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November 14, 2011 / Mervyn Dinnen

Blogging and Learning at #CIPD11

Last week I was at the CIPD Conference in Manchester with an access all areas press pass, a presentation on social media monitoring to deliver and an open mind ready to absorb new ideas. Most of the conferences/unconferences that I attend these days are recruitment oriented ones, with the talking points centred on how the staffing sector can make the most of new technologies, so I was hoping for a new angle, a chance to see things differently.

This was my first visit to CIPD for many years – not since the print media were rewarding their recruitment/HR advertisers with copious amounts of alcohol anyway! (Yes younger readers, once upon a time they did! They even had casino themed parties!)

It was great to be part of the blogging team – kudos to everyone at CIPD who have embraced social media, and with it the many ways that an event, its spirit and learnings, can now be bought to those who can’t make it and those who do but can’t be everywhere at once!

I suppose I was wearing two blogging hats. Firstly the day job one – for my key takeaways and learning points on Trust and Future Work you should follow the Jobsite Insider blog – and the other hat was for here.

So what impressed me?

Firstly, the appetite for social media. Not just the fact that there were people there who were tweeting and blogging as the event unfolded, but the enthusiastic participation in the Twitterversity sessions, the attendance for sessions involving new technology platforms, and the interest shown in the presentation that I delivered. During my two days there (how I wish I could have stretched to the three) I had many approaches to chat about social media…how companies could use it, what guidelines to put in place and how to leverage the potential reach and opportunities for internal communications.

Then the insights. I was keen to get a different angle on things and loved some of the more unusual insights. In the Social Media session with Neil Morrison and Matthew Hanwell it was Matthew who answered, when asked about the ROI of social media…

‘ROI of Social Media? No-one ever asks the ROI of the toilets…they impact on productivity too’

During the Future Work presentation I was pleased to hear Peter Thomson say that one of the keys to Future Work was a move to measuring and rewarding on outputs…something I’ve already written about in my blog Easy Like Monday Morning. He was one of several speakers to talk about the need to treat employees as adults and offered the following observation…

‘We manage children’s time at schools, then they go to university and we treat them as adults, trusting them to manage their own time. We then bring them into the workplace and treat them as children who can’t manage their own time again’

I also attended the Future of Leadership Panel, and here Avinder Dhesi (new Talent Director at RBS) came up with my favourite observation…

‘If Harvard was a medical school and turned out doctors who caused as much havoc in the medical world as their other graduates have caused in the financial world…they’d be shut down!’

Sadly I had to miss the opening and closing keynotes, as well as some other interesting sessions (there were a lot of presentations over the three days!) but thanks to sterling work from fellow bloggers Doug Shaw, Rob Jones, Graham Salisbury, Neil Morrison and Jon Ingham (to name but a few!) I was able to catch up on what was said, and what I should know.

Maybe this mix of tweeting and blogging, sitting alongside more traditional reporting, will catch on!

Let me know if it enhanced your following of the event…

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2 Comments

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  1. nataliecooper / Nov 15 2011 12:12 PM

    The future of work looks exciting Mervyn. ‘Social enterprise networking’ seems to be the new buzzword phrase. How can you create a flat structure, use technology as a driver to bring your workforce together and empower every individual to take charge of their own career. Last night I attended the Thinkers50 Awards recognising the best minds in business. I sat next to Nicole Tapscott (daughter of Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics – 2007 and his latest book Macrowikinomics). Our conversation revolved around how you educate people to use technology effectively to build community, to unleash entrepreneurship and innovate business. We all have the tools to hand, it’s all in the execution.

  2. Phil Hutchinson-May / Nov 18 2011 4:10 PM

    Mervyn
    I remember the CIPD(or probably M at the time) Conference in Harrogate c1995/6. Yes and lots of alcohol on offer from print media. I also remember watching a “young” and up and coming comedian Alan Davies. How times change…..
    I am pleased that social media was firmly on the agenda this year.
    In recruitment and also employee engagement it has enormous benefits to HR teams and I’m encouraged that the HR community is embracing it.
    It seems that the fear associated with “social media” is now less common.
    I think though from reading other blogs there is still a long way to go.
    Phil

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