Scotland the Blog: Getting in too deep whilst flogging Fish

Its autumn two years into CIPD Scotland and time for reflection and resolve. Since what is effectively a start up business got going to deliver CIPD's offer in Scotland, we have achieved much but we have much to do. We have sought to work with our branch networks to deliver a better service to our Scottish members. That has meant working with centres and connecting with students to deliver. It also means delivering in Scotland some key member offers aimed at students, HR leaders and Fellows. Our branch events are growing in impact though we can do more to increase reach and relevance. Last month for example, I introduced our career defining  Profession for the Future project to our South East Scotland Branch. Great insight form Ksenia Zheltoukhova  who is a key researcher on the project,  and a compelling view from the HRD perspective given by Nicky Wilding of Standard Life made for a great event. Tonight in West of Scotland I will be listening to Louise McKerrow from our West Network deliver a session  on Stress Risk Assessment and  Mindfulness. I am though, always mindful that we can do better.

We have ran HR leader events with varying success and need to look at why.  We will be speaking much more with this community to find out what they need and what they will turn up to. We live in an attention and distraction economy.  We all know what the distractions are, deep ones like work and family and shallow ones like socialising and social media, all equally important to being a whole human!

 In an attention economy those of us who turn up are rare, but many others tune in and a lot drop out. We need to connect more with specific groups. We ran our first fellows Network in Edinburgh on 2nd September  and we will improve. We  ran  leaders in learning for the third time on October the 8th. It's taken time to build but our last session at RBS  delivered by Andy  Lancaster and a range of practitioners. This session on Digital HR  was an excellent example of what we can achieve when we are joined up. The KIP network has probably got much to do in terms of planning but we do need to recognise that Scotland has an emerging workplace agenda and we beed to be contributing our voice and expertise.

 We said we would engage with Commercial and Professional partners. Already we are delivering our profession defining knowledge through training and consultancy. Already we are known and respected anew by agencies like SDS, and the NHS and with private sector clients. We are building our links to the FE sector nationally with great engagement work by our HQ and Scotland staff, and through our volunteers. Our West of Scotland Chair George Galloway is now  on the board of Glasgow City College. George wrote the competency framework for the Paper and Board Industry and is also a big fan of Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott.  Our network in South East Scotland is supported by a strong  presence in our leadership from Financial Services.  Keith Watson is also a leading trainer and assessor and an expert in governance who advises our HQ and Council. In the North East we have started to build through our excellent offshore Europe event and our support of the Energy Taskforce. This is helped enormously by having a network with close links to oil and gas led by Bev Pirie L@D lead for Technip. Bev incidentally is with her committee in the North the best "event titler" ever. On 4th November the branch will run an event on Immigration and the Implications for Business called "Come Together". Next event on November the 12th  is called "I feel fine" and it's about Wellbeing!. 

Our Chair Donald Gordon is the Go to man for engagement with the military and the reserve forces, as well as being an upgrading and CPD expert. His connections mean that at next year's conference we will hear about the OD and leadership challenge of running the Edinburgh tattoo!  Taking over at Mid Scotland as Chair is Mac Logan, a man who believes passionately in both mentoring and  murder. Mac is a published crime author.

We have engaged the Scottish HR community with our conferences addressing key capability issues for HR in Scotland. Our Business Partnering Conference, and  HR analytics have planted the expertise and insight of CIPD fully in the ground.  Next years Scottish Conference on the theme of "Productivity through People" will build on our award winning national conference brand. Having been shortlisted again for business event of the year we came close thanks to the work of our staff and volunteers.

One of the key successes has been raising our voice on the workplace. CIPD Scotland has been at the forefront of the workplace and business conversation in Holyrood. People  Skills  funded by JP Morgan and working with Glasgow City Council and our HQ team  works to support SME's in the critical stage where they grow staffing.  Taking people skills  to a different level, our Scotland's Skilled Future Report on skills has given is a compelling narrative to both preserve our neutrality in the constitutional debate, and advance our version of better work and working lives. Last week we were in Aberdeen at SNP conference with our public policy team  observing how their workplace agenda is shaping up. We always operate from a perspective of evidence driven expertise. Thus we submitted evidence on minority  employment issues, on the Fair Work Agenda and on Employability.

We have also been prepared to share out insight and expertise. Formally we are working with colleagues in Northern Ireland to support the development of CIPD there. Our revised structure works across both countries. We will contribute our network development, market expertise and policy advice to NI. We have worked this year with Humberside, Cumbria and our Northern Area Partnership to share how we are working across these key work streams.  We work in a team with London and Wales which helps us connect both Scotland and the rest of the UK and Ireland. We have set in place an operating framework, made inroads into serving our membership. Since we set up we have seen a growth of about 7 %. In Scotland. That is a great achievement and one we will continue to build upon.  We will do that by connecting across Scotland through our national and local networks, by continuing to engage our commercial and professional partners and continuing to build Scotland's Skilled Future.

Since I can's  a dig at The Apprentice I will be sharing my regular weekly blog on the popular BBC programme for the duration.  First  Thursday 23rd will catch up so far. Here's a sampler.

Getting in to deep whilst flogging Fish

The task was to get off to Billingsgate, banter and hackle with the over-fished variety Blocs Cockeneyus and buy some fish. The decision made tell you a lot about how teams will shape up. One team went for cheap squid, which they proably got a for a quid a scoop. They used every bit of it and it was rubbery and tasteless but sold. Another group went for better quality with some kind of Tuna Nicoise. This worked very well. One sold very litte after costs and one sold a lot. The cod fishcakes were so big they probably took up the entire cod quota for Cornwall. They weren’t so much Jumbo as ginormous. Brett a navy man whose love for weights, quantities and standards, cooked like he was following BS18794 or whatever and the result was instead of 400 odd fishcakes he get 64 odd very big fishcakes. They sold unlike the 10 quid Tuna Nicoise. The lesson is that when team members tell you they have expertise, they will very quickly assume control. Do drill own into that. Where you a sous chef. Where. Oh your Grandma's B&B. OK? 

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