Hello PPMA friends

Our blog post this week comes from Steve Davies, who as well as being Head of London Regional Employers’ Organisation at London Councils, is PPMA Vice President Regions and Hon. Treasurer & Secretary. Steve has responsibility for the PPMA regional network and below he explains more about how our regions work:

“The PPMA regions are the lifeblood of the PPMA. They provide the opportunity for our members to meet, share, exchange and learn from each other and their organisations.

The aim within each region is to provide a meeting whether real or virtual on a variety of HR and OD subject matters that our members can hear about the latest issues, research, or showcase of work happening in the HR/OD world.

We have 5 broad regional groupings covering the Midlands & Wales; the North of England including north east and west and Yorkshire and Humberside; Northern Ireland; South East including London and east England; South West covering Somerset, Cornwall and Devon. We also have a special Shires network which focusses on HR/OD issues in shire county councils. In total we have over 500 PPMA members from more than 180 organisations and these are spread across all our regions.

The regional meetings provide an opportunity for HR/OD colleagues to network and ‘work out loud’. What do I mean by work out loud. This is a concept developed by John Stepper and adapted by other HR/OD and change management professionals. This is about investing in networking relationships by sharing work and experiences.

There are 5 key elements in this concept/approach.

Making your work Visible: being able to share your work in a way that others can understand what you have done or want to do, how you did it or plan to do it, what was/is involved in terms of time, resource, cost and what are the expected or were the actual outputs or outcomes.

Growth mindset: One of the main reasons for openly sharing your work is to find ways to improve it. Sharing your work with other people can provide useful feedback, connections, or other things that will make your work better.

Generosity: By openly sharing your work or asking for help to improve it you are more likely to engage other people and they will voluntarily help you.

Relationships: As you work out loud over time, you’ll be interacting with a broader range of people. The further you develop relationships with people in your network, the more likely it will be that you’ll collaborate with them and that they’ll be willing help you in other ways.

Purposeful discovery: Finally, you need to make your contributing and connecting purposeful in order to be effective. Be clear with yourself about what you are seeking to achieve in terms of recognition, learning, connections, etc.

Of course, you don’t need to be as structured as this to network effectively. By just attending (even virtually during or after) our regional meetings, PPMA members get the opportunity to learn more about the world of HR/OD and make informal connections with other HR/OD professionals. Often, just being able to talk to someone else and share thoughts or views about a subject matter that has just been showcased can provide an opportunity to learn and share, or simply take solace from the fact that someone else is in the same boat as you, or not as far advanced as you, in terms of what they or their organisations are doing.

You can tell that I’m an advocate of face to face meetings, as opposed to virtual meetings but that doesn’t mean I don’t also recognise the power of social media and networking using technology, and John Stepper’s ‘work out loud’ network approach is designed with social media in mind. However, I believe that networking is helped tremendously by sharing a subject or issue, which is then explored, questioned by a group initially in a meeting together and our regional meetings provide the ideal forum for this.

At the end of the day, the regional meetings provide this opportunity for networking and it is up to you how much or little you choose to learn or take from them, but it is rare that you don’t take some learning away from the experience.”

Good luck with your networking and please fully use the opportunity that regional meetings give you – to find out more contact [email protected]

Steve Davies, Vice President Regions and Hon. Treasurer & Secretary.