#CIPD12 It’s about leadership

David Weir's gold medal

Here’s a quick summary of the sessions I learned most from at the CIPD conference.

1. The golden finish

We got to hear from David Weir (the David Weir), Jean Tomlin, (HRD for London 2012), and Andy Hunt (CEO of the British Olympic Assoc). It brought back all those fabulous memories of the summer, and on a totally self centred note, I was totally chuffed to bits to get to hold one of David Weir’s gold medals. How awesome is that?!

Jean said that the big thing she learnt from the Olympic experience was:

“if you give people in the UK the chance to do something great, then they will step up and do that. And I think it is the same inside organisations. I think that leaders of organisations need to do that to – to really lead and to create the conditions for people to bring their personalities to work and really flourish and do something great.  I know we often say those phrases, but I really believe it and I have seen it happen”. Continue reading

#CIPD12 day 1: highs and lows

This week I’m at the CIPD’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Manchester. My experience of the first day, yesterday, was of two different sides of HR. The day kicked off with an introduction from Peter Cheese, the new CEO of the CIPD. His words were music to my ears. I really liked his clarity when describing the purpose of HR and the CIPD as being about…

Championing better work and working lives, through better people management and people development, in order to bring more value for organisations and society.

Absolutely. And also I am really pleased that Peter wants the CIPD to be more relevant to SMEs. I’d love to hear from more SME leaders when I’m at a conference like this. My personal experience is that there is some really exciting and interesting people management that goes on in SMEs. (I work for one). Continue reading

#CIPD12 links & stuff from my session

Supercharged enriched networkThis post is for anyone who was at the session I did today at the Social Media Hub in the CIPD Exhibition.

I mentioned a whole number of blogs and other things, so if you are interested in looking at those websites, here are the links.

Sinead Carville – she’s a fab HR Manager based over the water in Ireland.  She was meant to do this #CIPD12 slot but was unable to make it.  So please pop onto Twitter and connect up with Sinead.

My Hell is Other People. The first blog that made me sit up and take notice, and realise that blogs could be relevant, real, foul mouthed, brilliant, fun, useful, thought provoking. Continue reading

The Olympics post

Olympics 2012 Womens Lightweight Double Sculls

One of my favourite Olympics images

I know there are lots of bloggers writing about the Olympics and how it relates to creating great workplaces.  So it seems a bit cliched to write about such stuff.  However, this is my blog and my reflections on what’s important to me.  I’ll remember London 2012 for the rest of my life.  In the future I want to look back on my posts from this summer and see a mention of the Olympics.  Here’s a few things I’ve been thinking about as I drive to and fro across East Yorkshire each day. Continue reading


Zappos is an American company that sells shoes and clothes online. It’s been in business since 1999. Over the last few years it has become famous for its focus on corporate culture. In 2009 it was named in Forbes magazine in their top 25 companies to work for, and in 2010 the CEO, Tony Hsieh (pronounced ‘Shay’) published his autobiography. It’s called Delivering Happiness.

Mother advertising agency

The talk was at Mother advertising agency. (The photos in portrait frames on the wall are of employees’ mothers).

Over the last year or so I kept hearing Zappos being mentioned, so I thought I should get the story from the horses mouth and I bought the book. Actually, I bought the audiobook, because Tony reads it himself, which makes for a great listen. After reading the book I was then lucky enough to be tipped off by Doug Shaw of a talk in London by Tony Hsieh on May 16th. Three of us got tickets, which amazingly were free (they got snapped up like hotcakes). At the talk, Tony came across as a modest and soft-spoken man.

My blog post today is simply a list of the main things I have found interesting and inspiring about the Zappos story. It’s not the full low down: if you are interested to know more, the book covers many more things.

Continue reading