Hello PPMA members and friends

In our blog post this week, Yvonne Skingle ‘looks to the future’ and sees an important role for HR still to play.

“It’s really great to see that there is a good feel about how HR and OD are supporting the massive changes there are in the public sector.

The Peer into the Future programme is clearly giving HR leaders a really good strategic view of the challenges and opportunities in the sector.  It’s a great time to really have influence and make an impact to rise to the challenge in your organisation or partnership.
It’s inspiring to work with the Peers – watching them build their self-confidence, developing their organisational impact and capacity to challenge the status quo. The programme gives them ‘head space’ to consider the strategic influence.  Having others to network with at this level is so powerful.

Understanding the challenging nature of the sector and where this puts the HR and OD strategy focus is really critical now. Those big debates about finances, demand management, community buy-in and the integration between health and adult social care, are all on the lips of senior leaders and politicians.

A continued focus on the business drivers has to be the way to go!

Some may disagree with me, but personally I don’t believe that you  have to be on the top table to have influence and be impactful. Being impactful can help you to get on the board or top team – I can think of a few HR stars who are now chief operating officers, executive directors or chief executives – so there is a career route.

Strong HR players are learning that HR language about competencies and talent streams doesn’t always work and using business language to achieve your people aims has more impact. At the first module for Cohort 3 we started a debate about how finance and HR need to be really close as professions now – something that hasn’t always been the case.

It’s great to hear professional discussions from the CIPD around HR analytics and metrics to show HR’s worth in a business – HR directors need to know their numbers these days.

With local authorities’ continuing focus on commercialism, HR & OD need to consider the skills set or behaviour changes that are needed to ‘nudge’ the culture.

Assessing your workforce design involves some interesting activity – looking at a range of workforce contracts to ensure agility; using technology to the full; ensuring clarity about the role of leaders, managers and the teams. One of the major themes is ensuring you have the skills to future proof your council – so collaboration, leading in ambiguity, taking a multi-agency team with you – all have their place in public sector leadership.

HR’s important role in supporting commissioning options – requires a good understanding of TUPE and employment law – as the sector moves to traded services, joint ventures, mutual and partnerships.”
Never say that the life of the modern HR director is dull!

Yvonne Skingle is Director – Penna Executive Search, and PPMA Policy Board – Peer into the Future Lead