The HR Juggler

Ripples and Waves

Posted on: February 18, 2014

ripple

All of our actions have an effect. Often we don’t know how strong the effect will be until the action has been taken for the first time: whether it will be a small pebble, slipping almost unnoticed into the water’s smooth surface, whether it will be a stone skimming across a lake creating a series of ripples, or whether the ripples gather momentum to form a wave, shifting the landscape around us and our sense of what impact our actions can have.

The beginning of this story is known to most of you. I published a guest blog in January last year, we held an HR for Mental Health event. For me, it has always been not so much those early actions which matter, the short-term reaction to the events that unfolded, but whether and how I can use those actions and the experience to effect tangible change in the business that I work in, even in the smallest of ways. Pressing ‘publish’ on the original blog post was never going to be enough on its own.

We’re now a year on and I’m proud that there are some concrete things that I can report, some ripples that have been created. In early January, my learning and development team and I met with Jon Bartlett to discuss how we could include aspects of mental health and wellness into our management training. Early next month, they, I and another HR colleague are hosting and attending Jon and Charlotte Walker’s (@BipolarBlogger) first Mental Health First Aid training course across two days. Next week, there is a one day mental health awareness course being facilitated for the Heads of HR across my wider organisation, to open a dialogue about the topic, to demystify it and to start to plan what steps and actions we will take elsewhere in the business, however small. I have had some positive conversations about incorporating it into our overall corporate responsibility programme and have been asked to report on what we have done to date and what more is planned.

Ripples start small but they build up, have a cumulative effect. I have learned that if you want change to happen, if you care enough and are in a position to have some influence, sometimes you have to be the one to keep pushing the change, to embody the change and to be the one that continues to bring it up and find a way to make it work. It’s taken me much longer than I might have imagined a year ago, to start to make those ripples and work towards making a wave on my home territory. The important thing though is that it is happening now.

So that’s me, a year on. How about you? And if you are where I was for ages, starting to start conversations, or even just thinking about starting them, knowing that you want to do something more and that your organisation is potentially willing, or might be given the chance….how can I help?

Once you start to make a ripple, it can go a long way… 🙂

6 Responses to "Ripples and Waves"

I knew quite a bit of as I have followed the trail on twitter in particular via Jon’s tweets and blogs. Seeing it expressed in this way is very powerful, it has had an impact – it shows too the importance of linking different and events together as a whole to enable others to see the whole picture.

You also told your own story in all this; it affects us all in different ways. You Jon and others have raised my own awareness and insights which has been so valuable, more than I can express here.

Thanks for your consistent and ongoing support Meg.

The thing about waves is their relentless persistence.

True. That’s a great image and really resonates – thank you

Our words and actions do have a strong impact on people… Thanks for sharing…

Super post Alison. Your first series of HR4MH blogs inspired by Jon’s post gave me the courage to speak openly about my mental health. Since then I’ve run resilience and wellbeing workshops at my org. Last week a colleague approached me, she was struggling, she felt able to approach me, a much senior colleague, because of hearing me talk about my own experiences at that workshop. I can now make sure we give her the support she needs. So yes, the ripples keep spreading and long may they roll. Thank you.

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