The CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) always provokes talking points in the HR profession and has inspired me on numerous occasions to look at what is happening in our industry through fresh eyes.
Looking ahead to this year’s event, ACE will again play a pivotal role in defining our outlook for 2019.
From the opening keynote speech by Rachel Botsman on the new ‘era of trust’ in the workplace, to Sir Lenny Henry’s closing keynote speech on why we need more inclusive workplaces, this year ACE has really hit the mark in addressing topics that are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, not just HR professionals. This year there have been a number of topics which have hit the media that are hugely relevant to the industry, including #MeToo and transgender awareness, and for me this is an incredibly topical ACE and surely a must for HR professionals.
The conference talks are always inspiring and in the past have introduced me to speakers such as Margaret Heffernan, Daniel Susskind and Martha Lane Fox, who I have then followed up by reading their books or following them on Twitter. These are speakers with fresh perspectives and important ideas about where businesses and the world of work should be heading. It is inspirational to think that the HR profession can bring about the change we want to see in organisations.
The conference also provides an opportunity for HR professionals to get on board with the CIPD’s vision for the future. This year the CIPD are releasing their long-awaited new profession map, which they have spent a long time developing with input from experts and CIPD members nationally. This will give us all an idea of where they see the profession heading and the standards we should be aiming for.
As we draw nearer to ACE 2018, I’ve been looking at which talks to attend this year. There are some clear common themes, such as putting the ‘human’ back in HR, the ethics of people management, good leadership, and also some really cutting edge topics such as the risks of data security. I'm also looking forward to seeing Dr Cheung-Judge doing a talk on Organisational Development (OD) being the strategic future of HR on the Wednesday. She is a key name I have come across in the world of OD and is the author of many books and reports on the topic.
From Rachel Botsman to Sir Lenny Henry, and the many inspiring speakers and workshops in-between, ACE promises to be a great couple of days and I can’t wait to join all the HR professionals in Manchester on the 7 and 8 November.