Chartered Institute of Pointless Direction
I was having a mental blank this morning. Normally I know what I’m going to write about days and days in advance. Looking for inspiration I asked my friends on Twitter for ideas and Michael Carty replied asking me for a 140 character treatise on what Sartre means to me. Now I’m not doing that because a) I don’t think it’s possible and b) you don’t deserve that! But it did remind me of a conversation I’d had with Michael at the last #ConnectingHR event when he asked me when I was going to share my views on the CIPD.
Ironically, I arrived in the office to find a communication from this auspicious organisation sitting on my desk. It was fate. For those of you who don’t know, the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) is the professional organisation for HR bods in the UK. I should say that I am a member and have been for 15 years now….long before it added the C to its name but not long enough for it to have an M instead of a D.
And that is symbolic of the problems with the CIPD….they really don’t know who they are, what they are and indeed what they are for. Well maybe they think they know…but if that is the case they sure as hell don’t make it clear to the rest of us. And given that I was asked to complete a long questionnaire some time ago on what I would be willing to pay for my membership if the services were varied….I think change is a foot. So being the loving helpful giving person I am, here is my agenda for change:
- Make the letters count. If you are going to have professional standards, stick to them. Make them hard….really hard and kick out people who don’t meet them. A few years ago I was working for a FTSE100 company and the CIPD sent me a list of the membership levels of my HR team. There were people two or three levels below me that were Fellows of the CIPD. As part of the membership criteria for this level, you need to be a “Board/executive team member with regular access to the senior management team” and “Influence business/organisational policy and strategic aims and objectives.” How on earth are you supposed to take the qualifications seriously, if they are being given away like Smarties? Some of these people were as strategic as a fence post…… How do we expect anyone to take us seriously when we can’t take ourselves seriously?
- Stop trying to be something you are not. There are better providers of legal advice and guides out there. You have missed the boat. If you wanted to focus on this you should have been doing what XpertHR were doing, when they were doing it. Not now. There is a lot of information and guidance that you can provide members, unleash John Philpott for example. Raise the game. Provide real insight, challenge….look at the CRF papers as an example.
- Ditch the CIPD Exhibition. Ok….so I know it raises money for the conference etc. But have you ever walked around it? It is a day out for all the ineffective, bureaucratic, tea and sympathy HR administrators trying to fill up on mugs, pens and anything else they can get their hands on. If you took the attendance as a snapshot of the HR population you would think we were a completely pointless, cost incurring,waste of space……oh hang on!
- Reform the CIPD branch network. Start engaging with the 90% of HR professionals that aren’t involved with them and ask them why. I am sure there must be some good ones, but I am yet to experience anything that doesn’t feel akin to entering a School staffroom in the 1970s. If we are a commercial forward thinking profession, lets start looking like one, behaving like one and organising like one….not like some charity committee.
- Start having controversial views. Stop sucking up to which ever Government is in power and stand up and be counted. Provide us with a little thought leadership . What you are doing is what poor HR people do…they defer, they become a shadow, they suck up to the boss and don’t have any backbone. Be a role model for the profession. Get some balls.
I’m available for consultancy at extortionate rates…..should you need.