Outside the Ivory Tower

Those of us involving in workplace learning and professional development should be more than aware that ‘our’ kind of education has left the Ivory Tower. The classroom is no longer some kind of ‘holy’ place where employees congregate – no pun intended – to have learning bestowed upon them. The future of organisational learning will be WISE - Workplace, Informal, Social and Experiential – even if it might take a while for the actual individuals to merit the adjective.

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Fighting Talk

The following is an opinion on British Management. “Short Sighted, Short-Termists, or Long-Term, Growth Visionaries”. If the first couple of words hadn’t given an indication that further language with a hint of ‘step into the executive car park and say that again, would you?’ might be about to follow, here are more words from the same source ...

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It’s not just HR then?

HR is a profession increasingly berated for not maturing, not moving on from its roots and embracing an adult role. Banking remains the bad boy, post 2008, and will doubtless linger there for a few years yet, while IT has been forgiven for the dot com crash a few years earlier. Let’s hope for the investors’ sake that that particular piece of history does not repeat itself: the scale of disaster may have been smaller, but a lot of people still lost a lot of money. And nowadays, a lot of us have less left to lose.

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When you become the story …

As Louisa Peacock’s article pointed out, HR has long had a reputation for hand-wringing and wondering when it will ever be front page news. Today, that moment arrived and I think we can safely say it didn’t run as planned. HR, as a profession, has come out of this as badly as the BBC, and HR didn’t have that long-running groundswell of public support on which to fall back, and to leverage for its reputational recovery. The Yahoo-hosted copy of the Telegraph article has accumulated 1099 comments in just over 24 hours. Let’s just say that most of them may take a little spinning.

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Ready for 2015?

HR should not be the only people who look forward to the days when the likes of Marc Chapman stop writing (and then linking back to) articles with titles like HR=Hardly Relevant. If we’re not all going to be spending 2015 re-skilling on an independent, self-financing basis, we’re going to need pro-active HR functions who want everyone to be ready for 2015. Changing the schedules and re-running 2007 is not an option.

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Hold Page 9: Do we still hate HR?

No, hating HR isn’t news. It might even count as nostalgia, except that’s usually for things past. Despite ChristopherinHR’s spirited and attention-grabbing opening paragraph in the discipline’s defence, I suspect the tide may be against him. And few articles about a profession – despite Human Resource Executive Online’s assertion that “Fast Company's "Why We Hate HR" article failed to provoke much of a widespread reaction” – attract so much attention as Keith Hammonds’ August 2005 article that The Society for Human Resource Management prepares a downloadable Discussion Guide to Debrief the Fortune magazine article, or that the Harvard Business Review blog publishes an article that includes the phrase “As this provocative essay approaches its fifth anniversary …” I can understand that many people may not have liked the music, but Mr Hammonds certainly struck a chord. And some of its notes are still ringing.

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