Category Archives: Training

Training describes the work we need to do to be “match fit”- in organisational terms it is the learning we need to do to be able to deliver the customer promise made by the organisation, now and into the future.

I’ve got skills third topic in the blog challenge is “I’ve got skills” , the task is to blog about the skills we wish we had.  I do wish I was a bit more into detail, and that it wasn’t something I had to work at all the time.

But then, if I was a very detailed person, some of my other skills would suffer.  How can you be a big picture thinker, if you are worried about the detail? (Said a little bit tongue in cheek)

Traditionally  systems in organisations focus on “fixing” weaknesses. Performance management and  training needs identify the gaps and develop plans to bridge them. We spent a lot of time wishing people were better at the things they were not so good at.

But in recent years the conversations have been about building on strengths. This is a much more positive way to build your team. By encouraging people to go far in the areas they are good at can only be good for your organisation.


Unfurling HR – conversations for change

koruLast week I attended the Unfurling HR Unconference organised and facilitated by Amanda Sterling of NZLead. The fern was used as a metaphor for unfurling, unravelling and re-positioning the people and culture related disciplines in organisations. It was an inspiring and motivational event and I have included links to other blogs with feedback about the unconference below.

I participated in discussions about leadership, personal development and the internal brand. As a consultant I couldn’t resist putting my feedback into a stop-start-continue format with suggestions for organisations and HR.

  Organisations could…. HR could….
  • Leaving all the people stuff to HR
  • Leaving all the compliance stuff to HR
  • Creating a consumer brand disconnected from the employee experience
  • Tolerating poor people management practice
  • Taking on all the people stuff
  • Taking on all the compliance stuff
  • Creating employment brands
  • Tolerating poor people management practice
  • Ensuring all managers are trained how to manage people
  • Supporting personal development for all staff from day one
  • Supporting a culture that is living the brand inside as well as outside
  • Developing leadership across the board
  •  Facilitating processes to ensure all managers are well trained
  • Facilitating personal development plans for all
  • Collaborating with marketing and others to develop the culture that supports the brand
  • Identifying leadership qualities that support the culture
  • To look for better ways to do things
  • To collaborate with HR to create stronger organisations
  • To recognise the knowledge and experience of their people related teams


  • Having challenging conversations about doing things better
  • To learn about the business and how they can best add value
  • To learn from each other and share knowledge widely in their organisations

Thoughts from other attendees- #unfurlingHR created a lot of food for thought.

Amanda Sterling – Reflections from #unfurlingHR – what next

Megan Borrie – #unfurlingHR – Baking these things in

Richard Westney – Off the beaten Track

Angela Atkins – #UnfurlingHR

Vaughan Rivett – Attending my first unconference

Jonathan Hagger – One quick recap

PS- this event will inspire at least one more blog from me,  so watch this space.

Exploring the possibilities of social media

Screenshot_2014-01-21-20-06-09I have been using social media for a few years now, learning and exploring the possibilities. Initially, like many people, I saw twitter as a bit frivolous, FaceBook as too uncontrollable and LinkedIn a bit staid.  But, I had read enough to tell me that as a small business I should be thinking about social media marketing.

I began without much of a plan. I knew I had to be business-like and that I had a lot to learn. I was very lucky to get some great advice early on from Sonya at Cue Social Media about how to engage better.  And then I just practised, tried things out, read lots of articles, observed what others did, observed the reactions to what I did, took a few risks and figured out what worked for me personally and for my business.

My facebook page still hasn’t many “Likes”, I don’t think that is the perfect medium for me and my business, but it’s there and serves a purpose when I want to share business related stuff. LinkedIn has grown and I have learnt to use it to promote myself and what I do.

But I have discovered my all time favourite, the one that fits me like a glove, is Twitter.

Why do I like it?

  1.  I like to talk
  2. I can get a bit passionate about some things (some would say opinionated)
  3. I like to understand all sides of a story
  4. I am an open person and am generous with my knowledge and my time
  5. I love to learn
  6. I really like meeting new people
  7. I’m not fazed by “what” people are- I respect you for who you are as a person
  8. I advocate for what I believe in
  9. I support my friends
  10. I connect people and create networks

These attributes make twitter perfect for me as an individual.  I also believe twitter is perfect for organisations to encourage their people to engage with others; to learn, advocate, find out what their public think, listen to other points of view and generally have great conversations that will ultimately create richer workplaces. The open nature of it is not something to be scared of, if you are clear about what you want to achieve and then trust people to make good choices. There will be people like me in most organisations; those who see the possibilities, embrace the learning and understand the risks.

Finding the HOW is part of the journey. Some will have achieved great things already, but for many it will be a frightening prospect.  I think it is well worth organisations spending  time thinking about the possibilities.

Who is ready to come on the journey with me?


Getting back into the swing of it

I haven’t blogged for a while.

What curve ball have you had thrown at you lately?
What curve ball have you had thrown at you lately?

A few months ago, through a series of mistakes, my web server crashed and five months of work was lost.  I had put a lot of effort into the blogs over those months, experimenting, learning and sharing.  To say I was devastated is an understatement.

Still, we humans are a resilient species. Everyone involved learnt something and once I put it all into perspective I began planning how to create opportunity.  My next project is a new website, with more functionality and some new offerings. In the meantime I have prettied up this website and updated some of the lost information while I plot and plan the next one.

We all have times when we need to find the resilience to move onto the next thing, or persevere with something that is not going as planned. Business and life can throw us a curve ball and we just need to figure out how to make the best of it.

As the old song goes “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”




Welcoming a new person to the team

In the news this week the new CEO of Fonterra, Theo Spiering has begun his new role with media intensity and a round of meetings with farmer shareholders. A blog that came across my laptop via twitter had a message for the new CEO of HP with advice for beginning her new role.

It got me thinking about how we introduce people into our organisations. Thankfully when most of us have begun new roles it has been without media scrutiny and expert comment. However, we do need to become familiar with the new culture, learn new responsibilities and meet new people. It can be a challenge.

When you recruit a new person, how much thought do you give to the orientation process?  The basics of how things work, where things are and basic health and safety issues can be covered on day one but more comprehensive programmes are important. The following are suggestions for what could be included in an orientation programme to maximise the chance of long term success.

  • A reasonable amount of time spent with all key people to understand expectations, routine and personalities
  • Information about the history, values and strategies of the organisation
  • Communication processes, how they work and what outcomes are expected
  • Policy and procedures, no-go areas
  • Compliance requirements

A well planned induction or orientation process should take place over a period of time and not in the first day, new employees need time to assimilate all information. The orientation process is the first component in a long term training programme and ideally will set the scene for future training.

Next time you recruit a new person, give some thought to how you will integrate them into your organisation. Not just from the perspective of tasks and policy, but also from the perspective of culture and unwritten expectations. To do so may well increase your chances of success.