Dear PPMA colleagues and Friends

Our last blog of 2018 is from our President Karen Grave, reflecting on a busy year for PPMA and the things that really matter in life.

Well, it’s finally here – Christmas 2018.  This year has been hugely busy for all of us I know but I hope that you are all on the way to winding down and spend time with loved ones.  As I have mentioned in previous blogs, PPMA has been doing some great work this year to advance our mission.  We’ve been doing that on our own, but increasingly with our MOU partners and our sponsor community.

We’ll be even busier next year I am sure, and I’m so looking forward to our new leadership team becoming increasingly involved and visible.  I’ve only got one reminder in this blog which is that PPMA Excellence in People Management awards closing date is MONDAY 7th JANUARY 2019.  Please don’t lose out on making an entry – in my view the annual awards programme is one of the most important activities we undertake.  Hearing about the incredible work going on across public services is really humbling, inspiring and energising.   It’s a crazy way to start the year really as it’s always manic, but it’s also wonderful to have the awards take us through the end of Winter, which always to me feels like a struggle after wonderful Christmas festivities.

The most important thing this time of year is that we reflect on our own and our collective HR & OD family.  PPMA has seen new additions this year – Lisa Rathbone, our Rising Star 2018 and Sonia Grewal, our new VP Talent and Membership, have both welcomed new baby boys this year – we’ll see about very junior membership rates for them I am sure .  Whilst we have welcomed new life, we have also seen old PPMA members and sponsors retire and move on to a different phase of their lives; we’ve seen some move on from permanent roles to different careers and that’s a fantastic way to retain knowledge and experience but also give colleagues a new lease of life in the gig economy.  And unfortunately we have also lost dear colleagues and friends.  You will know already that we lost Keith Handley (SOCPO President 2001/2) earlier in the Summer.  And sadly, we also lost the wonderful Susan McNally several weeks ago.  We will be featuring an obituary to Susan in our January newsletter.

And, some of you will have lost family and friends in your own lives.  It’s the range of these events that reminds us really of what matters in the longer term.  Work of course matters, but what defines us over the course of our lives is, I think, the depth of relationships that we build and the good works that we leave behind.  The professional and personal relationships we build through PPMA are rewarding, nurturing and deeply sustaining.  It’s an honour to be a part of an association that focuses so much on building opportunities to develop and maintain these deeply human connections.  The world remains complex, sometimes incomprehensible and our political system increasingly maddening – but it’s comforting to know that we have a collective HR & OD community that deeply believes in the value of people and the contribution we can all make to the lives of others – particularly those who are the most vulnerable in society.

For those of you who find this time of year a challenge – please don’t feel that you are alone.  Reach out and find support where you can – I have always found that human nature is much better than we think.  There is far more love, joy, patience, compassion and kindness out there than our day to day lives would suggest.

So, the loves of my life and I wish you and yours the very best for Christmas and a 2019 filled with blessings, opportunities and love.

Best, Karen