Spoke today at the Shaping the Future of HR conference, which was the first All Ireland Local Government HR seminar. I spoke on the subject of delivering HR in a shared services environment in a joint session with Phil Badley who is the President of the Public Sector People Managers Association (PPMA).
As usual we got of to a stunning start when the technology wouldn't work, I hate it when that happens! However once we were underway it appeared to flow fairly well and Phil and myself were surprisingly singing a similar policy tune, surprising in the fact that we hadn't spoken or met before the event. I pushed a message of you don't need to create a complex company structure to deliver shared services, you can do it through joint working arrangements. Phil related to his own experiences and suggested that a lot of things claimed by people at the outset of ventures don't actually come to fruition, unfortunately Phil cited a couple of examples.
Of course we hadn't checked who was in the audience and someone from a large private contractor who played a major role in one of Phil's examples came back at both of us from the floor. Oh well you live and learn!
Two speakers who got me thinking were the 'HR Doctor' himself, Phil Rosenberg and Sir John Whitmore. Phil's points about as a manager "don't walk by something that's wrong, stop and take action" and "when you avoid things you set in motion a series of events that lead to major problems", struck a chord. Especially when he entwines them with this gem "put off the day when something bad happens, by taking action". Sir John's thoughts around "consumerism is not compatible with sustainability", "quantitative technical advance is far ahead of qualitative wisdom" and "hierarchy is failing and will be replaced by self responsibility", were also worth exploring.