@HRpotential ‘s Top Ten Sound Bites of #CIPD14


Wow. Just wow. What an amazing and inspirational two days. Great speakers, great content and great people.

There’s so many thoughts and ideas whirring round my head, I’m going to need time to digest, to explore, and to blog!

In contrast to the heady new experience of the CIPD Annual Conference, I’m back in the “true” North (Sorry Manchester you can’t claim that one!) in my pyjamas. Thankfully my ever patient husband is here to listen, and to ground me!

So after a long discussion I’m ready to share with you my top sound bites of #CIPD14!

1. “Sometimes the most inspirational thing a leader can do is listen” Kevin Murray @kevinmurray (Good Relations Group)

Kevin Murray’s session was one of my favourites of the conference. His storytelling was very engaging and evoked real emotions from the audience. Thankfully Amanda Arrowsmith (@pontecarloblue) helped me snap up the last available copy of his book! In this sound bite he really brings home the importance of listening – really listening, and demonstrating that you are really listening – as a key leadership quality.

2. “Fundamentally the heart of HR is understanding human behaviour.” Peter Cheese @Cheese_Peter (CIPD Chief Executive)

Peter is the perfect example of the type of modern leader Kevin Murray describes. He communicates his values perfectly and is totally tech savvy. Understanding human behaviour was a key thread running throughout the conference and Peter summed it up here in his opening speech.

3. “Success is a moving goalpost so don’t pin your hopes on it” Stephanie Davies @laughology

Stephanie Davies warned us against confusing happiness with success. We think if we are successful we will be happy, but it’s an ever changing feat. We need to find happiness in other things.

4. “Everybody in the organisation needs to know and understand its intent and be empowered to make decisions within that framework” Kevin Murray @kevinmurray (Good Relations Group)

Kevin talked about leadership as enabling people to achieve more than they ever thought possible. A very powerful notion that leaders need to sit up and listen to.

5. “Some people create happiness when they walk in a room, and some when they walk out. Choose which one you want to be.” Stephanie Davies @laughology

You might have heard this one before but there’s no way I could exclude it from my top ten. I’m guessing it’s the most tweeted quote of the conference, no doubt because it’s so true! And Stephanie’s probably the most talked about speaker. Truly brilliant.

6. “It’s the quality of output, not the number of hours put in that people should be concentrating on.” Ian Cutler (Willis)

Ian’s case study on agility reminded us that we need to shift our focus and forget any preconceptions about flexible working.

7. “We no longer have a shared purpose. We distinguish between the people who matter and the people who don’t” Norman Pickavance @NPickavance (HM Revenues and Customs)

There were some great viewpoints in this session about the future challenges of the UK’s labour market. Here Nick warned about focussing on those identified as talent, at the expense of others.

8. “Think of your organisation as a magnet for talent, not a trap for talent.” Rita Gunther McGrath@rgmcgrath (Columbia Business School)

Rita’s keynote speech was a standout moment for me at the conference. Funny and engaging, she really brought home how businesses need to deal with the short-termism of today’s economy.

9. “Everybody knows who is a good person to have in your team – once you’ve worked with them.”  Nick Chater @NickJChater (Warwick Business School)

Nick Chater is a great speaker, he clearly has a knack of putting theory and scientific findings in a business (and human) context. In this sound bite he brings home the limitations of traditional recruitment processes.

10. “The new contract will be created around individual skills” Rita Gunther McGrath @rgmcgrath (Columbia Business School)

Once again Rita hits the nail on the head about how modern workforces are starting to operate. Employers are complaining they can’t fill vacancies, but is that because they’re following the wrong approach?

What were your highlights of #CIPD14 ?

Remember bloggers are only human 🙂 I couldn’t attend all sessions and I didn’t have a dictaphone…if you feel your quote is misrepresented please contact me

The Future of Work


When I tell you the future of work is about individuals, the automatic reaction is likely to be “it already is”. But it’s that thinking which is a fundamental stumbling block to all the hallmarks of today’s competitive advantage.

Compare these two employees.

The first is building their own silo, bigging themselves up as they climb their own career ladder, not caring who they take down on the way up. In exchange for a job for life they’ll give you their loyalty.

The second hops from experience to experience, soaking up learning, honing their skills and acting more entrepreneurial. The organisation needs to fit round their abilities rather than the other way round.

Which is more risky? And more importantly, which would you rather employ? If you answered the first then I’m afraid your company is in trouble.

Yes, the future of work is transient, but isn’t that the nature of work itself now? Whereas in the past employees might have jealously guarded their personal development they must in essence now collaborate and share that learning. The adversarial employee won’t survive.

To some extent it’s against human nature to work in this way. But the future doesn’t stop. The future is already here. It’s time to change.

Blog inspired by the #CIPD14 Keynote Speech by Rita Gunther McGrath