Aiming to plug the commercial hole

In the interests of ‘not throwing rocks’, I think it is appropriate for me to respond to Duncan Brown’s letter (Personnel Today, 11 January).

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has a difficult job responding to the needs of 120,000 members, and inevitably there will be dissatisfactions among the membership. However, the research I have undertaken over the past five years indicates a gap that needs filling.

Many senior HR people tell me there is no meaningful forum for them to meet with their peers to discuss the ‘real’ issues, and to properly address their concerns. There is a vacuum in terms of the development offered for senior HR people, particularly on the commercial orientation of the HR role. They do not consider that either of these issues has been properly addressed by the CIPD.

My work over the past five years has tried to address both of these issues, and has involved the help of many HR professionals. We reached the stage last year where we had created a Commercial Added Value development platform for senior HR people, and 14 of them spent most of the year working with me to evaluate this approach.

Early in 2004, we approached the CIPD with a view to helping to evaluate this pilot project; it declined. In December 2004, I wrote to Brown, inviting the CIPD to participate. Brown’s response was that he gets many such requests and is inevitably constrained by the “why are you working with them not us” response.

I would be delighted if the CIPD chose to join our venture. There is a passion and belief in our Commercial Added Value HR Network that we are able to raise standards in our profession, and we have developed some simple, but powerful, approaches that can help to achieve this.
While we can make a lot of headway under our own steam, it would be great to have the opportunity to collaborate with the CIPD.

Neil Griffin
Commercial Added Value HR Network

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