An interview with Tim Scott, Head of People & OD at Brook; HR writer and blogger
1. Our theme in Manchester this year was future-focussed HR - what did you pick up from the sessions that inspired you for the future?I loved the key messages from Peter Cheese’s opening speech which really reflected how I am feeling about the future of HR at the moment. I completely agree we need to put the focus back on the “human” in Human Resources, forget about pursuing mythical “best practices” and be mindful of the effect that the “always on” modern workplace can have on individuals. The last point in particular was the main theme that ran right throughout the conference for me. The whole reason I work in HR is because I’m interested in people and business - and how the two can interact more positively. It’s good to be reminded of the need to prioritise that from time to time!
2. How did the role of social (as in media and face-to-face networking?) enhance the conference experience this year?To be honest, I get just as much value from the social side of the conference as I do from the content. Meeting other HR/L&D folk, discussing what they’re up to and what their priorities are is always really useful and has resulted in some interesting conversations which have carried on long after we’ve left Manchester Central. I tinkered with something called Periscope this year, recording interviews with a number of people I met during the conference, which I found were really useful to look back on afterwards. The collected output of the Blogsquad and everyone else using social media means that the content from the two days lives on long after the event and has a much wider impact.
3. You were speaking on day one about organisational structures. What was that experience like, good audience? Would be lovely if you could encourage others to give it a try tooI’ve consciously been trying to do more speaking over the last year or so as part of my CPD: I saw the opportunity to speak to fellow HR/L&D professionals at the Conference as the pinnacle of that! I don’t tend to get too nervous before speaking but I will readily admit that I definitely was for this. I needn’t have worried: it was a great experience and really gave me a different perspective on the whole event. I had some lovely feedback both from people I knew and people I’ve never met before: I’ve never regarded myself as a “sage on the stage” but it has certainly boosted my self-confidence.
4. Did you see the opening and closing keynotes? Any memorable themes or quotes?Both the opening and closing keynotes were genuine highlights for me. Many people think academics can be dry public speakers but neither Sir Cary Cooper or Herminia Ibarra fell into that category. The sight of Herminia striding off the stage and taking a bite out of someone’s biscuit will live long in my memory! I think the message about the potential for the workplace to make us ill from the opening keynote was hard-hitting and thought-provoking, especially as these are areas in which HR should be making a positive impact. I loved Herminia Ibarra’s “fake it ‘til you make it” message but in particular her encouragement to “network across and out”. I‘ve increased my network through social media but it’s still something I will be trying to do more of in 2016.
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