The learning asylum

Time to escape the mad house

October 30, 2014
by Mike Collins
0 comments

Presentation #Hashtag

I mentioned in Swimming in the Social Stream that the outcome of our conversations and learning experience was to create a 3 minute presentation on social learning. This was then to be played back to the other attendees of the Social HR Conference to provide a flavour of the day. No mean feat then for a group of strangers to create a presentation in little over 3 hours. I remember seeing the look of fear in people’s eyes when this little nugget was divulged.

Oh and as well as presenting back we imposed a little rule as that’s how we roll mwah ha ha ha.

This well meaning and simple rule was this. To use social media as part of the presentation.

There were significantly less people in the sessions starting after dinner (sorry lunch) and I’m sure that had nothing to do with this imposed rule and presentation. No way. The only other rule of the day, ‘the rule of two feet‘ had spoken and people were exploring the other topics and that was fine and dandy. We still had people who returned to carry on the conversations and we had new people who joined us so the afternoon kicked off and continued with a great mix.

Time literally flew and before long our conversations turned to what were we going to do in the 3 minute slot?

Could we use social media? Could we share what we had discussed using the technology that had formed a large part of the days conversations?

Who would do what? How would we do it? What were our options? Questions, questions, questions….

Brainwave.

Sometimes all you need is a flipchart and colourful pens to create a masterpiece. We each decided to think of a phrase that summed up our experience of the day and as there were 8 of us on our table and 180 seconds to fill, we would each get 22.5 seconds to talk about that phrase. A phrase mmm…..that just wouldn’t cut it though, after all this presentation had to use social media.

Brainwave.

Presentation #Hashtag was born.

Presentation #Hashtag

 

We ran through the sorts of things we were going to say – after all it wasn’t going to be scripted and we all felt quite confident in representing our hashtag. These words meant something to each of us so we would at least be speaking from the heart. Here’s how it went (Twitter ID’s included where possible i.e. they have one that I can remember)

1. #ScaredToDeath (by @JodiODell1)

Dr Jodi O’Dell set up her Twitter account that very day and was open and honest in her fear of using social media. Even after she had had a session in the ‘surgery’ with @Damiana_HR and following the conversations she was still #scaredtodeath and it served as a useful reminder that social tools are scary. I remember being on Twitter for 12 months lurking before really starting to understand it. It can be a strange and foreign land.

2 #SocialJourney (by @MrfranchiseChe)

Kathryn Orange summed the day up perfectly with her explanation that we had all been on a social journey. Talking, laughing, challenging, listening. Different people, different levels of experience but despite this we had all come together and gone on our own social journey and were walking away with new found knowledge and understanding.

3. #ShareExperiences 

Once of the things that cropped up a few times was “what do I share on social media?” It’s a very good question as some still see social media as a channel to share what you had for breakfast. Pah. For the enlightened and in a professional context social media allows you to share your experiences. Also known as Working Out Loud. It completely changes how you can interact with social, how you derive value from it and provide value for others. Share what you know and what you are doing. The good, the bad and the damn right ugly.

4. #RightTools

Sometimes there is a misconception about what tool is right to use for you personally or for your business. There are so many different tools out there that Twitter might not be the right one for you. That’s OK. Think about WHY you’re using social tools, what do you want to achieve? Be creative, be daring, think about how you want to interact and create value for others. This person arrived in the hope of leaving with a Twitter strategy and left with something completely different.

5. #BeInTheRoom

Irrelevant of social media and fandangled technology be present. Be in the room with the people and whilst the back channel might be interesting people connect with people. There is still (and always will be) something fantastic about making new connection in person, talking to someone face to face, seeing someone’s eyes light up or hearing someone laugh. Social media has it’s place but sometimes you’ve got to be in the room.

6. #Generations (by @Little_Figs)

Our youngest group member by far at the tender age of 18. @DPGplc‘s digital apprentice made some great contributions and challenged some ideas that social media was just for the kids. Do not let your age be any sort of barrier when it comes to technology and social media. The only barrier is in your head.

7. #BringItOn

Perhaps my favourite. Charlotte worked for Hilton Hotels and after joining us for the afternoon session was leaving with her head bursting with new ideas she could take back to work with her. You could actually see the cogs turning lighting up her eyes as to the possibilities. It was a joy to see and sometimes you’ve got to roll up your sleeves and shout BRING IT ON.

8. #Community (by me @Community_Mike)

Never before have we possessed the ability to connect with people all over the world. To find people who share the same passions and enjoy the same things as us. Who can come together face to face but can meet virtually before hand and who can continue developing those conversations and relationships long afterwards. Social HR Conference had community at it’s heart. There were communities within communities – @LnDConnect @CIPDManchester @DPGplc @ConnectingHR to name a few.

When you bring a group of like-minded, talented people who want to share and learn together – great things can happen. Social HR Conference and Presentation #Hashtag was a great example of this in action.

Presentation #Hashtag Live

Were you there?

What would have been your hashtag for the day?

October 28, 2014
by Mike Collins
0 comments

Swimming in the Social Stream

On the 16th October 2014 the first ever Social HR Conference took place at the rather splendid Old Trafford cricket ground. Manchester CIPD branch did a fantastic job of organising what was a unique blend of conference / unconference formats that I felt worked really well. There have been a number of great blogs written about the event with some cool Storify action being curated and shared too. You can read about and find out more here to get a sense of the conference content and format.

Social Learning Gang

Social Learning Gang

I had the honour of working with Flora Marriott and Rachel Burnham on the Social Learning stream and we worked together to co-create and shape what we could do and how the session could be run. We had about 3.5 hours ish and whilst we were facilitating, the purpose of an unconference is to allow the attendees to create the agenda and talk about things that mattered most to them.

In Bruce Lee terms it kinda feels like the ‘art of facilitation without facilitating‘.

We did decide to put some sort of structure to the day as we wanted to capture the conversations in some way and Flora came up with the fabulous idea of setting a fun challenge to anyone who attended the stream. The challenge was to create a 3 minute presentation on social learning using social media – simple!

To help get conversations going and to help frame the Social Learning topic we each spent a few minutes sharing our own stories and experiences.

  • Flora talked about using a Wiki as a collaborative tool to get people to share what they knew.
  • Rachel talked about her experiences in using Scoop It to curate and share content.
  • I talked about my experience using social networks to bring people together to form communities of practice

It was important to us all that we really conveyed to those who attended that Social Learning isn’t just about Social Media or Social Technologies. It is plain and simply learning through people. The way we have learned since we were able to communicate through grunts and gestures. Social Media helps us to get involved in the conversation and connect with others, enabling tools that allow us to amplify, contribute and share, something that removes geographical boundaries. For me Social Learning:

Is telling stories.

Is sharing experiences.

Is learning from things others do well.

Is learning from things others could do better.

Is listening.

Is talking.

Is watching.

Is drawing.

Is writing.

Is reading.

Is a behaviour (in terms of sharing what you know through all the above ways)

Is a mindset (in terms of understanding the value of sharing what you know and encouraging others to do the same)

Social Learning in Action

Social Learning in Action

It’s a realisation and understanding that EVERYTHING we do and every interaction we have with other people is an opportunity to learn with and from them. And that in turn they can learn from you, me, us. Unconferences are social learning in its rawest form, people from different organisations, ages and backgrounds coming together to tell stories, discover and learn from each other. No hidden agenda other than wanting to explore new concepts, new thinking and to be inspired and motivated to go and improve what they do and how they do it. Powerful stuff.

After the larger group had introduced themselves and we had told our stories we split the group in to 3. Each took a table and myself, Flora and Rachel sat with a group to participate and provide support if required. There were no awkward silences, no false starts, no egos. Conversations were natural and flowing, jumping and bouncing from how people were using social tools to support their business to what tools were available to how these tools can help people to connect and learn. So much was happening and in true unconference fashion ‘the rule of two feet’ applied so anyone could get up and move to another table or even to another stream.

This format can take a little getting used to as the unstructured nature unsettled some but others were enjoying the ‘chaos’, most importantly everyone had the opportunity to speak, people respected the views and opinions of everyone else and we were all present in the conversation. One big melting pot of learning messiness.  I Loved It.

Of course the conversations weren’t constrained to the four walls we were after all at a Social conference and we were getting contributions from all over the country via the Twitter hashtag #socialHRmcr. When asked what Social Learning meant to those on Twitter we got some great replies:

Tweets from backchannel

This of course is the power of Social Tools and why they are almost synonymous with Social Learning but we need to ensure that we make the distinction between the two as they are NOT one and the same thing. They are purely tools that when used in a certain way can have a huge impact on how we access content and communicate with each other. As L&D professionals we have a wonderful opportunity to help shape how organisations can use these tools or enterprise versions of them to help people communicate and collaborate. Help them make the most of opportunities to learn from each other, creating and supporting the conditions where learning happens as described above by Con and David.

The water type analogy has been used quite a lot when describing the use of social. For example:

  • You can be scared of jumping in
  • You can dip your toe in
  • You can swim with or against the tide
  • You can jump in and make a splash
  • You can control the power of the stream
  • Drip content through or have it as a torrent
  • You can go deep diving

You get the idea.

We had swimmers at every level at the Social HR Conference from those who were scared to death to those who were treading water comfortably to those who were confident and looking for new waters to dive in. It was an eclectic mix but it worked so well as people were sharing openly being supportive and helpful irrelevant of the experience of those involved. Everyone got something out of it and left having learned something new or had had their thinking influenced in some way. It was Social Learning at its best, people engaged in healthy and purposeful conversation. Our presentation summed this up perfectly which I’ll share shortly.

Well done to everyone who was involved on my table. It was a swim I will remember for sometime.

Did you jump in the Social Learning Stream that day? I’d welcome your thoughts on the format and day.

 

October 12, 2014
by Mike Collins
2 Comments

Rage Against The Machine

I’ve been watching the Collaborate Live sessions unfold with interest over the last few months. A great idea for a series of Google Hangouts organised & hosted by Bev Holden and Kate Hargreaves aka @Stickythinker and @k8clearthinker from Clear Thinking.

The Collaborate Live sessions, also affectionately known as #LiveClive over on Twitter are short conversations with people who share their own experiences of collaboration. The sessions are based around three questions although the conversations are fluid and can duck, weave and traverse in any direction possible as Bev does a great job in diving deeper in to what is said, skilfully exploring the themes raised around collaboration.

You can watch all episodes to date (and I highly recommend you do) over on Bev’s YouTube channel here 

I was really excited to get asked by Bev to be a guest on Collaborate Live a few weeks ago. Collaboration is somewhat part of my DNA and is as an important ingredient to creating online communities as Mary Berry is to the Great British Bake Off. I was keen to tell my story of how collaborating with others has helped shaped the DPG Community. To create something from nothing and play a big part in that something is incredible but it doesn’t happen in isolation. There are many factors involved but I believe collaboration sits at its heart and it was going to be fun exploring the role that collaboration had played and continues to play in this journey. I hoped anyone who would listen live or listen to the recording would enjoy hearing what I had to say. Not from an ego perspective, but because this is something I’m fiercely passionate about and I REALLY wanted it to go well.

The virtual stage was set.

I’d used Google Hangouts before as a participant, I’ve hosted a number of them and used the Google Hangout Live feature as well. I’d go so far to say I was an early adopter and used Hangouts when they were first made available and whilst they aren’t the easiest of things to organise and set up correctly they are relatively pain free when you know what you’re doing. Like so many things there is a bit of trial and error involved but the technology works well so I wasn’t worried before the session, I was more worried about what I was going to say as it was live. Nose picking aside I felt I had it covered and logged in 15 minutes early to check the settings and that everything was working.

  • Quiet place – check
  • Decent webcam – check
  • Blue Yeti Microphone – check
  • Fast as the speed of light internet wired connection – check
  • Dodgy haircut – check

Bev and I chatted though the running order and as we started to chat we both noticed the screen freezing and a lag in what we were saying. Um….this wasn’t the way it should be working and after messing around with the settings for a few minutes we continued nervously hoping the problem would disappear. 5,4,3,2,1……..

All of a sudden we were live being uploaded and streamed over the web faster than a celebrity sex tape and the PROBLEM HAD NOT DISAPPEARED

AAARRRGGGHHHH.

Bev’s introduction had cut out and I didn’t hear her first question as she froze but I knew the first question so took a punt and started to talk about my positive experiences of collaboration and using technology. Oh the irony.

I was talking….”as collaboration”…….”community”……..”big part”……….”7 years ago”

Bit words, incoherently strung together like a drunk poet at an open mic night and it quickly became clear this wasn’t working. Something fundamental had gone wrong and the internet gremlins were having a jolly good laugh at my expense. Being the true professional, Bev did the only thing that was left to do and wrapped up the session as quickly as possible sending her apologies for the technical issues and the Hangout got Hungup.

Rage_Against_the_Machine_(Logo)

 

I was left in my quiet place with feelings I’d not felt for a long time…..

  • Disappointment. I was so disappointed that technology had let me down in my half an hour of need.
  • Embarrassment. I was so embarrassed that this had happened in ‘public’.
  • Frustration. I was so frustrated as I’d done everything I’d done before in previous Hangouts and never had any problems.
  • Anger. I was so angry at myself and the stupid internet.
  • Helplessness. Perhaps the most interesting of feelings. Total helplessness. I didn’t know what the problem was and I couldn’t fix it.
  • Failure. Irrelevant of everything and anything I’d failed. The session was a failure and I’d let down Bev. This was the first Collaborate Live to end in this way. Oh the shame!

Bev and I briefly chatted afterwards and we made arrangements to reschedule the session and to try again. I’d send her some dates and times and we’d give it another go. Cool that made sense and felt OK……..but what if it happened again? The last emotion I felt before I got on with my day was a raw and powerful emotion.

word-fear-on-the-dices-1078872-m

This is the purpose of me writing this. I’ve become complacent, I’ve forgotten the emotions that people go through when dealing with technology and things don’t go to plan. Whether it’s the first time using a new piece of tech kit, social media, an app, a discussion forum, a new smart phone or using trusted technology that has worked each and every time and all of a sudden stops working. I’m lucky that I’ve had plenty of good experiences using Google Hangouts and know how good they are when they work.

Had this been the first time I’d used Hangouts and I’d had this sort of experience how would this have influenced my thinking about the tool? Would I want to use it again? Not on your nelly.

So I’ve been thinking about this since the session and whilst I’m a big advocate for using technology and feel quite at home use technology each and every day. There are lots of people who don’t feel the same, who’s first experience of using technology or social media isn’t positive either because it doesn’t work and can’t be explained or it’s not understood and doesn’t create immediate value. Because it feels uncomfortable and different, it can undermine what confidence people have in themselves let alone the technology. The fear of the unknown is powerful, a feeling of helplessness can be even more powerful and whilst I hate the expression “I’m a technophobe’, I have a deeper understanding of why this might be the case and new found empathy for those who are finding their way through the 21st century and ever changing technological landscape.

What I’ve taken from this? As a learning professional I need to work harder at helping people have positive experiences with technology, building confidence and capability and offering support and guidance where I can.

We all do.

July 10, 2014
by Mike Collins
3 Comments

Changing times and opening minds

This time last week, I was taking another trip out of my comfort zone as Alistair Nicholls had very kindly invited me to speak at the North West Business Breakfast organised by Manchester Business School. The title of my talk was Why Corporate L&D Needs to Change and How and it felt a good title to share my own journey thus far and to open up conversation.

Now I can talk fast (due to my alter-ego), but when Alistair asked me to keep to 20 mins I knew I’d have to speak even faster to get everything in – challenge set. It was relieved to see a good turn out and I enjoyed the hospitality of a strong coffee and a sausage butty.

Now it’s probably best to get this out the way….feels a little like a confession. I’m not an academic, I went to university but was one of those that returned after a couple of years empty handed without the piece of paper that’s not worth the paper it’s written on. It wasn’t for me. Wrong degree, maybe, wrong time, maybe, it just didn’t work for me…..

Why should I tell you this? Well this audience was very different to the audiences I have been used to speaking to which, to be fair, have primarily been my fellow L&D/HR  professionals at exhibitions, conferences and other networking events over the last 3-4 years. I’ve been used to evangelising to the converted but speaking to a group of postgraduate MBA degree holders, who knew what lay instore.

20 minutes isn’t long to get stuck in to the detail, I understood that I would need to sacrifice some of detail to get through all the content. I’ve dropped the slides below and hope they tell the story well enough without further explanation as I really want to focus on the conversation that followed after I’d shut up.

After listening to 20 minutes of me talking (quickly), I think I’d be chomping at the bit to get a word in and as the first hand went up on the Community Manager slide it felt like there was something bubbling in the room.

The first point/question/statement was along the lines of “this is all well and good but in the real world people don’t have time

Hang on, I’d heard this one before. In fact this is the biggest challenge I tend to hear no matter what audience – the “we don’t have time” line is a thinly veiled “I’m not going to change” line . I replied in the only way I could, by stating what I believe, “It’s an excuse, a cop out, a way to devolve any sort of responsibility for trying something different and moving our heads out of the way we’ve always done things – it’s an easy way out and a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset.

I can’t remember all the discussions in detail (aging memory) but the conversation then ensued around breaking workflow and busy people don’t have the time to participate in sharing information and we don’t, we can’t, we shouldn’t lined up and flicked off the tongue like they were primed and ready to leap in to action. Then the debate really started heating up as a lady stated that this is exactly the problem that needs to change. Instead of thinking like we always have around the way we work and learn it’s time to open our minds to what is now possible and start to do things differently not just talk about it.

There were extremely good points raised around my own curiosity and it’s all very well that I’m a curious person so this sort of open, informal, discovery sort of learning suits me but what about those who aren’t curious? What about those where this sort of learning and behaviour doesn’t come naturally. Can you develop curiosity as a skill, a behaviour, can it become a way of life or are we naturally gifted with curiousity or not? We briefly touched upon other skills needed to work and learn in the 21st century but this vast topic will have to live to fight another day (or another talk?)

There was another good point raised around curation being just another sort of formal learning as the curator still needs to create a path and a structure, it’s just from other resources rather than content creation. Curation is indeed a skill in it’s own right but is it still part of the formal learning mix just with a fancy name?

Then came the bombshell and I paraphrase so apologies if this isn’t word for word:

“Where’s the research that backs this up?”

“What research backing up what?”

I asked, slightly panicking and starting to sweat…..

“This 70% of learning is this and 20% is that and 10% is this, where is the research that backs this up. I would suggest that if you are going to talk about these things you are able to back it up with research”

I was caught in between a rock and a hard place. Ever since I’ve been in L&D I’ve heard the theories and models but I have never thought to question where this stuff comes from. So I stumbled and faltered and felt pretty stupid as I couldn’t quote where any of this stuff had come from and even mumbled something about Charles Jennings, however I did point out that this is what had worked for me. The framework (emphasis on framework) has helped me look at learning differently since becoming CIPD qualified in 2006 and is exactly how I have developed within my own career and the progress I’ve made in a relatively short period of time. My experience does count for something, research or no research as everything I’ve done in the last few years has been on the premise that learning is social, it happens through connections, through sharing and it happens all around us and I have created environments & systems, conditions and cultures where this can happen and is encouraged, celebrated and rewarded.

I promised I’d go and find the research that supports the 70/20/10 framework and post it in this blog and to my surprise there isn’t a great deal of academic research or things to back up the 70/20/10 framework. Rather than me waffle on about this study or research paper here is a blog post that provides a great insight in to where the model/theory comes from and how it’s become what it is.

Irrelevent of research papers or whether the 70/20/10 framework is another L&D buzz word and way for suppliers to re-package ‘blended learning’ solutions or if it’s an excuse for employers to jump on the band wagon to cut ‘training costs’ in the name of creating a ‘better blend’. I believe that this is where Learning Professionals need to stand up, make their voices heard and make a difference.

For me it’s not about looking at L&D in isolation but at it’s core it’s about re-inventing this thing we call work in a 21st century world. Developing skills and creating roles that have these new technologies, systems and communication channels at their heart and make them as useful, valuable and as powerful as they can be. The point was raised that you’re not going to replace a military person or a doctor needing formal training and yes I agree you wouldn’t want heart surgery from a heart surgeon who’d just watched a YouTube video. I don’t disagree in the slightest and I’m not advocating getting rid of formal training, I would however trust a heart surgeon using Google Glass to support the operation.

My point is we have a wonderful range of options at our disposal now to support training above and beyond the formal environment that can help people do there jobs more effectively. We have technology that enables us to comunicate, share and provide just in time support in such ways that would have been impossible a short time ago. We’re back to the slope of enlightenment in many organisations but in many they are yet to start the journey as technology is just an enabler and our attitudes and behaviours are still lagging behind.

So it’s not just corporate L&D that needs to change, it’s the workplaces in which they operate and that means the people who work within them. You could argue you can’t do one without the other. It’s time to evolve working practices and to enable the flow of conversation throughout an organisation where every employee has a voice and can and wants to share what they know. I want to be in the middle of that, connecting people and shaping communities, encouraging, nurturing, coaching, designing, innovating, sharing and working in new ways. Perhaps this IS a different type of L&D person, perhaps it’s not L&D at all….

Apparently the talk stirred more debate and conversation than any previous breakfast talk and I thoroughly loved the experience. I’ve learned things from it and will certainly be more prepared on the background and origins of the things I talk about. However, I’ve also learned that in a fast paced hyper connected world that is constantly changing and evolving, research that’s here one day will become obselete the next. I trust my gut and my instinct and I will continue to do what I believe is right and what I enjoy. In order for businesses to stay relevant and be successful in my mind there really isn’t a choice.

Get curious, open your mind and get changing, otherwise you’ll never have time.

There were also requests for case studies and examples of where organisations had approached learning differently.

Social Learning examples in the workplace curated by Jane Hart is a good place to start.

Did you attend the talk? What did you take away from the session?

If you did or you didn’t, I’d love to hear your thoughts and keep the conversation going.

July 1, 2014
by Mike Collins
4 Comments

Working quietly

Hello blog, I’ve missed you.

I’m not going to get all soppy but it’s been a while, 7 months to be exact. It’s nothing to do with you, don’t take it personally. It’s me, all my fault, it was nothing you said or did but I hope you’re as pleased to see me as I am to see you.

To celebrate I’ve given you a little make over, a lick of paint so to speak. If you look good you feel good so it’s time I paid you some attention and put a smile on your digital face.

Where have I been you ask? Well that’s a story for another time. All you need to know is that I’m back.

I’m back writing again after a spell in the blogging wilderness. It feels good, like I’m being re-acquainted with an old friend. After all you and I have got history….31 little pieces of history in fact. Lots to catch up on and lots more to add. If you’ll have me back……..?!?

You will? That’s great to hear.  You’ll be pleased to know I have been doing stuff and I’ve got stories to tell. I haven’t been sat in a padded cell for the last 7 months twiddling by thumbs, rocking back and forth locked up in my very own self-created learning asylum. Nope not me.

I’ve just been working quietly.

Lurking, learning, consuming, thinking, playing, making mistakes, trying to learn from them, reading, building, coaching, developing, collaborating, piloting, trialling, speaking, presenting, podcasting, filming, worrying, stressing, making life changing decisions, challenging and being challenged, meeting new people, catching up with old friends, changing, evolving, enjoying what I do.

I had my 2 year anniversary at DPG this month……2 years…..wow.  Yes I know we’ve been together for longer……it’s not a competition.

Where has the time gone?

A lot has happened both professionally and personally but it all adds up to who you are, what you do and how you do it. That’s life, deal with it Mike and get over yourself and get on with it.

So I’ve got over myself and I’m getting on with it but in doing so I have come to the conclusion that I’ve become a hypocrite.

a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

Up until 7 months ago I used you to share what I was doing, how I approached it, what worked, what didn’t and the thinking behind it. Being a champion for collaborative working, building learning communities and attempting to evolve the role of L&D within organisations, why wouldn’t I share the things I’m working on that could help others and help me reflect on my work.

Role-modelling working out loud is something that I encourage others to do but I’ve stopped doing it myself. Working quietly isn’t what I believe or what I expect and encourage from others. No. It. Is. Not.

So, I know what I need to do. I need to stop being a lurker and purely a consumer and start contributing a bit more. I won’t be shouting from the rooftops but I hope I’ll be working a little louder and making a bit more noise in the coming weeks and months.

After all blog, I’ve missed you xx

November 9, 2013
by Mike Collins
0 comments

Bringing the Disney experience to Conferences

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to go to America for three weeks. A fantastic holiday of a life-time where I visited my sister Lucy in Minnesota for a week before heading down to the sunshine state of Florida for some Disney mayhem.

There was a strange Déjà vu about the whole thing as it was the exact trip I completed in 1994 when I played school football in Minnesota before meeting up with my folks down in Florida for…yes you’ve guessed it,  some Disney mayhem.

This time was very different as I had my two boys with me and I was the chap in charge of the mayhem.

Continue Reading →

November 8, 2013
by Mike Collins
6 Comments

Talk is cheap with empty rhetoric

As I sit here after 11pm after two days on the @DPGplc stand at a buzzing #CIPD13, I can’t get away from a few thoughts and feelings. It’s niggled me all day so I’m just going to put it down and see what happens.

This morning I attended HR Unscrambled hosted by @Dougshaw1 and @OD_Optimist. A fantastic thought-provoking start to the day.

I thoroughly enjoyed talking to people who viewed bacon butties with an assortment of sauces, caffeine and meaningful conversation as a viable alternative to a lie-in.

Continue Reading →

August 9, 2013
by Mike Collins
0 comments

Leadership Qualities in a Changing World

By Mike Collins on the 9th August 2013

I recently attended a workshop entitled “Getting the most from your Apprentice” hosted by the Apprentice Academy. It was an interesting session that I wanted to play back, as it looked at starting work through the eyes of 16-18 yr old. Without showing my age too much we started the day with a music quiz and the first 8 songs (I knew) were made and released before our Apprentice @Little_Figs was even born! A point well made as what ever you make of the Generation X, Y & Z debate there are differences in attitude, behaviour and expectations of a 16 yr old starting work than anyone else already in the workplace.

Continue Reading →

August 1, 2013
by Mike Collins
0 comments

Will the real apprentice please stand up

By Mike Collins on the 1st August 2013

I’ve not watched any episodes of this year’s Apprentice. It just hasn’t appealed to me, I set the sky box up and did a series link but I’ve never found the time or had the inclination to sit down and watch the programme. I’ve heard bits and bobs about it from various sources and heard the odd conversation but I’ve not taking much notice of it. I’ve not wanted to. Continue Reading →

April 19, 2013
by Mike Collins
14 Comments

Rebel with a cause

By Mike Collins on the 19th April 2013

Another new experience under the belt. This time a short talk at the PPMA conference (not the Processing and Packaging Machinery Association) rather the Public Sector People Manager’s conference – you can check the #ppmahr13 hashtag for tweets from the day.

This is a quick summary of my session as my wifi is running out but I want to thank Perry Timms for getting me involved and Peter Cook for delivering an inspiring session that I was able to play a part in. Although how you follow someone who plays a guitar round the back of his head beats me.

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