Asking How?

I’m really pleased to be attending both days of the CIPD’s Annual Conference and Exhibition (8 and 9 Nov 2017) this year (so excited, in fact, that I have already selected my conference sessions). I’m looking forward to hearing from a wide variety of excellent speakers all working within different organisational contexts. I like to hear about others’ experiences and the challenges they’ve had along the way. It’s really interesting to hear these stories and to get different perspectives. 

Events like this have a lot to offer HR professionals, whether you are attending the conference, exploring the exhibition, making the most of the networking spaces and coffee lounges, attending the fringe events, or even following all the conversations and blog squad posts on the hashtag for the event (#cipdACE17) from afar.  Why? Because, for me, this is the new world of work. Enabling access to knowledge, experiences and conversations via many different avenues so that everyone can learn and be included in the dialogue.

I see this happening already in my work and it sometimes doesn’t feel so new. Thanks to technology, we have collaboration and communication and learning happening in different ways already. For example, Slack teams, Whatsapp, LinkedIn and Twitter DM groups and so on. However, I am very much aware that my experience isn’t the same as everyone else’s and what I might feel is the ‘norm’ others haven’t even begun to explore.

From my experience and belief of what good HR looks like, collectively we need to get up to speed with these changes and advocate with our HR teams to help them understand and see the value in doing things differently. I work with many HR and L&D professionals who don’t feel comfortable with these things because they don’t understand or see the benefit and often that’s because it’s happening without them. It’s not OK to not engage if it means missing out on something that might bring an advantage to your business.



I love hearing about great ideas and innovative and creative solutions but, as a very practical HR professional, what I always want to bring it back to is the ‘How’. So how can I, as an HR professional, make the first step to do something differently?  What practical and clear first step can I take to improve how I provide support to my organisation, to help it achieve its wider goals?


So this is what I’ll be asking over the two days in Manchester in November: “How?” Every time I hear a good idea or experience being shared I want to make sure we can all make sense of it and share it in a way that someone is able to learn from it and start to try something different in their own context.

I’ll be trying to capture as many ‘Hows’ as I can over the two days and I’ll post about them on my blog. If you hear any that you want to add to my list, I’d be delighted if you’d share them with me. Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog or Tweet me @fionamcbride

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  1. Kathryn Lane-Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Great blog Fiona – I am also really looking forward to this event and excited to take away from it lots of new ideas that I can bring back to my teams. Such a great opportunity to hear about all of the new and exciting things that people are doing in our ever changing work environments. See you there!

    • October 20, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Thank you Kathryn. I hope you have a great experience at CIPD ACE! Do let me know if you hear any useful ideas and which ones you’ll be taking back to your organisation.

  2. November 6, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I’d love to share our innovation and support of the ‘how to’ element. Lots of ACAS ‘What to do’s’, we do the ‘How to do it’ piece around workplace investigations.

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