Editor Charlie Duff brings you the highlights from the CIPD annual conference

Jim Collins just delivered his keynote with great energy and panche. Those familar with his work will recognise some of the themes he explored with humour and magnetism. He even set homework for the delegates in Manchester. The highlights were:


Organisations are more likely to die of over-opportunity than concentrating on too little.


When you are 65 you are one third of the way through your usefulness. The younger generation are inspired but have lived though mostly good times. Give the youngsters responsibility early and they will respond.

The three circles

Concentrate on where these overlap:


1. Conduct diagnostics (available for free at jimcollins.com)

2. Each time financials are discussed, review what percentage of your key seats are filled with the right people. Is this percentage going up or down?

3. Build a personal board of directors, for you. Do not pick these people on success but personality

4. Turn off your gadgets. Take time to think – clear three days of while thinking space in your calendar every two weeks (gasps were heard at this point)

5. Up your questions to statement ratio: ask more questions, make fewer statements

6. Focus on the centre of the three overlapping circles and do not allow focus outside them

7.Replace titles with responsibilities in your organisation

8. Rearticulate and recommit to your values and do not compromise on them

9.Start ‘stop doing lists’. You have ‘to do lists’ already: these are equally important

10. Your Big Hairy Audacious Goals are what keep you going even when things are tough. Ensure these are 15-20 years in the future.

Finally, do not think about your success, or focus on your survival. Think about how you can be useful and of use to others. Do something useful.