Peering into the Future, and we found some real stars!


01 Jul 2017

Now close to its fifth yearly cohort, PPMA and Penna can look back at ‘Peer into the Future’ the modular HR/OD programme for current HRD’s and aspiring talent and say ‘Hooray! It’s been a great success and we have met some inspirational HR future leaders who have a wealth of energy and drive to support a modern public sector ethos!’ 

There have been 70 Peers so far, each enjoying 6 modules focused on their self-development and some of the key challenges for the sector – commercialism, organisational development and transformation, social care and health integration, trading arms, new models of delivery and the future of the public sector.  We have had the support of Waitrose, Aldi, Toyota and Kier Housing as we look at the different ways of operating in a HR or OD environment as well as some high profile Chief Executives and Directors who have given generously of their time to support the programme.

We hold a Peer Alumni twice a year so that the networking and learning can continue for previous cohorts. Again, some really great insights into cross sectorial practice from high profile speakers have been important to maintain the momentum of challenge, build self-confidence and consider the bigger picture of change for the sector.

This year we have also launched ‘Peer of the Year’ to truly celebrate the success of one of the Peer’s in their organisations or across the wider public sector. The winner will be announced at the PPMA Seminar in Bristol at the end of April 2017, so watch this space.

It’s so easy in HR (as with other professions) to get into the weeds of the transactions and operations – employee relations, restructurings etc. – that you forget to think about the bigger world out there.  So Peer is about the strategic role that HR and OD needs to play in the sector and getting our future talent in the right place. Peer of the Year celebrates the ability to do this and make an impact in your business.

So that’s enough from me – time to hear from those who have made Peer a focus for their personal development, career journey and have experienced its impact for themselves:

Sandra Farquharson -the newly appointed interim Head of HR at Bristol City Council
‘The Peer into the Future Programme provided a unique opportunity to hear the latest thinking in the public and private sector. Visiting large private sector organisations and learning about the challenges and successes of these companies, provided valuable insight into HR solutions that could also be used within the public sector. It was a great opportunity for networking and sharing’.

Victoria Tricarico – Director of Human Resources, Creative Education Trust
‘I was extremely fortunate to be part of the Peer programme whilst I was Head of People and Change at Haringey Council.  The programme was a fantastic opportunity to learn from some really inspirational speakers about their leadership experiences, as well as network with other HR professionals from across a range of industries’.

Selena Lansley – Head of Workforce, LGA
As a member of the first cohort in 2013/14 I gave it a 5 star rating. The development opportunity came at the right time having spent my first year heading up the workforce improvement programme and pay framework for London Councils.

Four years on I reflect on the value of the personal insights, business knowledge, tools and ideas, contacts and overall the confidence to develop my own leadership style. I am proud to have been recently selected to head up the LGA workforce team supporting councils. I have promoted and recommended the programme to colleagues who like me have put the learning into practice resulting in accelerated career progression’.

Felicity Davies – HR Service Centre Manager - Warwickshire County Council
‘I am on the current cohort of Peer into the Future and I am finding this really invaluable to me.  It’s great to have some protected time away from the office to focus on my development and some thinking space.  All of the presenters have been inspirational and have absolutely captured my attention with their ‘story’.  It’s really great having successful HR leaders and Chief Executives talking openly and honestly about the challenges they face in their roles and being able to map some of their skills back to the work we did about skills and behaviours of a great leader. The networking in the cohort is also excellent, this has helped me develop my network and the engagement between the group members is very good.

Caroline Nugent, HR Director OneSource and VP PPMA
‘I was lucky to have the chance to attend the very first cohort of Peer into the Future.  The allowed me the ‘headspace’ to get out of the day job and look at what else was going on.  The fact that speakers were prepared to give us real situations they have had to handle really allows you to understand how complex a world we work in! I have also been able to attend the fascinating alumni events with some top class speakers from private, third and public sectors which continue to make me think and push for ideas.  The fact I have subsequently become a Director (and others have been promoted since attending) is testament to the opportunity of having the high level strategic space.  As incoming President of the PPMA I am committed to supporting the programme and encouraging our next leaders!’

Sue Evans, PPMA President
Anyone aspiring to advance their career to a senior role in HR or anyone already in role but looking to extend and develop their strategic thinking and ideas should really enrol in Peer into the Future. It is a great opportunity to network and to engage with Chief Executives and experienced HRDs around hot topics and future thinking. The programme will give you the Strategic head space to really consider the future of HR, the future of work and the future of workforce across public services. Above all, it will challenge you to think about your role now and in the future. With a broad range of topics and an even broader range of contributors this is the programme that will give you the confidence to lead HR’

Cohort 5 of Peer into the Future begins on Thursday 21st of September 2017 and we are accepting applications until the 31st of July 201.

If you would like to find out more download our application pack here, which includes information about how to apply or email to find out more.

Yvonne Skingle
Director – Penna
PPMA Policy Board member