TagTeamBlog #1 Performance Management

Blogging this week has been exactly like buses (one doesn’t come along for ages and then there’s two at once). But when the awesome energy that is one Perry Timms AKA @PerryTimms (adjusteddevelopment.wordpress.com) asked me to take part in a new blogging experiment, how could I resist? It’s the new idea I hinted at last year in my blog White Noise. Continue reading “TagTeamBlog #1 Performance Management”

HR Wanderlust


This morning an email popped into my Inbox with the title, “Who Else Has Wanderlust?”. Fair dues to the marketers and the online activity monitoring software, it’s actually something I’ve been thinking about lately. It started with my Etsy obsession (which fits rather neatly with my shopping obsession), and the cute little necklace shown in the photo, which has been sitting in my favourite items ever since I opened my account a few years ago. Continue reading “HR Wanderlust”

The Liquorice Dilemma


As a child I had an eccentric honorary auntie (doesn’t everyone?). She liked tall drinks and even taller tales. She once told me I had a chin like Audrey Hepburn. Incidently she knew this because Audrey used to come round her house for tea when she lived in her native Belgium. Or so she said. She called everyone Darlink in her thick accent, as she fussed over her guests, cooking them meatballs and setting out an endless array of Tupperware tubs filled with snacks. Continue reading “The Liquorice Dilemma”

Six Degrees


My story starts a little under 80 years ago, in 1936. It was the year that King George V died, and King Edward VIII both ascended to the throne, and then abdicated. It was also the year in which the controversial Summer Olympics took place in Berlin and was used by Nazi Germany to impress it’s ideas of racial supremacy. Now largely viewed as a strong pre-cursor to the Second World War, it is also lesser known as the first sporting event to be televised live. Continue reading “Six Degrees”

I used to be into Politics


I don’t know why but I used to be into Politics. I couldn’t wait to leave school and take up my A-level in Politics. Our tutor was a wiry lady, reminiscent of Thatcher in her later years and an accent to match. We sniggered at her bright red whisky drinker’s nose and privately-educated rumoured-love-child. As if that wasn’t indication enough of her personal political affiliation. But she was sharp both of tongue and of wit, and thus earned our respect. Continue reading “I used to be into Politics”

The Housing/HR quandary: Hello, we’ve been here all along


Hello my name’s Helen and I work in social housing.

Until recently this seemed akin to a confession at an anonymous peer support group. We’ve been tarnished by the pre-conception of undesirables pushing their sofas into their front gardens in the summer, drinking from cans and decorating their affordable housing with patriotic displays. Continue reading “The Housing/HR quandary: Hello, we’ve been here all along”

I Am Brand


I’m starting to think that branding is developing a brand. Suddenly it’s everywhere. I yearn for the good old days when a brand meant what kind of cola you drank and comparisons between “big brands” and “supermarket brands” warranted half page spreads in women’s magazines.

Employer branding I get. We need a consistent message to tell people what we’re about and attract them to work for us. But the rise of the “personal brand” is a mystery to me. Sorry but where I’m from we call that personality.

I guess it fits with the fakery and gimmickry of the digital age. Online we can be a traffic cone or a unicorn if we want to (yes both of these really followed me on twitter). The pressure to present ourselves as a witty super human in just 140 characters is immense. If only so when our former boyfriend/boss/partner stalks us online they’re gutted they let us go.

Advice about developing a personal brand is readily available on the Internet, and is all contradictory nonsense. “Be consistent” yet also “be authentic”. “Let people know your personality”, “let people see you” and “be good at something”. Really? And my personal favourite “it’s not just enough to know that you know what you know – others have to know you know it”.

Sounds to me like describing to a complete outsider what it means to be human. Except not quite. It’s too formulaic. Too stale. A poor reflection of itself. If I know anything about branding, it’s this. If that’s what it’s become, then it’s time to change.

Be More Dragonfly


A nature programme isn’t usually high on my tv viewing priority list (I’m much more interested in people) but a few weeks ago there was a slow tv night and it seemed pretty much the best thing on.

As if aware of his reluctant viewers, the presenter attracted my interest with his sensational claim that “dragonflies can stop time”. Continue reading “Be More Dragonfly”