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HR Talks proves HR can be innovative

Delegates gathered in London yesterday for the first HR Talks event, a collaborative forum organised by HR magazine.

Speakers included Adrian Furnham, professor of psychology at University College London, and Dr Benjamin Reid from the Big Innovation Centre, who argued over the necessity of creativity in businesses. Furnham said that wanting more creative people at work was "mad and wrong" and urged companies to "get rid of [their] creatives and have a chief espionage officer who finds ideas instead."

Replying to him, Reid argued that economic growth was going to come from that "creative spark". "Keep creativity, but ditch the idea of a lone genius," he added.

Other innovative practices discussed at the event were talent programmes at A&N Media, part of the Daily Mail and General Trust, and Hastings Direct, the use of technology at Birmingham City Council and ground-breaking engagement and recognition schemes at Merlin Entertainments and Amicus Horizons.

Kicking off the event, Darren Hockaday, HR director of London Overground, discussed the importance of visible and authentic leadership to drive engagement. "You need to make yourself as visible as possible to everyone in your organisation," he said.

He also explained how he dealt with the ever-present threat of industrial action. "You need to rehearse, rehearse and rehearse with the unions," he said. "You can't be too prepared."

For the full story of the HR Talks, check out March's issue of HR magazine.