Dear Mr Cheese,
I have been a member/fellow of the IPM/CIPD for around 36 years. At first, and until very recently, a proud member. I was IPM tutor at the University of Central Lancashire briefly in the 1980’s and also an external examiner [Training and Development].
Of relevance to this letter, I have led several ‘Investors in People’ change projects, co-authored ‘The Learning Organization in the Public Services’ and been involved with personal development in various forms during the whole of that time. I have co-authored three other books, notably The Coaching Parent and The Coaching Parent Companion. In the 198o’s I also spent four years doing PhD level research on the Learning Organisation. I am a master trainer of NLP [Neuro-Linguistic Programming].
Since 1995 I have run a private psychotherapy and healing practice, working in the late 1990’s with survivors of sex abuse, as a consequence of the police Operation Granite.
I now teach healing.
Some things never leave you. One is an enduring interest in how organisations, and hence society is/are run. Management theories, fads, processes and gimmicks come and go. Self-evidently, processes that work are quickly picked up by the bigger organisations, and are used to ‘win’ against their ‘competition.’ When the ‘competition’ starts using the same processes, and ultimately the processes become mainstream, their effectiveness declines. Another idea then emerges. Some ideas are nothing more than re-packaged theories from 30 years ago.
But there are persistent themes which are almost sacrosanct. The organisation will be more profitable/provide a better service when:
- People are treated with respect and have their needs met
- People are continuously trained and developed to meet organisational and social change
- ‘Leaders’ are identified and nurtured
- Equal opportunity for internal progression exists
- Customers are ‘delighted’
- The ‘best’ people are recruited
What has yet to become integrated with this mantra is ethics, or operating ethically is an unchallenged pre-supposition. Have you noticed in recent years:
- Corporations paying little or no tax?
- Corporations treating employees like robots or slaves, or paying starvation wages overseas?
- Corporations employing prison labour?
- Corporations shamelessly polluting the planet?
- Corporations laundering money of drug cartels?
- Corporations creating ‘austerity’ and condemning whole nations to servitude?
- Corporations defrauding and manipulating customers and in some cases [Cyprus and Ireland] stealing their money?
- Corporations covering up paedophilia in their ranks and in their constituencies?
- Corporations exploiting the sick and disabled through government workfare schemes?
- Corporations exploiting third world food producers?
- Corporations not only poisoning the planet, but creating foods which will kill small farmers, contaminate and destroy organic crops, and eventually kill large swathes of humanity?
- Corporations treating humans as income streams and guinea pigs from birth for their poisonous chemicals, whether ingested [drugs], or forced into the blood stream [vaccinations, chemotherapy]?
- Corporations irradiating people through medical and dental X-rays and body-scanners at airports?
- Corporations making all kinds of armaments, especially those who target civilians [ anti-personnel mines, ‘double-tap’ drones, CS gas, water cannon, rubber bullets, Tasers….]?
- Corporations who build prisons and dictate quotas to local authorities, encouraging incarceration?
- Corporations who push the trans-humanism agenda, softening people up for microchips and other draconian electronic control methods?
- Corporations that modify the weather, spray chemicals daily all over the world into our skies?
- Corporations ignoring health and safety rules, killing employees and getting away with it?
- Corporations making food and drink products full of obesity-causing chemicals, and lobbying governments to sell their wares in schools?
- Corporations that prey on our compassion, getting us to donate to medical ‘research’, knowing cures already exist which would put them out of business?
There are others. However, when you look at the above list, there are few, if any corporate heroes left. Few exemplars, few models of corporate governance.
Unfortunately it gets worse.
If you rig the system so that you are ‘too big to fail’, and you bribe and lobby corrupt governments who dismiss your glaring public incompetence and carry on hiring you, you don’t need ‘talent.’ The only talent you need is in lying and deception. You don’t need to treat your employees well, because your competition is doing the same as you. Better the devil you k now…
And in the public sector, your leaders are trained by the political charity ‘Common Purpose.’ Julia Middleton, the Chief Executive admires a certain Doug Miller:
'You start with clear and defined objectives … Then you establish what the obstacles are … they are usually people. So you have to establish what motivates them, and then decide if you can win them over by the power of the idea … Sometimes, if it gets messy, you might have to run over them, undermine them, go around them or discredit them. As a last resort, you consider bullying them, or buying them off.'
In the USA, and increasingly here in the UK, we have a revolving door of top managers and directors leaving organisations to work in the civil service and politics, and politicians moving the other way.
My local MP, Harriet Baldwin, worked for 20 years at the highest level in JP Morgan Chase, an American ‘Investment Bank’ which boasts the discrediting of one of the world’s greatest geniuses, Tesla on its very dubious CV. And I haven’t space to report on its contemporary activities…
I have always resented the term ‘human resources.’ Since when have people, human beings been a resource? The dictionary definition of the word doesn’t make good reading. No organisation can be created, exist or function without people.
When I changed career from accountancy in 1977 to one which valued, wanted to liberate and develop people, one which optimised the contribution of employees, and gave them satisfaction, self-fulfilment and joy I couldn’t have been more motivated. And in being part of such a discipline, I was instrumental in ensuring these wonderful qualities would inform the experience of customers, rate and tax payers, ‘stakeholders’ and wider society.
The work I do now can be summed up in two words, Truth and Love. Truth is about exposing the lies, corruption, greed and perversion of a corporate global system beyond repair. Love is the answer to everything. Love is about seeing people, not ‘human resources’ through non-judgemental eyes, through eyes of compassion, empathy and a desire to serve.
In the 1960’s-and you may know this-existed a very successful [but doomed to failure for all the reasons above] movement called Organisation Development, or O.D. for short. It was an explicit value-driven process which was designed to create the kind of organisation which the CIPD and the world could hold up to the highest scrutiny.
Their two guiding values? Truth and Love.
I’m not an idealist, or a dreamer. Well, perhaps I am.
I’m sorry, but the CIPD, and all those who I regard as friends and colleagues in the business of helping create a brighter, fairer and more satisfying world are in great danger of becoming irrelevant. The system, to repeat, is beyond repair. You are merely re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. And the Titanic here is either the twisted system I have been documenting, or the age of innocence, freedom and trust when progressive personnel policies made a difference.
The ‘change agents’ who want to make a difference have to disengage from the lost causes, and use their considerable talents to build an alternative.
So it is with regret that I formally resign from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
I would love the CIPD to embrace another model of living, Ubuntu. In my lifetime? I will continue to dream.
May I wish you, your colleagues and the CIPD all the best for the future.
Yours sincerely, Jack Stewart,
And finally, love is ultimately about forgiving the corporate and organisational jackals…