Hibberd, G. (2009), "PPMA Conference: World class people management; purpose, passion and performance, Manchester, UK, 29 April-1 May 2009", Strategic HR Review, Vol. 8 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/shr.2009.37208eac.001Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
PPMA Conference: World class people management; purpose, passion and performance, Manchester, UK, 29 April-1 May 2009
Article Type: Resources From: Strategic HR Review, Volume 8, Issue 5
Gillian HibberdGillian Hibberd is president of PPMA.
Managers across the public sector met in Manchester at the Public Sector People Manager’s Association’s (PPMA) annual conference. This year the conference focused on three keys areas of world-class people management – purpose, passion and performance. In the same way that we hear people speak of the trinity that is mind, body and soul, people managers should be looking at purpose, passion and performance to get through the unchartered territory we face in the current economic downturn.
The event featured people management experts, including David Ulrich, professor of Business at the University of Michigan and HR guru, Jackie Orme, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), David Fairhurst, senior vice president of McDonald’s restaurants, Vance Kearney, vice president (EMEA) Oracle and Dr L Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge, director of Quality and Equality Ltd.
The economic downturn was a common theme throughout the conference – but rather than taking a doom and gloom look at the challenges that HR faces, speakers offered managers practical ideas about the tools needed to get them through a tough climate.
1 Achieving organizations’ strategic goals
To kick off the key speaker note session, Dr L. Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge looked at the ways that organizations can achieve their strategic ambitions in a fast changing world. According to Cheung-Judge organizations must create sustainable and effective transformational change by igniting imagination and passion and developing the right psychological climate. By creating a positive buzz and sustainable energy, managers will help to engage employees and grow a community of change advocates who will challenge the underlying issues that can sometimes act as barriers to organizational success.
2 World-class people management
David Ulrich looked at world-class people management and argued that high performance is the key to organizational success. In times of recession it is a perfect time to weed out the under-performers and progress exceptional talent. High performers and an engaged workforce will grow the business and deliver nothing but results. In order for this to happen the HR function must be in line with the business needs or else people management strategies will fail.
3 Steering your organization though a downturn
With frequent mentions of the green-shoots of recovery, many organizations may be prematurely looking forward to better times and thinking the worst is over. However, Vance Kearney offered advice to those who still think the worst may be yet to come and provided tips for managers who are looking at ways to effectively steer their organization through a downturn. Not preparing for a downturn can have disastrous consequences and businesses, like in the cases of death and taxes, should prepare for the worst. Plans should be put in place now so that if businesses are hit they can react quickly and effectively with limited negative impact to people management specialists.
Overall, for people managers, the key to success and a brighter future in a difficult climate is to adapt, be daring, flexible, supportive, resilient and slick. Processes should become more streamlined and efficient. Bureaucracy should be stripped out of organizations and a clear focus on priorities be maintained in order to drive top performance.