Sincerely, engaged.

I’m going to confess something. I used to think mean things about the CIPD. I used to have their emails go directly into my junk mail. I’ve never been to the annual conference. I used to get mightily cross upon receipt of the annual membership dues request. I simply didn’t see what was in it for me. The magazine didn’t engage me, and I wasn’t one for the branch network. So my annual dues allowed me to use a website and put some letters after my name. Not much for my money, I used to think.

Lately, it’s all changed for me. I’m engaged. I’m reading the magazine again as the content is much better than it used to be. I think it’s great that the CIPD has got so social and so many CIPD folks are on twitter. I met Peter Cheese recently, and the guy’s got style. I even spent four and a half hours travelling to see CIPD Towers (there was a distinct lack of a Tower though, to my disappointment).

But most of all I love the Hack. I like the fact that it is a complete mix of ideas. Some big potentially game changing stuff, some small little impact stuff. I like that different HR types from all sorts of backgrounds have come together and made these ideas a genuine crowdsourced thing. I especially like the fact that, like all good social stuff, geography doesn’t present a barrier to involvement. There’s some thought leader type stuff, but the rest is bottom up, ideas from anyone. Just how it should be.

So this year I’m off to the annual conference for the first time, and really looking forward to it. I recently upgraded to Fellow, and couldn’t wait to add the letters to everything. A couple of years ago I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to have filled in the forms.

I’m looking forward to what comes next from the Hack. I want to be involved.
I’m proud to be a member of the CIPD. And for the first time ever, this year I didn’t bat an eyelid when I wrote the membership cheque.

Let HR lead the way.

(Note: I actually paid my fees on-line – but that didn’t sound as good).

6 thoughts on “Sincerely, engaged.

  1. Hi Gem. I’m with you in terms of re-engaging. Last year, I decided not to renew my membership, and pondered whether to communicate this or not. I did, was encouraged to stay, and now; my offers of involvement have finally been welcomed in. I have always been an active participator and feel that that has been acknowledged and valued, so I’m willing to give more of my time. For eg Doug Shaw and I are facilitating a session at the conference, I am blogging at the OD conference and like you, have had a conversation with Peter Cheese. I’ll give a mention here to Johanna Ratcliffe who has played an exceptional role in re-engaging me. I feel good about my membership – my professional body and a sense of pride is emerging. I didn’t feel that before.

    I’m not sure about the Hack tho oh dear, I have tried to get engaged.

    There is some good useful stuff (yours amongst them) but there are also some that just embody what happens when HR goes wrong, they read like promotional material for a book. They deter me from getting engaged.

    I have a question too in relation to who the hacks are reaching? Those who are already willing and ready to explore alternatives, challenge themselves etc? How will we reach those who don’t use social media – and there are plenty who are still in the “not for me camp” What am I missing Gem?

    • Hi Megan,
      I know what you mean about the Hack. There are ideas in there that don’t work for me (chintz…), but I do like the concept and the method of the Hack itself. For me it does sum up how the CIPD has changed – before it was always top down a ‘telling’ aproach. I guess when you are crowdsourcing there will always be stuff that engages you and stuff that doesn’t. The key for me is what will happen next – it has to turn into something rather than just a set of ideas, but I understand that will be the case. You are right about it not reaching everyone – out of all the CIPD members the percentage of people on the Hack is quite low. I do think that those of us involved can be part of getting this out there to others in the profession. The CIPD themselves can only do so much – some will always ignore new stuff sadly.
      I am pondering your question about how we reach those who aren’t social…..


      • Thanks for this positive post. I enjoy an interesting, useful and fun relationship (or should that be journey?) with the CIPD so I like reading stuff like this as an antidote to some of the less positive stuff. I was giving a talk at Learning Live last week and I’m not in ‘L&D’ so I was a stranger in a strange land for a day. And when I mentioned my feelings towards the CIPD, well let’s just say the responses I got made me feel an even stranger stranger.

        And I echo a lot of what Meg and Susannah are saying in their lovely comments too. Based on my experiences in recent years the CIPD:

        Has adapted.
        Is adapting.
        Needs to adapt more.

        See you in Manchester.

        Cheers – Doug

  2. It’s an interesting one, Gem. For me, the jury is still out about the value of CIPD to the L&D / OD side of the profession. I’m aware the good folks at CIPD Towers know there is a brigde to gap and work to be done on this front, so this is not a bashing to them.

    For all the useful information provided to the HR world, L&D / OD are still left wanting. The qualifications are helpful to a degree, but not enough for helping people to get into the profession. Also, events like HRD, are stark reminders that perhaps the profession hasn’t fully woken up to the plethora of topics they should be more interested in than they are. For example, where was User Experience, Big Data, or MOOCs talked about this year?

    In particular, when job adverts state they need a CIPD qualification for L&OD roles, I heavily question this as there is little the qualification offers which is a necessity for the profession.

    For the record, I’m pro-CIPD as a body. I think they do good work, and are evolving their approach to meet the new needs of the HR workforce, and I only commend and applaud this. Making better in roads to the L&OD profession is what’s needed next.

  3. Hi Gem,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post, it’s great to hear that you’ve become so engaged with the CIPD! I’ve circulated internally to put some smiles on people’s faces this morning : ) See you at #CIPD13!

  4. Hi Gem

    As somebody who came into HR via an OD / L&D route, and who has now ended up as Deputy Chief Executive of the CIPD, I can empathise with what you are saying. I used to think that the CIPD was just for entry into the profession, not the sort of thing that you would need later. And now I am a total convert ! I agree we have some work to do to involve all areas of the profession – I’d add Recruitment specialists to the list as well as L&D – but I always believe that if we were perfect, then it wouldn’t be interesting. The journey is going to be energising and I am sure that we will make some mistakes along the way, but I am very much looking forward to being part of it.

    Thanks for your thoughtful blog – it does reflect many of the discussions that are going on here at CIPD towers (and yes, no towers, but quite a large atrium !)


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