You’ve got to have a plan

Many years ago I was sat talking to a cardiologist who asked me what my plan was. When I asked what she meant she replied, “Do you want to drop dead one day on the commute because you don’t know what else to do? You’ve got to have a plan.” It became one of those conversations that change your life.

Over a decade later I’ve always worked to a clear plan, I know where I am and where I want to go, but I understand that the path that I need to take might change and fluctuate as I progress. Of course not every detail can or will be known, but the broad sense of direction is clear.

In moments of temporary unhappiness (I’m generally an upbeat guy) I’ve been surprised at how often it is caused by losing sight of the overall journey. Becoming too focused on the here and now and losing sight of the why.

So my question to you is the same as the question that was asked of me those years ago, “what’s your plan and if you don’t have one, what’s stopping you?”.

 

Who are the CIPD and what do they want with us?

Seems like a strange question to ask really. Who are the CIPD? And……what do they want of us?

Like many of you, I get a nice letter once a year asking me for money. I fill out the various forms and I put the invoice through to my accounts department where the good people that work there, happily process it.

And then once every so often I get a copy of People Management through the post and I read it….well sometimes. I used to look at the jobs, but not so much these days. I get invites to branch events….but they’re not really me. I’m not a “society” kind of a guy.

So what is in it for me and if those good fellows in accounts were to reject my payment, would I be willing to put my hand in my own pocket and cough up the hundred odd quid that I’m asked for?

I don’t know. Or at least I didn’t know.

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to spend some time with Peter Cheese, the new CEO of the CIPD for a coffee and a chat. Now anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not slow to crack a few old surname jokes. And it would be easy to make some, although I’m sure Peter has heard them all.

But sometimes you meet someone who really inspires you, someone who makes you think. Peter is one of those guys. We share a lot of concerns and we share a lot of ideas about the future and so it would be easy to say that I’m just kowtowing to someone who thinks the same as me. Maybe I am. But I left our meeting more confident about the future of the CIPD than I have ever been before. Maybe this is the start of something?

Leadership is a funny thing, leadership is often about being unpopular. I have a feeling that Peter might be unpopular…at least with a vocal minority. But during the time that I spent with him, I have to say that I experienced a clarity of purpose that the CIPD has lacked for many, many a year.

Take the new look People Management magazine, it certainly feels different, it certainly looks different. The cobwebs of institutionalisation seem to have started to be blown away (although they still need to call in the web designers tout de suite). And as Peter says in his introduction to the latest edition, “We’re developing a clearer framework for the way we communicate, placing us at the heart of the changing worlds of work, organisations and work forces.”

The CIPD at the heart of the changing world of work, organisations and work forces…..now there would be a thing, a long overdue thing…..

The CIPD needs to be leading the debate, not following it. It needs to be pulling on the collective knowledge of its membership, the people who are there, day in and day out, working with organisations on their needs and challenges. Not just focussing on long and academically heavy studies that appear months after a news story has passed. The CIPD needs to be a voice for its members, not a voice for itself.

So, are we turning a corner? I’d like to think so.

A we enter our conference season, I look forward to a bright new dawn from the CIPD. I look forward to a renewed sense of meaning, I look forward to EVERY member having an equal voice and remembrance of the fact that a vocal minority are exactly that….a minority.

I look forward.

And, in my opinion, you should do too.

We still need to answer the questions that started this post.

Who are the CIPD?

And…….

What do they want with us?

There is a lot to yet be defined, a lot that is yet to be discovered and a lot that is yet to be concluded. But…….if you’d allow me this, I’d like to take the opportunity to misquote the inimitable Professor Green…..and allow my foible of playing with people’s names to emerge just a little.

“The future’s bright, the future’s Cheese.”

For the moment at least…..let’s see whether the mountains are truly conquered.

I’ll go back to my day job now…….

The CIPD Annual Conference starts on Tuesday 6th November in Manchester. You can follow developments on Twitter via the hash tag #CIPD12. I’ll also be giving my thoughts on it here and you can follow fellow members of the blog squad, such as Doug Shaw, Flora Marriott, Sukh Pabial, Perry Timms, Rob Jones, FlipChartRick and Mervyn Dinnen to name but a few. And of course, the CIPD….. on @CIPD!