A world away

Just over a week ago I landed in stormy London for three and a half weeks of collaborative projects, networking, knowledge sharing, speaking and touristy things. To say it’s been a whirl wind is a bit of an understatement. Thus far I’ve been involved in a People Management round table discussion, an HR Society dinner, a talk at Westminster university on employment branding using social media and, the pinnacle of it all, attending CIPD13 and meeting in real life the awesome people that I’m connected with on social media.

I can’t say I have much to compare the CIPD conference too but what really stands out for me is the use of social media. I have not attended the paid sessions but am able to follow them through the tweet stream and the blogs – this is very cool. Add to this all the great conversations I’ve been involved in over the past week about HR and social media and there is a definite shift in the world of social HR – namely it becoming fundamental to what we do.

I have also been struck by how far away New Zealand is both geographically, obviously (causing some homesickness), and in social thinking. There is so much to learn here and I’m excited about bringing great tools back home with me. But, in saying that, there are always improvements. Social media requires HR to move out of their comfort zone and learn new way of doing things. If you’re an avid social media user you’re probably comfortable with it. But are you still challenged by it? I mean the tool not the content. So, how are you helping others become comfortable? Because therein lies the real accomplishment.

For all the great content and people over here, the most exciting conversation I had today was with a fellow kiwi. We live on other sides of the country so it was quite coincidental that HRINZ National President, Rachel Walker was also in Manchester for the CIPD conference and it was fabulous to catch up with her to talk and be challenged. There are exciting things ahead for the HR profession in New Zealand. The UK is on to it social wise, but the blank slate opportunities at home excite me more. Yup, it’s a cliche. Home truly is where the heart is.

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