Me: Mum, i’m so ill.

Mum : Have you prayed?

Me: Are you fucking joking? I’m dying!

Mum: If you’re swearing then you must be fine.

Me: Really? As a qualified medical practitioner that’s your answer?

Mum: Jesus loves you!

Me: I wonder if you really retired as you state or whether you were you actually dismissed.


As I stated earlier, contributing to the development of others is fundamental to me as a human being and my success as a HR practitioner. My operational heads/Directors seem to really enjoy my honesty and my facial expressions when they’re asking for the absolutely ridiculous.  I mean I’m flexible but there have been occasions when exasperated I’ve said “Look Mike, here are 4 options. Option 1 carries the least risk, Option 2 will be tricky, Option 3 is risky but we can find a way if you insist and Option 4 I will not be defending the organisation in court for.”

I believe in empowering managers to make good decisions about the people that have a salaried responsibility to in a way that doesn’t expose the business to unnecessary risk. It’s important to me when unpicking a mistake to get to the bottom of how we got to this point. What I have found in my experience is that often the outcome isn’t wrong but the issue lies in the methodology. In order to make any long lasting change as an advisor, influencer or negotiator, it’s important to understand an individual’s reasoning because once you’ve understood this it’s easier to troubleshoot and coach effectively rather than just quote policy. At times the latter may be necessary as a first step but not always if you want to impart career spanning lessons. It’s all about hearts and minds.

I’ve seen HR professionals become overly abrupt when a manager has made a mistake which for me defeats a huge objective of our function. If we scare rather than support them they’ll either go around us or defer all responsibility for decisions involving their people to us. Given this huge push for the HR function to be more strategic can you see how our own behaviours can sometimes limit this achievement? I do know that at times it can be a tight balance with that and managing risk particularly depending on sector and social duty.


I freaking love HR!!! Even though it’s been the only profession I’ve been in I think it’s the best, especially when done effectively. I thrive on being a people specialist and the keeper of the corporate conscience. I mean park the HR toolkit for a moment, we all know the impact that unsuccessful working relationships have on office culture and ultimately the all important bottom line. That’s is why relationship management in addition to the daily grind of generalist HR activity gets me so excited. For some reason I don’t shy away from difficult conversations and often encourage people (safely of course, I’m not ripping a nail trying to stop a fist fight!) to have it out.

Veering slightly to the left, following non attendance at a rescheduled disciplinary hearing in my younger HR days, I had to confirm the outcome to “terminate the employment contract forthwith” in writing to an employee who we’d previously established  had learning difficulties and struggled to read. I was very conscious when drafting this letter to ensure it was worded in a way that he understood. The organisation had no interest in moving on from Shakespearean language to simplify the template and I was gobsmacked at the absolute steadfast rigidity.  I felt so bad that after I was sure he had received it I called him to make sure he understood to be told that he had to take it to his mums house for her to read it.

I love the fact that my skills and expertise help develop solid people managers. I especially  love the ones who are rather militant initially who’d email me saying ” I wanna fucking get rid of him NOW!” to subsequently calling me saying “what’s the least riskiest way to sack him?” Still not quite perfectly phrased but progression nonetheless in that at the very least they weren’t putting said thoughts in writing. It’s one of the first things I establish with my managers.  Let’s face to face or call me and vent, I appreciate the honesty (and there is nothing that endears me to a person more than hearing them swear btw) and I can work backwards to get a safe result but don’t you dare email me anything you don’t want read out in court!


If you’re confused by the blog title don’t be alarmed, its typical me. To try and  explain it though, I’m an Human Resources professional although I think the profession should be re-branded as Resourceful Humans.  That’s what we want…right? Given the ever changing face of commerce  I’m sure some of you would agree HR is due another face-lift or at least a few milliliters of dermal filler.

The bolox context is twofold.

1 – although I intend to write about HR I have a tendency to drift; constantly, so this captures everything and anything non HR related

2 – it’s an ode to my secondary schools days when me and my partner in crime would run into other classrooms, open the door and scream it out loudly and wait to be chased down the corridor by a teacher.

I was a bit of a wild child in my younger days but hey, it was all in the name of side splitting laughter!

My friends and colleagues have always encouraged me to write and although I love it, like most of my creative talents, it doesn’t take much to start becoming a chore. People that know me often say reading my work feels like they’re having a conversation with me.  My blog entries will not be lengthy. No sir-ee!! Honestly, because I can’t be bothered but mainly because I prefer to read snippets, have a ki-ki (giggle) and wait for the next update.

In a previous role I used to call them Friday funnies which I used to email to my HR team every Friday afternoon whilst we were managing the tail end of a 3 year transformation project that we knew would end with our demise. Great times! I started it as a pick me up then I got a bit annoyed when from Friday morning  I’d be bombarded with calls, emails  and texts asking where it was and what time to expect it and then once being asked for it by my HR Director when I was bunged up in bed. The pressure!