The one with my stage debut

So previously on HRD12….

As I mentioned I was invited as a guest of the CIPD marketing team as part of the press contingent under the guise of being a ‘blogger blogger’. Several of my friends and contacts had been invited to take a more active role in the conference but my attendance was a little contingent until the week before so as far as I was concerned I was going to turn up, watch, listen and blog. Little did I know…

Over the previous 12 months I had watched several friends and contacts taking centre stage at various events within the HR community. Those I saw did very well at presenting a view of the broad people professional as someone who is not insular, short termist or reluctant to challenge the received wisdom. It was great to see them come off stage like conquering heroes feeling they had ‘nailed it’ and done what they could to develop thinking in our profession, enhanced both their personal reputations of and that of their organisations and delivered a good session.

When I was sat at home master minding my job hunt (for that read avoiding watching Jeremy Kyle) it occurred to me that I should practice what I at times preach and write myself some goals for 2012. Some of them are professional, some personal and one is fairly absurd but nestled amongst this eclectic list was to take an active role in a major conference or event during 2012. I didn’t mention it to anyone…

The Friday before HRD12 I received an e-mail from Greg Styger, one of the conference team at CIPD, inviting me to part of a break out session along with Sukh Pabial and Doug Shaw, discussing social media and learning. I of course said yes  and started to think about how I would present my views. Then, about 36 hours before the event, I received a slightly more urgent e-mail from Sara Gilmore also from the CIPD conference team asking me to be part of a panel in the main conference. The topic? Social Media and Learning.

I think what followed was a relatively successful session. The main reason for the success was undoubtedly Perry Timms, the Head of OD for The Big Lottery Fund. For those of you who don’t know Perry I am stunned as he is the most networked man on the planet. He did a great pre-game session with the 3 panelists and once the ‘curtain’ went up showed his smarts as a facilitator ensuring the session ticked along rather than acting as a rather superfluous chairmen as I had seen others doing.

The two fellow panelists were from Save the Children and the RAF and it was interesting comparing a global third sector organisation with a public sector organisation that is contracting. Rather than document the session I will point you to this post that Sukh wrote live from the session.

The two things that have stuck with me since the session? The weird sensation of being involved in a session that people are tweeting about and stepping off the platform to see feedback that has gone on through the session. The latter was the sense that whilst L&D professionals are slowly but surely becoming advocates of social learning (seemingly at the expense of e-learning which got a slating in the session) it shocks me how many are advocating something they’ve not really experienced and have a limited understanding of. It strikes me that building enthusiasm through individuals (as Save the Children brilliantly demonstrated) makes any influencing you need to do at organisational level far easier.

I said it at the time and will say it again here now – if you want to be able to advocate something in your organisation then first hand knowledge and genuine enthusiasm will make a much more powerful statement than the feedback from a conference session! You have to be in it to win it!

But at least that’s another thing from the 2012 list ticked off!

Afterword:

I managed to get asked a question on social media policies. As I did during the session I would point anyone asking the question to this post by Neil Morrison who makes the argument far better than I would!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The one with my stage debut

  1. So this is the day when we both leave compliments and links for Neil Morrison on our blogs 🙂
    Seriously though, congrats on ticking off a thing from the 2012 list. And I totally and utterly cannot agree more with you about having a go at social media before advocating it or advising others on it.

  2. Joanna Ratcliffe

    I was in that session at HRD12 in the audience and really enjoyed it Rob. Agree Perry was an excellent chair-person too! Didn’t know speaking at a conference was in your ‘100 things to do before I wriggle out of it’ list 😉 Well done for ticking it off!

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