Dear all

Firstly, to those of you who were able to make the Seminar last week, thank you so much for coming, thank you so much for engaging and so very much for your support. It was nothing short of fantastic and it was an event that I will remember I think for a very long time. For those of you who couldn’t make it…..you really did miss out and I know it may be difficult for some, but please do try and make next year’s event which I’m sure will be as good if not better under Louise’s very capable direction.

A short video interview was recorded at the Seminar, where I outline some of my plans for the year ahead and you can see this below.

 

So far, we have received nothing but positive feedback from everyone involved and when I say nothing, I mean absolutely nothing…not even a sniff!  This is not due to luck but great planning, lots of thought and much deliberation….qualities that HR itself has in abound.  My most sincere thanks go to the great team of PPMA Members and others who worked so hard on the event, both during its lead up and execution. These are the people I had the privilege of thanking at the closing session and you know who you are! We wish to gain as much feedback as possible to help plan for next year and it is for that reason we have circulated a survey monkey on the Seminar. I do hope that delegates will be able to find the time to complete it as the data received will be invaluable.

Those of you who attended, will know what I mean when I say that I do feel I have bared my personal soul slightly in what I said, partly at the opening and in particular during the evening.  The phrase ‘bare naked’ gently comes to mind and I apologise for using the term here as the thought if associated with me must be quite horrid for you! I am ordinarily of the view that my private life is private but I felt it important to share a little bit of it with delegates so that Members have a better understanding of what makes me ‘tick’ and why I might think certain things in certain ways. Over the next year you will be hearing quite a lot about them and so it’s important that you understand my personal, maybe as quoted, “maverick” context. The awards evening event was also a charity dinner to support the National Autistic Society and I bared quite a bit of my personal soul by talking about my autistic son. I must admit that I did find this particularly difficult but felt it was a small price to pay if, as a consequence, it improved still further the understanding of autism. I do hope with a passion that this has been the case. So, that is probably more than enough of me ‘baring my soul’ and I shall close that ‘personal episode’, which is probably not very ‘presidential’ in any case and move on….

You will remember of course that the theme for the 2013/14 period is Talent, Opportunity, Prosperity.  This was contextualised during my opening (which I apologise for if you wanted ‘traditional’), suggesting that we might want to think far broader than we have traditionally in terms of ‘talent’. The concept of ‘Total Talent’ was gently introduced and for me this is really important. The work that we in the PPMA and others are doing on talent is really incredible and I am so proud of the PPMA Rising Stars initiative and all of the rising stars who took part in it. Not to belittle such work at all, but, such initiatives by themselves will not be enough to drive up enough human productivity to get the economy back on its feet.  I believe that the only way to do this is to think of our entire workforces AND other people within our communities as all being inherently talented and as such have capacity to deliver far more. If we in HR can somehow link more with that ‘Total Talent’ and provide it with opportunities to prosper, then so will the UKplc. This is where we would welcome your comments and experiences as I’m certain many of our members have done great work on some of this already. We need to shout about it!

During the opening session, we also undertook a mini survey on two aspects of HR and received some great results. Results that allows us in the PPMA to build on and which provide us with real direction. Without speaking a word but saying a great deal, the delegates told us that they want the PPMA to support the HR community to not just be joined up with the leaders in our organisations but to actually be just ahead of them in their thinking on performance and risk management in particular, to help support them in their leadership role. This is a far cry from the HR of ten years ago when the role was more about being the advocate of the employee and when risk was considered to be a bad word! To my mind this is great feedback and says a lot about the PPMA’s membership, which, to coin yet another phrase, has got to be ‘spot on’!

Lastly, we also surveyed the opposite end of the HR activity spectrum which was to do with compassion and humanity in the workplace. The piece about thinking deeply about people. The survey showed quite a broad spectrum of where we currently are, which is probably related to specific organisations and their management styles, culture etc.  However, there was a strong steer in the room that the PPMA needs to work at supporting organisations to be higher (3/4 up the scale) in the level of compassion, humanity and deep thinking shown and exhibited in our organisations.

Just two examples of what was an interesting live survey of over two hundred delegates in one room, to establish where we, in the PPMA need to be in terms of two extreme ends of the HR portfolio. I was so relieved that as your new President, I’m in the same place! If you want to read more about the humanity angle the PPMA Supplement was in the MJ on the day of the Seminar.

A short video interview was recorded at the Seminar where I outline some of my plans for the year ahead and you can see this below

And very lastly, I’m delighted to be your new President. With your help, I shall try and serve you and the HR profession well.

Richard
Your President