HR Summit 2015, potted highlights

This year’s summit took place on 3/4 February in Birmingham and matched my previous experience of having a rich mix of high profile keynote speakers and master classes, relevant and current case studies, and – a real sense of community amongst conference delegates.  People were intent, they listened, and were engaged.

I have shared a storify here which curates some of the curation tweets.  There is some really useful sharing and learning available.

Part of the summit is the celebration of the annual HR Distinction Awards; as one of the judging panel, I was inspired by the submissions; the heart and soul, the energy and commitment of so many teams.  You can read about the winners and those commended here; the total picture was of a profession of hard working energised teams, who’s work often goes unsung. Often what’s in the public domain is all that’s seen – and shared.

Dave Ulrich talked about others’ perceptions of HR – and his thesis is that employees are not the customers of HR – HR’s customers are the customers of the business.  Ulrich asks “are we connecting what HR does to the key stakeholders of the business”. He also says culture is our identity and asks therefore “Will your culture reflect what customers are promised?”  He invites us to look from the outside in.

Nick Kemlsley (not at the summit)  wrote in his paper “A glimpse into the future”  “Those HR functions that can quickly and efficiently adapt what they offer and how they offer it…………will potentially gain more credibility” and goes on to say that successful HR functions will be more focussed on impact than process.

So the challenge for HR is there.  Look from the outside in, adapt, be an influencer, share and celebrate your contribution.  The HR Distinction Awards Ceremony was a happy energised experience; people attending the dinner were in a party mood, there was an air of anticipation as the awards were being announced.   I know what hard work it is working in HR, how much “stuff” gets flung in HR’s direction and it was so good to see a celebration of achievement.  The challenge is not to become a victim, not to burn out, but to stand up for what you believe is right and trust in yourself and it was just so good to see some celebration of achievements.

These events create an intense learning experience – (for me too; I did my first filmed interview with Dave Ulrich!).  There is a challenge too for HR professionals to both keep up with current thinking and be confident to develop their own way. CPD is vital to keep challenging our own thinking, develop and grow our own competence and – why not become a thought leader in your own organisation?