Thought leadership

We need a new framework and thinking for the future of HR and people development, reflecting the inflection point the profession finds itself at, and the opportunities available to it to shape the business agenda of the future.  This was the central theme of the opening address from Peter Cheese, CIPD CEO, to the organisation’s annual conference in Manchester this week.

Highlighting the themes of his address, Peter Cheese said: “The world of business is transforming. The recession and the banking crisis that triggered it, combined with a multitude of high profile crises in organisations across the public and private sectors, have changed the game. The questions that business leaders in both public and private sector and in all sizes of organisations are looking to answer are those of people management and development: How to restore trust; build employee engagement; tackle skills shortages; and help solve economic and societal problems like youth unemployment and issues surrounding fairness in pay and reward.

“These issues are not short-term, static or quick to fix. Nor, if we are honest, did we do enough to see them coming and tackle them as a profession. The pace of change in today’s world is fast and enduring. HR and people development professionals can be masters of this changed game and add significant value. But we are at an inflection point. With the agility to change faster than the world around us, and the self-awareness and determination to raise our game, we can help shape the business agenda of the next decade and beyond, driving business performance and shaping organisations that have rediscovered the purpose and values that makes that performance sustainable. But if we do not, others will step into provide the answers and seize the opportunities we have missed.

“That’s why I’m highlighting today a new framework for the future of HR and people development.  We’ll be pulling together our previous work in collaboration with key thought leaders, practitioners and other bodies, and engaging and sharing the thinking far and wide to build a collective momentum for change.

“Our framework positions HR and people development as better focused on understanding and adding value, with insight on the trends that are shaping the organisation of the future and the confidence to innovate, underpinned by a deep understanding of people, values and ethics. It is in many ways simple – relying on a deep understanding of the changing real world context in which we operate; informed by a real understanding of the science that shapes the inner behaviours, motivations, and learning of the people we employ; working closely with other business disciplines to provide better measurement and insight to better understand value and how to improve performance and outcomes; and from this to innovate and construct fit for purpose practices, processes and policies that best support staff, managers and business leaders and make for better organisations.

“We’ll be working to develop those four core elements of our model over the next year, building on discussions we’ve already started with leaders in our profession and thought leaders beyond it, here in the UK and around the world. We’ll be calling on these and many more to join us in shaping and delivering this new model, and using it to raise the bar of what great HR and people development looks like. Get this right, and we truly can become the champions of better work and working lives, benefitting not just individuals and organisations, but also the economies and society in which we operate”.


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