Paragraph published in Human Resource Development by David Megginson, Paul Banfield and Jennifer Joy-Matthews, second edition, 1999, Kogan Page.

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Authenticity and HRD for the New Millennium

By Tony Page

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I have just looked back in time (with help from Bill Gate's encyclopedia), to see that 1000 years ago we were in the dark ages. There was serfdom, hunger, cold, poverty, disease...and we were emerging from centuries of stagnation. Europe apparently stood on the edge of an unprecedented period of development.

Coming to our present time, I notice echoes from the past and I wonder how far have we really moved. There is still hunger, poverty, disease in the world. We are still on the brink of something (hopefully positive!) in Europe. Relatively recently (industrial revolution) we have seen the arrival of the job...and through recent painful restructurings, many of our assumptions about organisations, people and jobs are now being challenged and overturned.

My father became a management trainer in the late 1960s. Since then we have had an almost exponential growth in HRD activities and budgets and I sense a growing awareness of human psychology in the workplace as I meet more and more emotionally intelligent managers. But the indications are that our organisations are still accessing only a fraction of the potential wisdom, creativity and energy available from people. I still notice mixed messages from business leaders, saying for example, we want to win our people's hearts and minds, and at the same time treating people as if they had no hearts or minds. This for me is the context for today's HRD.

I believe our HRD role is to dismantle some of the artificial barriers between people, and within people, and bring out their intelligence. First between people: our organisations lock people in boxes with labels, such as customer, employee, supplier, manager, shareholder...and then treat them as if that is all they are. We do not harvest the shared wisdom that is available in each person to person relationship. Second, within people: each of us holds alot of ourselves back to survive in the intense, driven, oppressive, judging cultures of organisations undergoing change. How much of our true dream, motivation, skill and talent can then get accessed through our work?

Perhaps this helps to explain why I have settled on a single word, authenticity, as an aspiration (although not always achieved!) for each conversation I have as I work in the field of HRD. If I can be authentic and encourage others to be, then I think we expand the possibility. Far from being "nice to have", I believe authenticity directly enhances team and organisational performance, and that in competitive labour markets, where people move employers regularly, authentic cultures may become the attractors of talent in the years ahead. After all, would anyone sensible want to work anywhere else?

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-----Original Message-----

From:        Jenny JOY-MATTHEWS [SMTP:J.Joy-Matthews@shu.ac.uk]

Sent:         09 July, 1998 4:19 PM

To:           tonypage@dircon.co.uk

Subject:    Re: RE: RE: Book quote - please

Thanks it is stunning!

I will let you have a copy of the chapter when we have put it together,

thanks once again

Jenny

 

 

-----Original Message-----

From:        tonypage [SMTP:tonypage@dircon.co.uk]

Sent:         09 July, 1998 2:27 PM

To:           'Jenny JOY-MATTHEWS'

Subject:    RE: RE: Book quote - please

Jenny

Well here it is.

Sorry if it's a bit long. Trust you'll edit as necessary. I'd like to see the end result in context. Could you send me a copy of the proof of the chapter in which it appears?

Glad you found inspiration in D of a CA and I hope what appears below does not disappoint. I enjoyed writing it!

Please send my regards to David.

I'd appreciate any comments/feedback.

Tony

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-----Original Message-----

From:        Jenny JOY-MATTHEWS [SMTP:J.Joy-Matthews@shu.ac.uk]

Sent:         08 July, 1998 11:37 AM

To:           tonypage@dircon.co.uk

Subject:    Re: RE: Book quote - please

Tony thanks for replying so promptly

1 The deadline is asap Dave is trying to extend it but I guess next

week would be great!! (well for the editor if not the rest of us!!)

2 One normal sized paragraph would be ideal

3 I found your comments about authenticity to be really useful and I

would like you to write on that.

I hope that this helps and look forward to hearing from you

thanks in advance

Jenny

 

 

-----Original Message-----

From:        tonypage [SMTP:tonypage@dircon.co.uk]

Sent:         07 July, 1998 2:38 PM

To:           'Jenny JOY-MATTHEWS'

Subject:    RE: Book quote - please

Jenny

Thanks for your EMail. Yes in principle. 3 questions:

1. What's the deadline

2. How many words

3. What could you imagine me saying in this short para (give me a clue to fire my imagination!)

Tony

-----Original Message-----

From:        Jenny JOY-MATTHEWS [SMTP:J.Joy-Matthews@shu.ac.uk]

Sent:         06 July, 1998 11:09 AM

To:           tonypage@dircon.co.uk

Subject:    Book quote - please

Hello

I am re-writing a book Magginson, Joy-Matthews and Banfield HRD for

Managers Kogan Page and would like to end with quotes from notable

people, We have found your Diary of a change agent to be inspirational

and wondered if you would write a paragraph about authenticity and hrd

for the new millenium?

Dave Megginson sends his best regards,

Do let me know if you will be able to provide a quote, as usual the

deadline is very tight. I look forward to hearing from you and thanks

for insights that have changed my view on a variety of things!

Jenny

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