinking that just because others are doing it, it doesn’t mean that you should. For example technology at work, just because it exists, it doesn’t mean that you have to implement it, don’t get preoccupied with future technology before you deal with the issues here in the present day.

Dr MacKinnon’s speech really was fascinating and he encouraged the room to research science at work; there is a wealth of opportunity to learn and develop yourself by using free papers and simply researching into these subjects.

I would recommend anyone to look at his work, you can follow him on Twitter @WorkLifePsych or view his website here: www.worklifepsych.com it’s perfect for those of you who wanted further information on the world of work from a psychology perspective.

Whilst there was a lot of learning going on, behind the scenes a hitch lightening us of two speakers had happened, our hero of the day in the form of David D’Souza (minus a cape) filled in for two sessions – engagement and digital recruitment proving that even when disaster strikes, the team handled it brilliantly so thank you to David and the MAP team for allowing the show to go on with no further hiccups.

Other breakout sessions including an employment law update; there are plenty of those lurking at the moment! Business analytics with National Grid and how to secure a role in HR/LD career pit stop session. To summarise there’s a lot of things to consider when looking at a career in the profession these days – and you thought a career in HR/LD was about tea and biscuits!

We concluded the day with a panel Q&A with Dr Richard MacKinnon, Tiffany Poeppelman and Carole Carson to discuss their experiences and career highlights, it’s safe to say that the whole room took something away with them in this piece; some were inspired, others motivated and others were considering which career path they would choose to take as all three panellists have different backgrounds proving that we are not all made for the same HR/LD shaped hole!

“Your actions define how people perceive you”

Tiffany Poeppelman

The closing keynote from Tiffany Poeppelman from Linked In was absolutely the highlight of my day as it helped me with an area I feel personally that I have been struggling with of late; Building your own brand through social media and networking. With the activities I’ve been working on of late, since ACE  I had not blogged very much and have let my Twitter feed fall behind a little, whilst Twitter is back in full swing with the events coverage I’m doing, my Linked In profile was in need of a refresh.

There was so much useful information and tips but these are her five top things that you should do to enhance your Linked In profile:

  1. Complete and enhance your profile
  2. Connect and grow your network
  3. Join 2 or 3 relevant networking groups
  4. Follow companies, industries and people who interest you
  5. Be an active collaborator – share, update your status, discuss and post. What do you give to your network?

Understandably there is a lot of food for thought to take away from today’s conference and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have and I hope to see you at another CIPD event soon. Finally a big thank you to Eleanor Lloyd-Jones for allowing me to Tweet and blog at the event, it’s an absolute pleasure to be a part of.

 

 

A message of love and hope

Hope and Love

I wanted to post something out of the ordinary for this extraordinary world we seem to be currently living in, with the EU referendum just hours away and the bloodshed we have witnessed in the last two weeks; it really brings home what is truly important; family, love, hope and friendship.

The horrific scenes we have witnessed in Orlando have not just shocked the community, but the have shocked the world. My heart goes out to the families of the victims and my message is simple; love will always win.

We may tend to feel helpless and lost at times like these but it is important to remember that whilst it is for the wrong reasons, the victims have left a legacy symbolising hope and togetherness. In the heart of London, there was a strong undeniable unity with the LGBT community and I stopped what I was doing to listen to a choir that had come together to sing for the victims and despite the loss that they felt, the unity and support shone through; proving that love wins.

Only a few days later we then heard the awful news that MP Jo Cox had been murdered in the street. Mrs Cox was a loving mother, wife and worked hard for what she truly believed in, serving her community. She was a pioneer for women in politics, an inspiration to so many and she spoke for those who could not speak for themselves. Her loss is a great one that will be will be felt in parliament for many years to come.

At times like these it seems that there are far more questions than there are answers so whilst I don’t have a resolution, I seek comfort in the strength of others as demonstrated by Brendon Cox; the way to fight hate is with love.

One feeling that resonated with me the most was to take some time to appreciate the little things in life that we so often take for granted so I spent a rare weekend with my mum, sister and brother, hugging them just that little bit tighter before I left for my journey home.

Spend time on the important things; share special moments with those dear to you and love will shine through to give us strength and restore our faith during the dark times because ultimately if there is love then there will always be hope.