• 6 Jun 2016

    Boaty says: ‘Ask me something I want to influence’

    The story of Boaty McBoatface has caught the attention of many since it blew up a rather lovely storm in spring. It clearly tells us something about ‘voice’ but the discussion I’ve seen has, in my opinion, missed the most imp...
    • 21 Mar 2016

    The end of the dance: lessons on resignation

    The most interesting resignations can be borne of the more mundane problems. Corruption and sexual scandal have a shock value, but the resignations themselves are pretty straightforward affairs: did you / didn’t you, or did you know / didn&rsqu...
    • 22 Jan 2016

    Living life on the edge in the NHS

    ‘I want to stay as close on the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center … Big, undreamed-of things – the people on the edge see them first.’ Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano. The idea of ‘leading from the edge’ is persuasive in a fast changing world. Organisations need to innovate and innovation comes from thinking...
    • 16 Oct 2014

    People and place at work: clambering over professional boundaries

    In the final session at the highly worthwhile Workplace Trends conference yesterday, I sat in a group of five and we scratched our collective head on the question given us: How can we have inclusive conversations to shape workplaces for the better? Past five o’clock and – for all the conference’s energy – feeling the edges of fatigue, we started chatting about the photos shown in presentations...
    • 9 Jul 2014

    Woolly thinking or an inexact science? Unpicking employee engagement

    On Monday, the Engage for Success movement held a conference on ‘the future of employee engagement’, #E4Sfutures on Twitter. The core of the day was presentations from renowned academics and business leaders who contributed to a recent collection of thought pieces on the theme. The thinking behind the work is that over the last decade, employee engagement has become cemented in the worlds of many practitioners...
    • 3 Jul 2014

    It’s all about relationships and empowerment. No, really, it is!

    Last week saw the launch of Tomorrow’s Relationships , a challenging piece of research led by Tomorrow’s Company in partnership with CIPD, CIMA, Linkaters and KPMG. The report argues that relationships lie at the heart of business, yet we don’t pay enough attention to how we understand, develop, manage and assess them. It also argues that this is possible and provides practical toolkits to help. This...
    • 9 Jun 2014

    Beyond the Workplace: CIPD & BIFM roundtable

    Last week, we had a first for the British Institute of Facilities Management and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development: a roundtable discussion with a group of leaders and experts from the worlds of facilities management, human resources and workplace design. This is being followed by a joint statement from the two organisations signalling our intent to collaborate. What brought the 15 of us together was...
    • 10 Feb 2014

    Formulas, guidelines, hiring decisions

    I’m struck by an article by Julian Baggini in this month’s Prospect. I'm a fan of Baggini. Here, he argues that recipes constrain us and stop us exercising judgment, which over time makes us less wise, less able to discern. That’s recipes of all sorts, not just cooking. Checklists and rules may be crucial for some things – technical things like flying a plane or manufacturing a gas appliance...
    • 8 Jan 2014

    Do something! Anything! (Preferably evidence-based, though...)

    A news item that caught my eye the other day was a UK survey by Doctors.net.uk, which found one in three GPs support the idea of charging for accident and emergency services to deter the 'entitlement culture' that has led to it being 'free at the point of abuse'. Many A&E services are claimed to be not far from breaking point and 'radical action’ is needed to ease the strain. Hence charging...