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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Time for a change

It was March 2009 when I started this blog. I started for a number of reasons. Inspiration from a fellow blogger (although she falls in the uber blogger class not the pond life class like me!), the desire to write and express myself after many years of suffocation and frustration with some of the boring self-centred, timid, introverted nonsense that was written by and for HR people.

The last 8 months have been ridiculously hard for a number of reasons, none of which I need go into. Writing and being able to express myself (however inanely) has become more important to me than I would ever have imagined. The fact that there are people out there who want to read and comment on what I write surprises me every day.

A few weeks ago, as an early Christmas present for myself, I bought a new domain name. The idea was that I would steadily work on moving my blog over and launch it in the new year. I have been working on setting this up and although some of the technical changes have been harder than I thought, I had advice and support on the way.

Change, however, seems to be in the air at the moment. And this morning I decided to make the move to my new site earlier than planned. It's not quite ready yet, its a work in progress. But I hope you'll like it and I hope you'll join me there. And to those that helped me get here (and you know who you are) you have my eternal thanks and gratitude.

The HRD has move house to www.myhellisotherpeople.com

(This page will soon redirect automatically)

Friday, 13 November 2009


When I started out into the world of work it was just at the tail end of a recession. Jobs were tough to come by……very tough to come by. And the same old stories were being played out. In order to get the job you needed experience, but in order to get experience you needed………

I applied for hundreds of jobs…..HUNDREDS. Hours and hours spent completing application forms, tailoring my CV, taking visits to the post office. And each day I watched and waited as the post man came with a handful of letters, most of them rejections but on the odd occasion this would be interspersed with a letter telling me that they were no longer recruiting for the role at all!

Believe me, rejection is not something that you get used to. Rejection is not a pleasant feeling or experience. I kept all the letters. I still have the somewhere. I kind of figure that if these companies didn’t want to take a chance on me back then why the hell should I give them the use of my skills and services now?

To this day, I always take care when I am telling a candidate they haven’t been successful. I think about how it feels to receive that letter or that call. To be told that you are not wanted. You are not good enough. You do not have sufficient value. I ask you all to do the same.

Because rejection…..it sucks.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Show me the money

It's an HR nightmare.................

Imagine if the top 100 people within your organisation had their salaries and business expenses published. Then, imagine if they were published online.

If you work for the venerable BBC, the nightmare has just become a reality. You can now go online and see the salaries and detailed business expenses here.

I've had a dig around my colleagues in HR and believe me they better be HR ninjas for the amount some of them are on. I'm talking gold plated performance management systems and diamond encrusted talent management programmes......

But to be fair, they probably have their work cut out getting anyone to do anything just at the moment, other than surf the net and bitch about how much their bosses are earning.

And remember......they are doing it all out of public money!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Tipping point

We all know the HR thing, you know the one.......the "we're not taking seriously" thing. The "nobody loves us" thing. And before you click away, I'm not going down THAT path! As posted chez Laurie this week, I only have a finite time on the planet and I've wasted enough time on that debate already!

Instead I want to ask you about confidence. And more importantly when confidence becomes arrogance.

I am good at my job. This is a fact. I know this because of the feedback I get and because of the progress I make. One of the things that makes me good is confidence.

When I arrive at an organisation, walk into a room, meet with someone for the first time, I need to show them that I know my stuff, I know that I am good and I know that I can add value. I've learnt from working with several CEOs that if you are timid you are done for. If you hesitate, contradict, stumble, mumble, fumble.....you are not going to get their time, their attention or their backing.

But....and this is a big but (no sniggering at the back please).....I often get called arrogant. And not once or twice, but on a reoccurring basis throughout my life.

Now I don't think I'm arrogant. In fact in many, many circumstances and in a large part of my life I am critically lacking in confidence and self-belief. But clearly there is something in the way that I hold myself or behave that makes people think that I am arrogant.

So my question is, is there a difference between self confidence and arrogance and if so what is it? And in some professions, do you need to have greater levels of self confidence/arrogance to survive?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

It's a cartoon....that's all

I am agog, I am aghast....no Marius is not in love at last. But the lunatics HAVE finally taken over the asylum........

Imagine the scene.....it's Sunday morning and I'm sitting with a nice cup of coffee having just consumed some dead pig in bread, reading the papers....it's a scene of tranquility, of peace.

Then I come across the following headline,

"Safety Expert Wants Cartoon Violence Rating"

Cue much spluttering and spraying of aforementioned caffeinated liquids.

Its true. The world has well and truly gone mad. The "expert" in question is Dr. Karen Pfeffer a "senior lecturer at Lincoln University and an international mentor for the World Health Organisation". She will be publishing the full paper later this month entitled "Risk and injury portrayal in boys' and girls' favourite television programmes" so we can all look forward to reading the details in-depth.

In the meantime the report in The Observer this morning, the good Doctor has been watching kids programmes and is troubled by the lack of consequences to violence - particularly in the case of Scooby-Doo, Batman, X-men and Ben10, "The problem is that these characters engage in risky behaviours and experience great violence but the negative consequences of dangerous behaviour are usually not portrayed".

Ok. STOP. Is it me? Please tell me it isn't.......

Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner
Tom and Jerry
Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian
Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd

I don't remember seeing the negative consequences of an anvil being dropped on your head, or being blown up by your own home made bomb from the A.C.M.E corporation, or having your gun blocked and it blowing up in your face. In my memory, these guys, got up, dusted themselves down and started again.

But maybe time and wine has addled my memory?

It is bad enough that someone has done this piece of research in the first place (and I hope for every one's sake not a penny of public money was wasted on this nonsense) but I would hope that a sensible newspaper like The Observer would treat this with the disdain it merits....but no. They report, "her findings will reignite the debate about the effect of violent imagery on the young".

No it won't. It will raise the question as to why there are so many academics researching completely pointless topics of no benefit to the public, why we are vilifying the young and trying to sanitize their lives beyond belief and why we have forgotten the meaning of fun.

Its a cartoon......that's all.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A question

Ask yourself this:

You are on your death bed with hours to live and your children/grandchildren come up to the side of the bed. The hold your hand and look into your eyes. They squeeze your hand and ask you, "How should we live our lives? What is the one most important thing you can tell us about how we should be what we should do?"

What would you tell them?

Now ask yourself this.......are you true to your own advice?