DisruptHR Returns to Nottingham for Another Thought-Provoking Evening

Back in April, we were proud to organise Nottingham’s very first DisruptHR event. That night was such a success that we thought we’d do another!

Like before, the event followed a rapid-fire format, with our 13 guest speakers given just five minutes and twenty slides to present their ideas – that’s a lot of disruptive thinking in just over an hour! And in the process, we managed to raise over £1,000 for local charity Improving Lives.

In case you missed it, here are the key takeaways from the night, including links to videos. Enjoy!

1. Andy Walsh, Owner at 2Huskies – The Problem with L&D

Learning and development is essential to business success. It increases the effectiveness of people, boosts productivity, and helps us stay ahead of the curve – something that is essential in our rapidly changing times.

But as Andy explains, the way we currently approach L&D is often fraught with problems – people see it as dull, ineffective, and expensive! So what’s the answer? According to Andy, we need to do more to show the impact that L&D has at an individual and organisational level, and explain this in terms that everyone understands – better career opportunities, greater rewards, and an improved bottom line.

2. Laura Timms, Product Manager at MHR Analytics – People Analytics: the Value of Putting Your Employee Data in the Driving Seat

Most of us agree that people analytics is now of critical importance, but many businesses still struggle to leverage the power of data to make better decisions. Why is this, and how do we change it?

As Laura explains, businesses are often held back by a lack of relevant skills and knowledge, poor data quality, and an unwillingness to change. As a result, they only scratch the surface of people analytics, missing out on its great potential. For this to change, people need to understand that predictive analytics isn’t a mysterious, futuristic practice, but an essential tool that you can use today – with the right technology.

3. Ben Gallagher, Managing Director at Inrehearsal – How to Embed a Video Learning Culture

Video learning is something we are widely familiar with in our free time – who hasn’t learnt something new on Netflix or YouTube? But what about in the workplace?

In his talk, Ben offered some simple tips for embedding video learning into your organisation, allowing your people to have easy access to high-quality learning content that is engaging, effective, and reusable.

4. Leanne Hagues, People Director at Blue Castle – Mental Health First Aid for All! Building a Mentally Healthy Community

The issue of mental health is finally getting the attention it deserves, but we still have a long way to go when it comes to providing practical help and support for those suffering with poor mental health – particularly in the workplace.

For instance, if you hurt yourself at work, you’d expect a qualified first-aider to be available to help. You wouldn’t just be left there, injured. But can you say the same when it comes to mental health issues? Leanne used her five minutes to make the case for mental health first aid in the workplace, so that those suffering don’t become just another statistic.

5. Sharon Bartlett, Head of Solutions at The Development Shed – Creating a Happy, High-Performing Culture Without a Google-Sized Budget

We all have an innate need to belong. We all want to be part of a tribe that shares a common purpose and a bond of trust – and it has been that way since the dawn of time.

As Sharon explains, the workplace is no different. Employee engagement is not driven by pool tables, ball pits, or other such superficial offerings, but by a need to be a part of a tribe or community – to belong. Sharon’s talk offered some useful tips for creating a workplace culture that unites everyone – no matter how big your budget.

6. Hiten Bhatt, CEO at The Leadership Adventure – Leadership As the World Gets Crazier

It’s fair to say that we live in crazy times. In addition to the environmental and political situation, the workplace is set to change in ways we can hardly predict, fuelled by the rise of artificial intelligence. As such, the need for human leadership has never been more important.

To deliver leadership that is fit for the future of work, Hiten suggests that we need to look within. He discusses the need for learning agility, emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence, and servant leadership, all of which come from one thing – self-awareness.

7. Mark Williams, Senior Vice President of Product at People First – Love + Sex with Robots

If you’re wondering about the title of this talk, it actually comes from a book by David Levy, which Mark used as a jumping-off point to discuss a rather interesting idea: by 2050, some of us will be marrying robots.

While that might sound far-fetched, you could argue that the wheels are already in motion – people are becoming pickier in relationships, more isolated and closed off, and more interested in technological solutions that make life ‘easier.’ What might sound crazy to us could be normal for our children.

8. Hannah Rogers, Director at Workmatters – Reimagining Organisations as Communities

In her talk, Hannah discussed the subject of community and how it relates to engagement. With 89% of the workforce not engaged in their work, it’s clear that the vast majority of employees’ psychological needs are not being met.

To counter this, Hannah suggests that we need to create work environments that concentrate on the human experience. That means replacing the old structures and processes that are failing us, and replacing them with more human ones based around a sense of community.

9. Lee Bown, Managing Director at Recart – Why You Don’t Do What You Think You Want to Do

People spend most of their time in their comfort zones – after all, that’s where we feel relaxed. Leaving your comfort zone can be scary, but it can also be exciting. In many cases, you have to move through the former to enjoy the latter.

On top of this, we tend to get more of what we focus on. So, if you focus on fear, uncertainty, or threat, those are the things you’ll see – and you’ll probably avoid leaving your comfort zone as much as possible. But if you focus on excitement and adventure, that will become your reality. As Lee points out, the key to making better decisions – in work and in life – is to know that you are in control of how you view situations.

10. Louise Hallam, Owner at Still Calm – Achieving Success with Ease

Sickness absence costs businesses a small fortune in lost productivity, with the top-two causes of long-term absence being mental health and stress. So how do we tackle these issues? Louise suggests a practical yet simple solution: mindfulness.

Mindfulness perhaps suffers from an image problem. Some people see it as a new-age fad, while others argue that they don’t have time to just do ‘nothing.’ But in fact, mindfulness is a tried and tested way of reducing stress, regaining focus, and improving mood. It’s no surprise that some of the world’s biggest organisations have already adopted mindfulness programs. What about yours?

11. Richie Maddock, Director at Lynchpin & Associates – Unwritten Ground Rules (UGRs) – Have They Become Your Elephant?

Why do we do things the way we do them? And perhaps more importantly, what is driving that ‘why’? According to Richie, the answer is people’s perceptions. That means the way we interpret what we see, hear, and feel.

People’s perceptions of the way things are done in the workplace are what Richie calls UGRs, or unwritten ground rules – the underlying behaviours that we conform to, but which we rarely question. To improve workplace culture, we first need to understand the negative UGRs that are causing harm, and address them.

12. Anika Vassell, Working-Parent Consultant at Teen Behaviour – How Hard Are Teenager Hitting Your Bottom Line?

There are many factors that can negatively impact a business’s bottom line, but Anika discussed one that you may not have considered before: teenagers. As part of her own research, Anika found that 40% of parents suffered a decline in their mental health when their first child reached adolescence, with a direct impact on their performance and attendance at work.

So, what’s the answer? Anika suggests that we need to support employees through the stresses of parenthood in an open and non-judgemental way, and give them the tools they need to tackle such issues.

13. Tim Elliott, Head of Marketing at Growth Marketers – Businesses, Cities & Ecosystems

In his talk, Tim makes the interesting point that businesses are like cities, in that they are human-centred ecosystems. For its inhabitants to remain content and engaged, a city needs social spaces, education, commercial centres, transport, leisure, and culture. These are the ingredients of a healthy ecosystem – and the workplace is no different.

To build a healthy ecosystem, businesses must study the inhabitants – i.e. their employees. That means looking at issues such as diversity, abundance, and activity. Armed with this data, you can go about creating a culture that drives economic growth.

If you missed the latest DisruptHR event, don’t worry – it won’t be the last! We’re always looking for disruptive thinkers to talk at future events, so if you are interested in being a speaker, get in touch via the social media links below.


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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