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.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

A book a year

I’ve been doing a lot more writing in the six years since I launched this blog.  After an eight year gap from my first book to my second, I’ve had three books published in the last four years (see sidebar links), and I’m planning to step up that rate.  Not that this is the season for resolutions, but I’ve decided to aim to write and publish one new book every year.
Later this year - within six months - I’ll be publishing my next work-in-progress, and I’ll be blogging further information in the coming weeks.  Next year, Alasdair Rutherford and I plan to publish our first print book on learning evaluation and impact (last year’s Total Value Add: a new approach to learning evaluation was an e-book only) – we’re collecting content, and we have a title, although that’s under wraps at the moment.  After that, my next solo effort will be in 2015 (I have a couple of ideas for new books on learning and development), and so on from then.

One area I’d like to move into is writing/publishing for the academic market.  I’ve just completed an undergraduate course for the University of Sunderland on Contemporary Developments in Business and Management (book length – about 80,000 words – but not counted towards my book-a-year target), and I’m about to start a postgraduate course on Managing and Leading People (similar length).  I’ve also co-written a postgraduate course on Strategic Action and the Environment for the University of Bedfordshire, and edited some Scottish Qualifications Authority management courses for Opus Learning. I’m open to offers!