CIPD ACE 2022: A bolder future for the people profession

CIPD CEO Peter Cheese underlined the importance of collaboration and the continued investment in HR and people practices at the opening of this year’s annual CIPD conference and exhibition.

Robert Peston and Peter Cheese CIPD ACE 2022

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This year’s keynote address and discussion, with broadcaster Robert Peston, set a distinctly international tone from the outset of the CIPD's two-day conference held in Manchester.In a wide-ranging discussion of geopolitical headwinds, it emphasised HR and global mobility's key role in building trust and delivering the ESG agenda.
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International relevance of CIPD ACE 2022

Welcoming 1,300 delegates and a return to pre-pandemic attendance levels, Mr Cheese extended a special welcome for the 200 international delegates who are participating either in person or online from Iceland, Canada, Ukraine, Poland, Belgium, Ireland Ghana, Azerbaijan and the Middle East.“It’s great to see such a room full of people again,” said Mr Cheese. “Particularly now as we go through great change."The more we strengthen our community, the more this will help us all grow our profession and improve the world of work. The things we are trying to do as a community are what we are trying to extend internationally as well.”

Building better across the profession

Mr Cheese reiterated the importance of collaborating with colleagues in HR, as well as elsewhere in the business and across its functions, as he introduced the four conference themes of:
  1. being a better employer and championing good work
  2. attracting and retaining the right people
  3. reimagining leadership and management
  4. building skills and capabilities in a fast-moving world.
“We worry so much about everyone’s skills and capabilities, but the more we learn, share and connect the more agile we can be,” said Mr Cheese.“We are living in a world where there are many different approaches. It takes courage to innovate, experiment and try. There are many ways to respond to today’s challenges.”

What’s next for HR and global mobility?

The Covid-19 pandemic put HR and people front and centre of the business agenda. Today, HR, global mobility and the people profession is still dealing with the aftermath.From remote working to the great rethink, reskilling and retention, and global skills shortages, people are critical to how businesses ride out the recession and this period of high inflation.To put this into context and offer a glimpse beyond the current state of permacrisis in the UK, Peter Cheese welcomed award-winning ITV journalist, Robert Peston, to the platform to help pick out the key trends and geopolitical influences he sees informing the international management, global people and HR agenda for the months ahead.Despite the bleak events of the past 12 months, Robert Peston ended with an upbeat message that the fundamentals, like purpose, trust and transparency, remain unchanged while everything else might be beyond our control.“The companies that do best are those that invest in difficult times in people, kit and operations. It’s a bit like Liverpool FC. It sees a downturn happening and can see the upturn coming. There’s always an opportunity.”

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