Thought leadership

This is the message from Peter Cheese, CIPD CEO, speaking ahead of his opening address to the Institute’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Manchester

The conference is themed around the four elements of this model for the future of HR:

Insight on the changing context: Understanding business change, changes in the nature of work, the workforce, and the workplace, and other external factors and how these are impacting organisations and people strategy.

The science of human behaviour: Understanding the developments in neuroscience, behavioural science, positive psychology, systems thinking, and other disciplines which are providing us with deeper insights on people and group behaviours – the key underpinnings of HR.

Business, commercial insight and analytics: Exploring the latest thinking that will help professionals maximise the capabilities of their HR and learning and development (L&D) functions.

HR essentials and learning processes: Reviewing HR operating models and capabilities, and developing evidence-based HR strategies to provide better business value.

The event will see new CIPD research launched, particularly focused on the learnings for HR from the science of human behaviour and insight on the changing context, including:

Our Minds at Work: Developing the behavioural science of HR – examining how the science exploring how the brain works and what influences human behaviour has accelerated much faster over the last decade than the way organisations manage, motivate and develop their people.

Neuroscience in action: Applying insight to L&D practice – exploring how several high profile organisations are adopting ‘brain friendly’ approaches to L&D in the workplace to enhance learner engagement, improve customer service and reduce staff turnover and training costs. The report also offers practical advice on how to implement effective neuroscience techniques with minimal investment.

HR: Getting smart about agile working – considering how the HR function can develop and support the traits of an ‘agile’ business – including rapid decision-making and execution, a high-performance culture, flexibility of management practices and resources and organisational structures that support collaboration – while also adapting to the rapidly changing needs and expectations employees have from their working lives.

Peter Cheese said: “We have our sights set on shaping a profession for the future.  We’re unveiling new research at the event which delivers fresh insights into the changing context for HR and learning and development professionals, and into the ways the science of human behaviour can contribute to better work and working lives.  This builds on work we’ve already completed to further inform the Future of HR Framework we unveiled at last year’s conference.  For example our focus on the development of the analytics organisations need to understand and derive insight from their people data, and our frequent engagements with the big debates in public policy – on everything from the UK’s skills and productivity performance, and our concerted campaign, harnessing voluntary action by our members, to boost youth employment, to the positive case for the use of well-managed zero hours contracts benefitting employees and employers alike.

“Looking to the year ahead, we’ll be focused on engaging with the growing international interest we’re seeing in developing stronger connections and collaborations with us.  Attracting, developing and engaging talent is an increasingly global challenge, and we see a rapidly growing interest in developing stronger HR capabilities at a national and an organisational level.  We’re also actively engaged with national and international thinking on how enhanced standards can contribute to strengthening good practices and principles of people management.

“Our research and collaborative agendas collectively contribute to our broader thinking on the need to build a profession for the future.  These are exciting times for HR and learning and development.  The challenges organisations and their leaders face are people challenges.  This is our time – but to seize the opportunities and unlock the potential of people, we need to invest more in building for the future, as individuals and collectively as a profession.”


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