Something extraordinary happened in the world of New Zealand HR this week you need to know about if you don’t already.
Fellow blogger and all round HR thought leader, Angela Atkins, opened the HR Game Changer Conference she devised and staged by saying it felt less like a conference and more like the start of a movement. She wasn’t wrong.
Over the last year or two there has been a gathering momentum from HR people around the country who want to see change and progression within our profession and who are finding strength from growing numbers of colleagues prepared to “be the change we want to see.”
It was time to discuss if and how we can truly transform HR to have a brighter future. With some sounding the death knell for HR and constant debate about whether HR can step up, Angela memorably reminded everyone, it’s “business time” for HR.
Similarly inspired by the HR game changing concept, a Game Changer event was set up and staged in London to coincide with the New Zealand event. So while we were sleeping between days 1 and 2, they were debating the same issues. A wonderful pictorial version of the UK conference can be found here drawn by Simon Heath. And an excellent summary by Perry Timms is here.
If you ever needed evidence that we now operate in a truly global workplace, this was it. That a group of experienced HR professionals on the other side of the world were inspired by something we were doing in NZ to take part and support the initiative would have been unimaginable even three years ago.
Similarly, day 2 of the conference started with live links to David D’Souza in the UK and Christopher Demers in the US, two experienced HR leaders and prolific bloggers who have close links to the NZ HR community.
I’m not going to cover here my personal conference highlights other than to say it’s been a few years since I can remember enjoying so much or being as fully engaged in a conference as I was in this one. All the speakers and presenters were bang on the money, forward focused and inspiring. It was a very thought provoking and challenging two days. Amanda Sterling has written her own account of being there which is well worth a read. I am sure other attendees will share their thoughts online.
Another first (for a New Zealand HR event) was the social media element. The Twitter stream in particular was on fire, the #hrgcnz hashtag trending very highly on both days. If you want to see all the sound bites, discussion and presenter highlights check that out. And if you don’t know how, it’s really time you found out don’t you think? There are no excuses if you work in HR.
But wait, there is more. At the end of the conference as we all considered how we can take this momentum forward, the formation of a potential new institute was announced that will provide a route to chartered status for New Zealand HR professionals. Why should we not have the same professional standards and status as lawyers and accountants and our counterparts in other countries? If we are serious about changing the game in NZ this has massive implications for all of us. I have been asked to be involved as a trustee as I’m keen to see how this plays out. As an advocate for change in the profession, feel I need to be involved in this and see where it takes us. If you are interested in learning more, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations and massive thanks to Angela and her Elephant HR team for pulling off something extraordinary and being the change they want to see.
Fittingly, the conference closed with the words of Winston Churchill: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Are we up for it?