Hello PPMA members and friends
Our post this week is written by our 2 newly appointed Vice Presidents, Caroline Nugent and Karen Grave. They give us their views on what they hope to achieve this year and also talk about the dynamic of job-sharing a leading role.
Job-sharing with Karen Grave as the new joint vice president is a great opportunity. As we have always said, HR should lead the way in doing things differently. So, being the first job share vice president means I can do my full-time job and give justice to the PPMA work.
I’m passionate about HR and our role to ensure people issues are at the forefront of decision-making and I see the critical part the PPMA has in influencing a number of bodies and chief executives.
Having worked in local government all my working life I am keen to make HR fit for the public sector and to make making sure we recruit and retain those with the right behaviours and values.
I am the current HR director of OneSource, which covers the London boroughs of Havering and Newham. We recently welcomed Bexley to this partnership for its financial and audit services. This is a challenging role (hence the job share vice president) but it is very exciting and gives me the opportunity to influence and support organisations with thousands of employees.
During my year as vice president I want to look at the next generation of HR employees and how we can open up membership to a wider group so that PPMA membership is as important as the CIPD is for development.
Our work across the public sector also means we need to link more with other partners and I will be looking at how we can increase membership to other colleagues outside of local government.
I am also a member of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and think there is a great linkage between the two bodies as they have the chief executive’s ear.
When I was still at school, I wanted to be a librarian until I realised I couldn’t keep quiet, so after the careers service failed to give me any great ideas, I took an apprenticeship in a London council and found HR. I have been passionate about it ever since.
Those who know me will tell you I’m obsessive about the things I believe in. I have two big influences in my life: playing Emeline Pankhurst when I was 11 in a school play made me realise you had to make a stand for things you believe in. You can imagine the shock when I found out women had less rights in those days just because they were female.
The other influence was my parents. They worked hard, were very honest and had a great work ethic – something they passed on to me.
I love music from the 1980s (trying to remain young) and if I had to take one thing to a desert island, it would have to be my husband and two teenagers, as I get bored with my own company.
I look forward to meeting as many of the PPMA membership as possible and to help steer this great ship onwards in its course.
Leadership role modelling is absolutely vital as we seek to work with our organisations and change the way we work. I am especially excited about the opportunity the three of us will have – President Sue Evans, Caroline Nugent and I – to cover much more ground.
The public sector in general is facing as many workforce challenges as I can remember and we need to be able to respond to a broader agenda.
I come to PPMA with a different set of experiences. I have worked for big-five consultancies, led HR transformation practices, worked on HR and council-wide transformation and in Interim roles. For the past 15 or so years I have worked in the public sector across central and local government.
I love the public sector. The idea of ‘service’ is a core value for me. However, I also feel we can learn from the private sector.
We are already doing that in many areas, but I believe we need to develop HR professionals who have a very rounded set of skills and experiences – we need to work across organisations – not just within.
I think of myself of a business person who is passionate about people and getting the best out of them. That’s why I work in HR and OD.
Values matter too. I endorse what Caroline says about behaviours and values. We’re not in this because it’s easy – we serve a very broad community of interests – so it is not supposed to be easy (and it’s not!). But it is profoundly rewarding when we get it right.
During my year as vice president I am looking to drive forward the 21st century public servant work. There will be other areas too, but this is the chief objective.
In my day-to-day work, I am also heavily involved in working with health partners around integration and also in devolution.
There is no questions that we have to get healthcare integration right. But devolution is potentially the most transformative opportunity to change the public sector across the UK for generations. HR is critical to that and we need to being the heart of the debate, design and implementation.
So who am I? In spite of everything I remain a passionate Liverpool fan – you can’t take the Liverpool out of the girl and all that. The absolute love of my life is a special needs chocolate labrador called Ellie. She has a serious autoimmune disease but has survived and thrived through her utter wilfulness, stubbornness and strength of character.
I practice my management skills on her a lot – although tragically I can’t ever remember winning one of our regular power struggles.
I’ve got eclectic tastes in music, but I don’t do heavy metal.
When I can, I love to read, but my passion is the garden and walking in the lovely Buckinghamshire countryside where we live.
I am looking forward to this next year. I am lucky enough to have worked with and for a number of previous PPMA presidents. I hugely respect and admire the contributions they have made.
If, at the end of my time, I can honestly say the steps I took with Sue and Caroline were wise and advanced our agenda, then I will be very happy. I am really excited to be working with you.
We welcome both Caroline and Karen and look forward to the next 12 months!