Friday, 27 March 2015


I thought it might be worth my first blog post bringing people up to date with what's going on in my world, personally and professionally, right now. It's a bit self indulgent but isn't that what a blog is for?

And besides, it creates some context for future posts. 

At home things are great. I've got a wonderful partner who I love dearly. We have a five month old daughter who, during the day, is amazing, but who during the night becomes this creature who just will not sleep more than an hour at a time and who thinks 5am is the best time to start the day fully. My eldest daughter and son are both doing well and the times we all spend together as a family are precious to me. 

Leisure wise things are going ok. I'm pulling back on bowls this year and hardly doing any to enable me to focus on my baby daughter and help my partner whilst she is on maternity leave. But I'm still doing all my triathlons and have entered seven this year spread throughout the summer. If I find an eighth I'll enter that too but it's an expensive and time consuming activity so we will see. Training wise I should be doing 2x 10k runs, 2x one mile swims and 2x 40k bikes a week but most weeks I can only manage half of that. It's enough to keep me competitive but unless I can find more time I don't think I can improve any more. I'm average at triathlons by the way before I get too big headed, but I like them because it's all about putting in effort, training hard, eating well and reaping the results then setting new goals so I like it. I will touch more on this in a future post. 

Work wise it's all going on though. 

For the last 11 years I've been Head of HR and OD at Golden Gates Housing Trust in Warrington. It's been a job I've enjoyed and got a lot from, and I think I achieved a great deal in it. 

That's a bit big headed I admit, but it's my blog so there. 

But from 1 April the job no longer exists, because GGHT becomes a subsidiary of Torus, fusing together GGHT and our St Helens counterparts Helena Partnerships in a new group structure set to benefit the communities of Warrington and St Helens massively. 

So my job has been deleted along with a few others, as new parent company Torus assumes responsibility for strategic HR and OD.

For the past 18 months or so I've been working almost exclusively on Torus related matters anyway, looking at how the new group could be created, and assessing the people related risks and opportunities inherent in bringing two companies together. 

I went through a selection process recently along with the rest of the management tier to place us all in a new role in Torus, and so from next week my role is that of OD Integration Lead within Torus. 

It's a brand new role in a brand new company so in many ways a plethora of new opportunities will present themselves, and it's a role I can largely shape myself as no one has done it before and likely won't again, as its a role with a defined end point. It's a role that looks to have a major impact on what happens to people as they move into, up, through and out of the group and its subsidiaries. It will have a major impact also on the leadership and culture within the new group. And particularly will lead on bringing two HR and OD sections together to create one future focused team, one set of policies and practices that add value to the business, one set of consultation and communication practices, one shared set of IT platforms and solutions from a people management perspective and one common framework for recruiting, developing, rewarding and retaining talented staff. 

Put simply it's got a wide remit and it's one that will challenge and excite me for the duration of the project. 

Blank page? Not quite. I've got two very successful organisations with great practices already, and can't start from scratch entirely. But the future is not fully mapped yet and I will be leading the process to bring these two successful organisations together from a people perspective. 

I'm sure I will also touch on integration in other areas, for example Finance and ICT, as well as contributing to and leading general business change. 

My CV is going to get some serious updating in the next couple of years. 

I'll still be in the same office but spending time at new places too. I'll still see lots of the same people but some new faces too. I'll still be me, but...different focus...different energy. A bit like when the lead character in Doctor Who regenerates, he's the same but different. Maybe this is my regeneration, and I'm certainly going to make the most of it. 

In future posts I will talk about the kinds of projects I'm leading or involved in, and share some of my ideas on how to develop people and organisations. I will also touch on some of my thoughts on how to bring together and align organisations for growth, and my philosophies on personal effectiveness from a range of different angles. 

You might not like it. You don't have to read it. 

But I'd hope you do and feel free to comment or connect with me, I'd love to hear your ideas. 

This is my second blog by the way. A few years back when I was single and involved in dating, I had an anonymous (until now I suppose) blog that charted my experiences in dating and relationships. A lot of it was daft and designed to make people laugh or cringe in equal measure, sharing my disaster stories and bizarre experiences. But at its height it had over 4,000 followers worldwide. If this blog can get even 1% of that I'll be very happy indeed. 

Till next time...

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