Tuesday, 21 May 2013


I attended the Hr Network Scotland annual conference for the first time last week, and it's fair to say I was blown away.

I don't know what I had expected, exactly. I knew it would be a decent conference, but I was unprepared for just how good. Ten years ago, Iain McMillan, the Director of CBI Scotland, told me that anyone who could bring together 100 people for a one-day event in Scotland was doing very well indeed. A decade on, times can't have improved, and yet Hr Network Scotland must have had about three times that number, and of a strong calibre too, featuring many heads of HR, OD and L&D, along with senior representatives from the supply side of the market. All of which made for great networking opportunities.

Hitherto, I had assumed the CIPD Scottish Partnership annual conference was the only game in town. How wrong I was.

The conference contributions were of an excellent quality too, from Jane Sparrow's keynote on culture and performance, through case studies of good practice in fostering employee engagement - and I say that in all due modesty having chaired the e-learning session, featuring the case study of Midlothian Council.

In passing on my congratulations to Lee Turner of Hr Network Scotland, I may have erred on the side of emphasising my former misconception - I hope he wasn't insulted! Perhaps I can make amends by recommending next year's conference to anyone interested in HR in Scotland. I certainly plan on being there.

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