CIPD tough love & reflection
Cheese explains that the CIPD has been on a journey. When he took over the reigns as chief executive, his first priority was to ask some tough questions within the professional body.
This meant going back to basics by talking, listening, challenging, understanding and asking questions of CIPD employees, of its CIPD members, branches, centres, policy makers and other bodies. He asked bold questions such as: ‘Where are we now?’, 'Where do we need to go?’, ‘What are we good at?’, ‘What do we need to improve on and why?’, ‘How are we going to improve?’, ‘How should we re-define our values’?, ‘How are we going to increase our impact and add value’, ‘What are the big policy trends and themes?’, ‘What actions are we trying to take?' and 'What are our action plans moving forward?’.
The next step for Cheese was to digest all this feedback and structure this collective thinking into language that is understandable and easy to articulate. “Everyone thinks the CIPD is a complex organisation, but it’s just about re-aligning the organisation, drawing out the big challenges, clarifying its direction and communicating the new vision by using multiple communication channels to reach all our different stakeholders,” says Cheese.
The CIPD’s core purpose as a membership organisation has been redefined in one sentence as: ‘Championing better work and working lives’.
He says: “We asked ourselves ‘what do we need to do to help HR practitioners develop their jobs? What are the missing pieces in their career development and L&D?’
“We want to position the CIPD to help HR professionals in their career, from student and graduate level – by mapping out skills progression and career paths – to providing continued professional development for senior HR staff.
This includes helping HR learn to deal with the tougher challenges they have to wrestle with, such as what went wrong with corporate cultures and how to deal with whistleblowing through to recruitment and electronic profiling. “We need to be able to facilitate these debates so we can support our members,” says Cheese.