The HR Juggler

Posts Tagged ‘Advent


So, here it is! Happy 1st December and welcome to the Advent Blogs 2013! The theme this year is Stories and Stakes…let’s see where it takes us :).

There is something incredibly special for me about curating these posts and they really do seem to have a power above and beyond what you might expect from a group of people sharing their experiences and reflections in one place.

I am also delighted to let you know that the hugely talented, creative and kind Simon Heath is joining me as co-collaborator and Chief Creative Officer on this year’s series and that he will produce a bespoke image for each daily post. I am very touched by his generosity in being a part of this project and am already enjoying seeing the fabulous images he is creating.

AdventBlogs1 AdventBlogs2

It is fitting that the first post of the series is written by Simon himself, my collaborator extraordinaire. You can find him on Twitter @SimonHeath1 or via his excellent blog. I really can’t recommend him highly enough!


All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possibleT. E. Lawrence

Day 1

I am grateful to the very lovely Alison Chisnell for allowing me the opportunity to contribute to this annual series of blog posts. The theme for this year’s series is “Stories and Stakes” and Alison additionally challenged participants to identify their stakes in the ground.  The phrase “stakeholders” gets bandied about an awful lot these days. It’s more evidence of the continual labelling of people, an effort to neatly box them up, part of the lexicon of taxonomy for the working world. Everybody has a stake in the great game of work – the disenfranchised; the unemployed; the self-proclaimed revolutionaries; NEETs; apprentices; interns; bloggers and commentators; consultants; politicians; clock-watchers; CEOs; HR; FM; banks; bakeries; technologists; astronomers and astrologers; scientists and soothsayers; environmentalists and entrepreneurs; every man, woman and child on the planet.

The predicted Mayan apocalypse never came to pass in 2012. However, we did witness the apotheosis of the seismic financial crisis and, with the dawning of 2013, the appearance of some fragile green shoots of recovery. The danger now is that these green shoots will turn out to be merely the re-growing heads of the hydra that brought us so very close to the brink of the fiscal cliff. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got. 2013 should therefore have been an opportunity for us to examine what went wrong and take steps to ensure we don’t make the same mistakes again. For those of us who concern ourselves with making work better and in making better working lives to confront and call out bad practice, unethical and immoral behaviour and to propose how business might be made more socially useful.

Wikipedia describes Advent thus: Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”.   The changes required to truly, equitably re-shape work are societal and systemic. 2013 has indeed been a year of waiting. Of waiting and of talking; procrastination and prevarication. The modern day prophets of the workplace comfortably share a platform with the very businesses that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Like all good works of fiction, the Bible contains some insightful commentary. In this case the evils of commerce and those who practise it at the expense of others. The main character, Jesus, makes a whip of cords and drives them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he pours out the coins of the money-changers and overturns their tables. A better way of going about our working lives is not some spiritual crusade. It is grounded in practical actions and in the taking of personal responsibility in making it so.

So, at this time of Advent, I’m using my stake to draw a line in the sand. The time for talk is past. The waiting must end. We’ve had our hackathons, we’ve read the strange truth about what motivates us, we’ve figured out who moved our bloody cheese, we’ve seen a better way to do the myriad things we know still have to be done, we know meetings are a waste of time and email a drain on productivity. We know our education system is broken and doesn’t prepare our children for the world of work. We have a multitude of tools at our disposal. We’re connected like never before. Our time has come. Our time to act.



Today’s wonderfully festive post is written by Bina Briggs and offers a wholly different perspective on Christmas. It is a pleasure to connect regularly with Bina on Twitter and I am always struck by her kindness, humility, wisdom and her willingness to engage in conversation and support others. You can find her to at @PlainTalkingHR and over at her website.

Christmas was just something that happened in other parts of the world, until I was given a box of chocolates by a work colleague on my very first Christmas in the UK, after being in the country for 2 months.

That year we didn’t celebrate Christmas at home because we didn’t anyway, but were just amazed by everything that was going on around us!

The following year, Mum, my sister and I were drawn into this whole Christmas thing of celebrations at our respective places of work for Mum and me and at school for my young sister. So it was almost natural for us to have a small tinsel Christmas tree in our rented rooms and buy small presents for each other and watch the Queen on the TV on Christmas day!

Thus began our/my love for Christmas and everything to do with it and have never looked back! I love the glamour, the glitter, buying presents, decorations, the music, the food and most of all, spending and sharing the time with my work colleagues, friends, neighbours, family and the loved ones! Have you noticed how everyone is in such a good mood, well, almost everyone!

Christmas to me is far more than all the glitter and glamour; it is about being with your family and friends in this feeling of oneness, celebrating together the joy of being alive.

So why is it frowned upon, put down by so many politically correct people? Isn’t this a Christian land? Why should it offend anyone who has been lucky enough to call this home, live here and earn a living, have the freedom to bring up their families, in whatever religion and culture they have been brought up in?

As a Hindu living in the UK my life is richer for having the choice and freedom to celebrate my own and any religious festival I want to celebrate, which as a matter of fact I do! 

So from a Hindu woman, married to an Englishman (who leaves the Christmas arrangements to me!), Wishing Everyone a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy, Loving and a Prosperous New Year! xx




I have had a wonderfully generous response to my recent blogging challenge of providing reflective guest posts about your Highlights and Horrors of 2011. So much so, that I’ve decided to be brave and commit to doing an Advent Calendar of blog posts…posting every day from the 1st December until Christmas Eve.
Now, I’m really hoping that a lot of these will be guest posts from you lovely lot, interspersed with some of my usual posts and musings. So, if you have already said that you will think about guest blogging for me, please, please do so and once you have written a post, send it on to me and I’ll be delighted to publish it. And if we haven’t spoken about it yet, but you’d like to write a guest blog, then yes please – I’d be delighted :).
What more to say except…let the countdown begin!


Advent: Waiting with Expectation












So, believe it or not, we are now in Advent. Now, I’m not going to start getting all Christmassy on you…yet!…but I would like to share a challenge with you and invite some guest posts on this blog.

I heard a lovely thought for the day on the radio this morning, about how Advent is traditionally the time of waiting, of starting to think and prepare for Christmas and of reflecting on the year that has been. The speaker likened the openinng of each window on an Advent calendar to letting light in…whether that is the light of hope of better things to come, the light of love of spending time with those closest to us, or simply the light at the end of the tunnel to what, to many, may well have seemed like a tough year.

What I would like to do during December is to share some guest posts on this blog about some of the great things that have happened in 2011, some of the learnings that you can share from your year and perhaps some hopes for 2012. They don’t have to be HR related, they can be about anything at all. And they don’t have to be melodramatic horrors…although equally, feel free if you want to share!

I’ll be sharing my highlights and horrors of 2011 and writing some of my usual blogs too during this time, but I’d love to have as many guest bloggers as possible during December sharing their throughts and learnings. Experienced bloggers, novices or simply someone who has always thought about writing a blog post and never got round to it. Believe me, it really isn’t as hard as it looks… 😉

I’d love to hear from you.

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