Making HR practice more relevant to get work done with Meirion Gravell

candid craic hr leadership organisation Mar 19, 2021

In this Candid Craic, we talk to Meirion Gravell about his experiences as a Chief People Officer and his mission to make HR practice more contextually relevant to the work being done. Drawing from his experience running HR for the most hated workforce in the UK - Traffic Wardens! - Meirion explains how he adapted Dilts and Bateson's Logical Levels of Thinking into an impactful organisational form.

He especially focuses on trying to strike the right balance between areas of convergence that glue the organisation together, and areas of divergence in which contested ideas and constructive disagreements enable better decision making throughout the organisation.

Meirion looks different ways of approaching organisational development - at the individual, team and organisational level - and his bias for the former. He examines how he shifted away from the simplistic notion that there were people who were bad fits for the organisation towards one in which diverse characters with different beliefs were a strength.

He focuses on how he worked on enabling biodiversity via the surfacing and discussing bad behaviours at leadership level and within teams; how that ensured that bad behaviours that shut down different opinions and ideas could get called out; why not doing so can prevent people from growing and stop organisations from becoming adaptive; and how HR needs to become more confident that this process can develop contextually-appropriate practices that can generate real value in the organisation (rather than buying in best practice solutions that are often based on pretty simplistic, contextually-inappropriate ideas).

00:10 Hello Meirion
00:43 Just what is it that Meirion does?
01:25 The Most Hated Workforce in the UK
05:37 Logical Levels of Thinking
10:15 Divergence and Biodiversity in Organisational Development
20:52 The Processes of Purpose (and its Impact)
26:22 Contested Culture, Constructive Disagreement & Better Decisions
30:43 Problems in HR and Problems With Living
37:38 People, Teams or Organisations: Choose your Arena of Change
40:52 The Importance of Working with Bad Leadership Behaviours
49:30 Classic, Contemporary and Contextual HR Practices
55:55 The Nine Trillion Dollar Question