Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Zombie apocalypse? Piece of cake.

Yesterday I went along to the Investors In People conference 2013, held at the beautiful St Luke's LSO in Old Street, London.

I'm quite a fan of IIP. I've seen it deliver measurable results and increase staff 'buy-in' and collaborative working when done right- and for the right reasons. Companies that go for it simply to get a shiny plaque and a marketing tool will find themselves disappointed. It has to be an ongoing, living and genuine way of working if they hope to get the best out of it.

The Conference promised some excellent speakers including Peter Cheese, Chief Exec of the CIPD; he did not disappoint, calling on HR types to stop overcomplicating things and start connecting with people. (Ahem. Some of us are way ahead of you, Pete.) 

We heard from speakers from the business world too, from David Fairhurst of McDonalds to Bev Ashby of BUPA via Louise Ash of Gatwick Airport. What do they all have in common? Yep, they're the usual big players who dominate the stage at these things. I'd have liked to hear from an SME or two who have attained IIP status without mega-resources. It's a little simpler to manage it when you have an HR team, marketing department or PR agency leading the charge. 

We were encouraged to tweet throughout the conference, so I raised this point. "Where's the voice for SMEs?" 

My little gripe didn't go unnoticed. I got a response on Twitter, it was noted on the stage, and I hope they take this on board for future events.

The day brought some truly delightful takeaways from the text message PeterCheese received from his 11-year-old daughter (left) and used to illustrate the digital gap between Baby Boomers, Generation X, Y and the Millennials (Generation Blah wasn't mentioned I'm afraid) and the rather wonderful 'paradigm shift' he presented that's now affixed to my wall.  It's a call to action for HR to spend less time in process and more with people. It's a nice reminder that we're on the right track.

There's a Storify from the day here.

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