Director of HR and Organisational Development and Communications (Somerset County Council)
I have had a tremendous and varied career to date and one perhaps a little unusual for the PPMA. How many Vice Presidents I wonder have also been agriculturalists, engineers and college Vice-Principals? Thankfully, I’ve also been a general public sector manager, an OD Manager and for the past five years, a HR & OD Director at Somerset County Council. Crossing such sector boundaries as well as professions has though supported me well in seeing the ‘HR world’ more from an ‘outside in’ perspective and the changes facing the HR and OD profession seem to require more and more of this.
I’ve been fortunate to have been involved with the PPMA for a number of years, the majority of which as the Network Lead for Leadership and OD. I’ve enjoyed this role immensely as its given me license to really bring out my quirky side ....something all OD managers will resonate with!
The PPMA is one of those organisations that not only grows on you but ‘sucks you in’ if you’re not careful. It’s an organisation run by members for its members and one of the best networks I know. We in the public sector are so fortunate to have such a great network to draw on, to bounce ideas off or to share concerns, tribulations or scary moments. As more and more of public sector activities are delivered by those outside of it, it will be important that our colleagues employed by such organisations also benefit. It is for this reason that I am fully supportive, with the other Principal Officers, of widening our network, for the benefit of public service provision and the very public we universally serve.
This is an exciting time for our profession and for the PPMA. Our Members are never short of ideas and in this perhaps we are too innovative as it places great demands on our capacity to deliver. So...as a rallying call....if you want to contribute in making a real difference in the profession and in the delivery of public services nationally, get yourself involved!
Below is a short video interview recorded at the Annual Seminar in Bristol, where I outline my plans for my year in office.
A few minutes with....Richard Crouch
Q: What makes you have a good day at work?
A: Being productive and delivering something that makes a tangible difference one way or another for the benefit of others. What makes me have a great day, is seeing someone prosper, either through a job well done or just simply rising above the challenges we all face from time to time.
Q: Couldn't live without
A: Family, Chocolate, whisky, cows and the internal combustion engine.
Q: Room 101
A: I dislike bureaucracy and those that hide behind it. I am not keen on political correctness when it frightens people to do anything constructive in case they offend someone. Try as I might, I don't like cider!
Q: What being a Member of the PPMA means to you.
A: More than I thought it would several years ago when I first joined! It grows on you and the old adage that the more you put in the more you get out is so true of the Association. I have developed enormously as a professional and have forged so many friendships that has helped me no end.
Q: What words would you use to describe a world class HR function?
A: A function that drives the business forward, transacts well on people management and as importantly, listens and responds to its employees - taking an instrumental role in helping to ensure the business, its services/products and its people excel.