DisruptHR Nottingham – Key Takeaways from a Night of Disruptive Thinking

Earlier this month, we were proud to organise Nottingham’s very first DisruptHR event, with over 80 businesses leaders coming together to discuss disruptive ways to transform HR and the workplace.

The event’s unique format saw a range of expert speakers discuss hot topics in bite-size, five-minute slots, with slides automatically changing every 15 seconds. This rapid-fire approach allowed us to pack in a wealth of ideas, insights and opinions from 13 speakers in just two hours.

If you weren’t lucky enough to be there, don’t worry – here’s a breakdown of the key points discussed, along with links to the full videos for each speaker. Enjoy!

1. Andy Davies, head of global enablement at People First – When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

Andy kicked off the night by raising the point that in our private lives, we are constantly seeking new experiences and challenges – and as a result, we learn, grow, and gain satisfaction along the way. Yet in the context of work, we often do the same thing, over and over, both at a personal and an organisational level. To change this, Andy challenged us to ask ourselves and our colleagues a simple question: when was the last time you did something for the first time?

2. Caroline Mabon, client engagement director at Tribe – Is the Portfolio Career the Future of Work?

Caroline shared her own experience of what it’s like to have a portfolio career – an approach that is fast gaining popularity as people search for increased flexibility, autonomy, and purpose in their work lives. According to Caroline, this approach brings a range of benefits for both the individual and their employers.

3. Jeff Weigh, managing director at Ignite Performance Coaching – Well-Being Through Well-Doing

With the booming popularity of wearable devices and mindfulness apps, employees now have unparalleled insights into their own health and wellbeing. In his talk, Jeff called on employers to better understand their employees’ wellbeing and how it relates to work, starting by asking them what they are already doing – and then reporting on the results, just like you do with financial and performance data.

4. Katrin Kircheis, social and blended-learning specialist at Kika Training – Developing Performance Through Collaborative Learning – Share It Like a Polaroid Picture

According to Katrin, to implement collaborative learning in the workplace, we need to make it a habit – something that is part of everyday life, rather than something happening outside of it or in addition to it.  The key to making this work? Asking people what they want, keeping it human, and sharing ideas.

5. Matt Davies, creative brand strategist at Matt Davies Brand Consultancy – Branding Inside Out

In his talk, Matt explained that branding is essentially about creating meaning in the minds of customers, and the best way to do this is to brand from the inside out. Rather than being merely a logo and a font, Matt states that a good brand should pervade all aspects of a business, from its culture and values to the employee experience.

6. Heather Deland, executive creative director at TMP – How Do You Create an Environment Where Innovation Can Thrive?

A creative by trade, Heather believes that with the right environment and mindset, we can all become more creative in our work, no matter what our job entails. From office layout to the power of saying ‘yes’, her talk was packed full of practical tips to help boost creativity in the workplace.

7. James Blake, people director at Talk Staff Group – A Story of People Success

In his talk, James shared a powerful story about how properly defining the skills, knowledge and behaviours that a business needs from its employees, and then coaching, guiding and engaging talent, can be the difference between success and failure.

8. Mark Williams, chief product officer at People First – Pep Talk: What Man City Do Now That All Workplaces Will Be Doing in 10 Years

As anyone who as seen the Amazon documentary All or Nothing will know, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and his team are ahead of the game. In his 5 minutes, our very own Mark Williams looked at the lessons we can learn from a high-functioning football team – from personalised micro-learning to the idea of joy as a measurement of success – and how they can be applied in the workplace.

9. Rhiannon Stafford, leadership development consultant at Blue Grape Talent – Why HR Should Ditch Employee Engagement Surveys

Have you ever noticed how employee engagement surveys aren’t engaging at all? Rather than wasting our energy on time-consuming bureaucratic initiatives, Rhiannon believes we should focus on the employee experience – after all, your employees will deliver the same level of experience to your customers as they receive in the workplace.

10. David Hall, head of customer support at AppInstitute – Office Smirks, Quirks and Perks

David discussed the importance of humanising the employment lifecycle. This starts by asking interesting and original questions at interview, engaging employees from the start through check-ins, understanding what makes each person tick both inside and outside of the office, and analysing success and failure as a unit.

11. Natalie Ellis, HR consultant and blogger at AHR Consultants – When Is a Good Time to Talk About Men’s Mental Health?

With men under the age of 35 having the highest suicide rate, it’s clear that men’s mental health is a huge societal issue. Yet according to Natalie, there continues to be a stigma attached to it – and as a result, we simply aren’t talking about it enough. Rather than being told to ‘man up’ or ‘grow a pair’, Natalie believes we need to create a work culture where men feel safe to discuss their mental health, free from prejudice or judgement.

12. Emma Maraio, business psychologist at Sorriso Learning, and head of talent at Littlefish – How to Make People Happier at Work – Make Them Care Less

We all know that happy employees are more productive and loyal, but what is the key to happiness in the workplace? According to Emma, we need to ensure that work doesn’t become an all-encompassing, all-defining presence in our lives – and by stepping back just a little bit, we’ll have more time to strike a balance that benefits us both inside and outside of work.

1. Adam Harris, CEO at Fresh Mindset – Remote Workers – Leading Without Selling

Closing the evening, Adam used his 5 minutes to deliver an urgent message: an increasing number of people want to work on their own terms, when and where they choose; and if organisations don’t or won’t offer their people what they want, they’ll lose them for good. Adam stressed the need for organisations to embrace change, agility, and technology – or risk losing everything.

SAVE THE DATE! DisruptHR Nottingham 2.0 is coming and is due to take place on Thursday, September 19th. If you would like to be considered for a key speaker role or would like to attend the evening, please get in touch. 


Ashleigh Soppet - https://people-first.com/

Ashleigh is the Social Media Specialist at People First and one of the organisers of DisruptHR Nottingham.

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