Unlocking Hidden Capabilities #cipd15

New Zealand

Paul Matthews has quite a background story, multiple times crossing Sahara and crossing Himalayas to pick a couple of highlights. As far as I know he hasn’t played rugby but he did mention his nation’s win in the rugby world cup. He’s on twitter too.

Hidden Capabilities

If we have got hidden capabilities, what’s hiding them? and the answer is probably the Performance Management process itself.

This is a theme now from a couple of talks – so when an org spends 2million man hours on the performance management process are they really getting value.

What is performance?
It has 4 key elements

1, Performer

  • Knowledge – the stuff you need to be able to recall
  • Skills – something we can repeat again and again
  • Attitude – our transient motivation
  • Physiology

2, Environment that wraps around the performer – is the environment competent? This has a bigger impact on the performers ability to get the job done. It includes tools, incentives, management etc.

3, Capability
4, Performance

Developing a diagnostic tool

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Applying an Ishikawa diagram to the 4 elements gives a diagnostic tool to identify what is going on when someone doesn’t perform.

And there were free books too 🙂

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Live blogged from #CIPD15 so there will be lots of typos and only a little sense – and that’s my fault not the speaker’s.

Social & Collaborative Learning

Social learning and collaboration with Sukh Pabial and Julian Stodd
Julian Stodd

pic credit Julian Stodd

For me this was the best session so far, I’m hoping that Michelle Parry-Slater has captured the periscope she did and shares that too. Update she did and you can see it here.

Andy Lancaster introduced the main men

  • Sukh “is a good man to be around”
  • Julian “is Captain at Sea Salt” (he really is)

This is an ignite session, it looks like it’s going to be quite a session – lots of energy in the room as Andy Lancaster gets us all talking straight away.

Andy Lancaster (his slides are on his twitter timeline)

7 reasons why digital is important

Workplace is changing, we need to morph ourselves

  • Dispersed workplaces
  • Serve multiple generations
  • Just in time…not delayed
  • In the flow of work (not against it0
  • Bite sized
  • User choice not org prescribed
  • plug into wider social communities

But currently only 10% content is user created and only 15% of people are comfortable with using social media we have a long way to go.

The conversations you are having today are Social Learning

Problems with Digital Learning
Q. How do we move those who expect traditional learning and if they don’t get it they don’t believe they are getting learning.
A. people are using it already – youtube, podcasts etc etc
A. Show people there is a cost benefit to not shipping people around the country to training
A. Find safe ways to experiment
A. “Stop doing really shit digital learning” Julian

Q. How do I retain my personality within digital training/consultancy
A. See how the great people deliver on radio, tv, podcasts, webinars
A. Stand up to deliver a webinar
A. Try it out
A. We need people who can do lots of roles to create great social learning inc. storytellers.

Q. Google has no measure of quality
A, We need to be great curators, community moderated content can be more valid than traditionally moderated and created.

Over to Sukh

Learning in the peer based learning space, with just people that is useful and helps learning happen.

We are best at control and putting you in a classroom, we are great at that. or

We force you through shit e-learning and then we moan when the learner doesnt do anything with it….because we have wrested responsibility away from the learner.

Peer based learning is about creating space where a community learns together. Great example of Prince training handed over completely to the learning group to figure it out for themselves.

Open mic session, share whatever you want with a group to transfere knowledge.

Communities of Practice – group that has a vested interest eg used with group of agile trained managers to help them apply the agile learning in their context.

Sukh asked “What learning need do you currently have where you could consider a peer based learning solution as opposed to your current solution?”

Q. It’s the ROI question
A. It’s the wrong question, when we learn ourselves we don’t then try to test the ROI. We do want to know how we improve practice.
A. The trick is to get the right measures, both qualitative and quantitative

  • Personal narrative of learning
  • Formal measure of performance
  • Organisational narrative

And finally to Julian

Online collaboration, knowledge is disrtibuted, we need to be able to build the communities to bring knowledge and learning is brought together.

Best to go to Julain’s blog on scaffolding it will explain what he is talking about far better than I can type.

In the end Julian’s practical challenge to everyone is “get permission to play for 6 weeks and then tell the story of what you have learned back into the organisation.”

Q. Best learning environment was in a pub with mates – how do I recreate that in work?
A. There are no rules – it’s different in different orgs
A. Create a space and feed organisational view and the tacit knowledge that is needed. In a co-created space then find the narrative that the community tells.
A. Engage your retired population to be part of the community
Q. How will we reward
A. respect etc…
Q. people don’t want to engage
A. Unlikely to be the technology, more likely to be about permission. Gain permission to have a conversation that the group want to have, then connect that to what you want to discuss with them.
Q. is there a type of learning that is suitable to digital/social learning or not suitable for it.
A. recognise the breadth of social learning and where it fits best
A. Facilitators have 2 roles Safety and Storyteller.

Live blogged from #CIPD15 so apologies for any lack of coherence, it had been a tough couple of days.

update I have just come across this post on self determined learning, that gives a bit of connected theory to some of the discussion in the session. HT to Steve Wheeler for sharing on twitter

Large Scale Public Sector Transformation

Role of HR in transformation

Low Peck Kem from the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore.

It will be interesting to see what can be learnt from transformation in a small (5.5m residents) state with a very different culture.

About 40% of the audience have been to Singapore – well travelled bunch this lot.

“If Singapore is as successful as we say it is why do we need to transform?” Singapore is always living on the edge, it has no natural resources (including drinking water – which is baught from China) so we has to continually punch above our weight. It has moved from 3rd to 1st world only in the last 30 years and it is only 50 years old.

Public sector can implement change at a scale that private sector can’t.

Whilst there seems to be a large amount of fear attached to the motivation of Singapore public sector to transform (threat of withdrawal of resources from neighbouring countries), Low Peck Kim is framing it in a very positive way.

HR function explicitly includes system thinking – that’s interesting.

How do you get people who don’t report to you to do what you want. There is an honesty in this presentation, everything isn’t perfect, eg performance process sounds bureaucratic and typically public sector and the staff engagement survey tells them it isn’t working however for years that process endured. Huge process in place to define a £10 per month reward difference. So question being asked is “is what we are getting out of performance worth the pain we are putting our people through?”

Technology is used widely across Singapore – thumbprint passports, automatic toll booths, personalised automatic queuing systems. This also applies to HR where automation is maximised to do more with less! However there is expectation that ageing population will continue to increase demand. Truly embracing the potential of technology, recognising the huge impact things like self driving cars will have on a small nation.

“HR is the architect of the work environment”

There is a real focus on delivering for customers, politically this plays out by a lower majority (still 60% of vote) stimulates the government to renew efforts to engage with citizens, to listen to their demands more.

Building trust from the people in the government is a key area, rules and guidelines used to ensure behaviour of public sector staff is appropriate (down to should you wear expensive watches).

Met google, interesting clash of cultures. What do google employees complain about – the quality of the free food (which is actually very good). This is the norm for googlites, they have known nothing else. When we provide great services to the public that becomes the norm…so our expectations are set at that level.

HR’s role in transformation is:

  • Strong Leadership
  • Engaged Officers
  • Future Ready
  • Professional HR

5 pillars

5 pillars

There has been a great deal of work developing the HR community, into a real community, with the skills they need, with a focus working hard to refocus burning platforms into burning ambitions.

HR Strategy

  • HR as a strategic partner
  • HR change agent
  • HR as people developers
  • One HR community

Supporting all HR practitioners with the tools they need to deliver the strategy. This includes formal development programmes (developed with CIPD) toolkits and space and time to share learning and co-create solutions with the whole HR community..

Al the slides from the session are here

Live blogged from #CIPD15, apologies for poor spelling, grammar, lack of coherence or opinion.

CIPD15 Day 1 reflections

What am I taking away from day 1? More than just cupcakes I’m sure.

Its all about cupcakes

It’s the start of day 2 of the #CIPD15 conference and I’m feeling like I need to process some of the stuff that has been jammed into my head over the last 24 hours. It has been a very different experience at the conference this year, I usually have a fairly relaxed approach, I attend the exhibition (which is free), catch some of the learning sessions (which are free), have some chats (which are free – there is a theme here) and drink some beer. I can usually dip in and out as the mood takes me.

This year I have been really fortunate to be part of the #blogsquad supporting the conference with some tweeting, blogging and generally making some noise on social media. It has meant I have had access to the big speakers and the headline presentations (which aren’t free), which has been great.

It’s also given me a real challenge…

It is really difficult to listen, to process, to learn, to blog and to tweet all at the same. My live blogs have been a stream of thoughts, ideas, highlights from the speakers but they have not had very much insight, opinion or comment from me. I’m cutting myself some slack and saying that is OK, but I do need to give myself some time to reflect on the stuff I’ve heard and to figure out how it might change my practice. I’ll need to put some actual time aside to do this otherwise the Tsunami of work may wash the chance away.

Conversations are still my number 1 way of learning and there have been less chances for conversations in the rush of getting to lots of sessions and capturing the main points. The post day 1 social events gave me a chance to have some brilliant chats about the things we had heard, to play with ideas, to test them out, to rip them up and put them back together in a form that makes sense to me. I need to make sure I still have time for those chats.

A bit of structure never hurt anyone Even though I default to a bit of an organic approach, learning probably needs a bit more structure and planning. I’m getting more from this conference than any I’ve been to in the last couple of years, even if I don’t actually know what it is I’m actually learning yet.

Live blogs are good for notes for me and probably less good for readers to read – apologies. There will be more today.

So I’m going to set myself some time to go through #CIPD15 again, and figure out what it means to me! And make sure I take home more than just cupcakes!

Neuroscience for Leadership

Peter Cheese sets up the session with Dr Tara Swart “we need to go back to the roots of the profession” and the roots of the profession are understanding human behaviour.

Dr Tara Swart shared lots linking neuroscience to the practical and pragmatic practice of helping folk do good work. I’ve captured a few of the main points but missed a million others.

The starting point is to understand the brain is a part of a dynamic system, we cannot ignore the rest of the system if we expect the brain to function well and for our thinking to be at its best. We need to add physiology to the psychology.

External information goes first into the lymbic system before going into the cortext but this is moderated by the level of emotion that is attached to the input. All of our decisions are biased by this emotional weight.

To create sustainable behaviour change you have to be engaged emotionally as well as logically.

There are a few gender differences eg Corpus callosum is a super highway in women and a country road for men (helps with empathy I think).

Diversity of thinking model

Diversity of thinking

Emotions and Physicality – our physicality will often show our emotional level better than what we are saying.

Intuition – How we learn goes from higher centres (cortex), then with practice gets moved into faster thinking centres within our lymbic system and then down to the nervous system that sits even deeper in our bodies.

Neural see-saw

Blood supply moves to the system we use so if we are doing logical thinking the brain supplies that part of the brain. If we want to do empathetic thinking we need to start it to get the blood supply moving there (over simplification on my part)

If people perceive that we are 14% of logical thinkers are seen as great leaders, 17% of empathetic thinkers are seen as great leaders. If we have both then 72% will be seen as great leader…and we can switch our thinking style, so why don’t we?

The role of Cortisol

We get a natural spike of cortisol an hour before dawn and then we should have low levels all day, if we have stress we get a hit of cortisol and itshould moderate. Under stress it doesn’t reduce and the effects are – reduced immune system – from colds to increased cancer.

The bodies response to cortisol is “I’m going to die” and it rationalises this by assuming it “must be starvation lay, lets lay down fat”

Cortisol leaks through sweat and can then be picked up, so you can catch stress (particularly from someone in a power position). It comes from caveman times and needing to be concious of the stress level of our caveman leader even though we don’t have the language.

You can sweat cortisol out and you can think it out

What to do

  • 30 mins aerobic exercise 3 times per week
  • Talk stress out (coaching etc)
  • Journal
  • Meditate

Our emotional response has a significant effect on our behaviour, just look at the money’s behaviour when he feels hard done to.

Cucumbers grapes and monkeys

What else is important

Glymphatic system – cleansing process for brain which takes 7-9 hours hence our need for sleep. When we work with disturbed sleep we have an actual measurable IQ drop that is in essence the same as being drunk! Lack of sleep now connected to Parkinsons and other diseases.

1-3% dehydration has an effect – we should drink half litre per day per kilo body weight.

voluntary exercise supports neurogenesis, so exercise you like or have chosen is better for you than exercise you are forces into.

Cortisol correlates with risk, we select negative memories and see danger where ther is none, we see uncertainty as a threat. Uncontrollability increases stress so transparency

Increase your confidence

wonder woman

  • Winner effect – win something little, like a game on your phone
  • Territory effect – claim the territory – be there first
  • Power posing – eg Wonder woman – eidence now equivical
  • Past successes/self-talk/right physiology

Neuroscience Culture and Meditation

  • Culturally diverse communities are more creative with increased alpha wave states
  • People who meditate get increased folding in cortex (so more cortex)
  • Meditation reduces cortisol
  • US Marines who do 12 mins of meditation are more resilient on the battle field

NB Nordic sauna and cold dip and 5:2 diet have similar effect to meditation – go figure

Live blogged from #CIPD15, apologies for any lack of grammar, punctuation, spelling and opinion

Driving Culture Change

3 is the magic number #cipd15

de la soul

There is a good bit of talking about belonging and not belonging, the tribes that existed and this being a starting point for a viral change programme.

1, Ask a different question

Culture starts with us, our thinking drives behaviour and that drives results

2, Challenge yourself to think differently

Talk to people you don’t normally talk to, when told you can’t, ask what you can do instead.

3, Make tech your King

…and data your queen
Using technology to drive change including events lke hackathons and harnessing the power of the crowd .

Steve Foster – ex of Transport for London

What is effective culture? Steve thinks the most important measure is the difference between say and do is crucial.

Interesting challenge, is culture the end game or a by-product or a red herring.? The processes we put in place are often what leads and directs culture rather than the other way round so make sure you are working on the right stuff.

Tips from Steve
(I’m gonna have to follow some of these up ‘cos I didn’t catch all the detail.)

  • Know your methodology, use an approach or develop one
  • Beware of hippos (from Eric Shmidt)
  • Consider yourself a monkey (Curious George)

Being a trusted partner

  • I am trusted
    • credibility
    • reliability
    • Intimacy
  • I’m professional – I know my stuff
  • I’m a partner and I know the business

Practical stuff to do

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Take home challenges (that resonate with lots I have heard before)

  1. Have Fun
  2. Just do it
  3. Emotionally not rationally

And finally Helen let us know that Hipster culture is dead and Lad culture is on its way back


Live blogged from #CIPD15, apologies for any lack of grammar, punctuation, spelling and opinion

The times they are a changing

CIPD15 Begins

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Headlines from Introduction and welcome session from #CIPD15

The times they are a changing is the headline from Peter Cheese (CIPD CEO) and the change he is talking about is putting people at the heart of the discussion. This isn’t about more rules but is about a principled approach to business.

The first tweetable quote of the intro is credited to David D’Souza

“The only way is ethics”

And the other takeaways for me –

“There is no such thing as best practice”

say best practice one more time
HT @simonhealth1


“What does it take to be a professional?”

The Professionals

Now on to Prof Cary Cooper

Live blogged from #CIPD15, apologies for any lack of grammar, punctuation, spelling and opinion

The Reading Room

The Reading Room

Putting Social Media to Work - cover

So #CIPD15 is still a day away and a load of great resource has already been tweeted and shared (blame those pesky students and their love of learning at #cipd15students, you should check out the hashtag). Here are some books mentioned so far that are focused on, or came from social media collaborations.

Humane Resourced a book of blogs – from everyone, I think.

This time it’s personal More great curated blogs

Putting Social Media to Work Tim Scott and Gem Reucroft with the low down on making social media work for you.

The Humane Workplace from the wonderful New Zealand community and the fab Amanda Sterling

There’s loads more out there, let me know what else I can add.

My Minimal Virtual Place

IMG_20150106_094745The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing

Walt Disney

I’ve been spending far too much time worrying about what my website should say, what it says about me, how it should look, what cool widgets it should have, what font it should use etc. etc. etc. and that hasn’t left a great deal of time to actually doing anything with the blinking thing. The more I tinker the less I do and the less useful it becomes, at the same time I have been increasingly gripped by an almost paralysing fear, of something. Of failure, of it not working, of just not being good enough!

So what’s that all about? Is it a touch of the Imposter Syndrome? I’m sure it might be, but best not to dwell too much. The book in the picture above and a great conversation about Purpose with Ian Pettigrew a few weeks ago promoted me to stop mucking around, to reassess, to take a look with fresh eyes and to crack on and do. Which I did.

I decided that rather than get lost in the options and complexity I would get back to the absolute basics, strip all the guff away and start afresh. Rather than trying to produce the most tech, the whizziest, the perfect site, with the joyful endless hours of tinkering and procrastinating that would entail, I decided to put a minimal site up, focused on doing a few things and build useful stuff onto it as and when I can.

The site needs to do just a few things

  • People need to be able to find the site, know it’s me and get in touch – Contacts page “check”
  • It would be nice if people can find out a bit about what I do and what working with me is like – I’m going to share some of the actual work I am doing rather than figure out the perfect marketing words for Appreciative Inquiry or Open Space – working on it “check”
  • I would like to reflect more and develop my thinking and understanding of things I am interested in and I think the site can be a place to do that, hell some of what I share might even be interesting and useful to you.

So welcome to my MVP website. It is enough!


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