I’m at the CIPD conference this week. Hope to see a few of you there, in the meantime here’s something a little different to kick off my time here in Manchester.

Many, many, many months ago I was invited to give the closing talk and a song at Workplace Trends 2012. I agreed, even though I’ve not performed a song in conference for a while – it all seemed so far away, saying yes was easy…

The event approached and I prepared my talk like crazy. I love to practice, practice, practice these things, and simultaneously I love to leave spaces in the flow. Spaces where spontaneity can and will occur, spaces where I can reference other things I’ve learned at the event, spaces in the flow are vital for me to be able to give my best. The certainty of uncertainty. The talk seemed to go well and soon you can be the judge as I’m in the process of editing a short film of it – watch this space.

I also prepared a song about work, a piece that Neil Usher wrote the lyrics for. I’ve played this song a couple of times previously and never quite got to grips with it, so for this event I was determined to crack it. I practiced, practiced, practiced, and although I felt I was getting better at delivering the song, I still wasn’t happy with it. So in the end, I decided to apply a similar ‘leave spaces’ theory to the song, as I do for a talk. What this meant was that in the moment, as I nervously played the song, I fiddled with the tune and I also left a verse out. No one knew apart from me – but what the good people at Workplace Trends got was a one off.

Here’s a link to the song in case you fancy a listen. I took a big risk with this and I think it worked, judging by the reaction at the finish, the audience appreciated it.