The CIPD Profession Map

What HR professionals can learn from the qualities of an Olympic team

By Martin Kahn

Martin is Oakwood's Associate Learning Consultant and works in our Associate Team
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The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have inspired and encouraged the World! The overall success of the Games has left a legacy of a newly motivated generation of athletes whose names are now familiar to us all.

What makes a winning Olympic team?

The individual and team achievements have been the result of many years of hard work based on a number of factors; Team Work, Dedication, Self-Discipline and Consistency.  These may be  pre-requisites for an Olympian but they are also recognised as being  transferable into any of our working (and for that matter, private) lives. 

If we are to use these influences as metaphors for our professional success (and in turn the success of our organisations) we might consider making a reference to the Behaviours of the CIPD Profession Map

The CIPD Profession Map

The CIPD Profession Map will be familiar to those of you who have already covered this in your Module One of either Foundation Level (Unit 4DEP) or Intermediate Level (Unit 5DVP). The CIPD’s HR Profession Map sets out standards for HR and L&D professionals around the world: the activities, knowledge and behaviours needed for success.

The 8 Qualities of an HR Champion

There are 8 behaviours within the Profession Map. These behaviours would apply equally to an Olympic Champion as to a Champion of HR or L&D. These are:
  1. Curious – this is about being ‘future focused’. The Olympian will have their goals set on the Gold Medal for their country – the HR and L&D Professional will seek out ways to add value to the organisation.
  2. Decisive Thinking – the CIPD define this behaviour as having the ability to ‘analyse data and information quickly and make justifiable decisions’. Olympic Champions make decisions how to fulfil their goals and what sacrifices are necessary to obtain them. The HR and L&D Professional will also ‘identify options’, and ‘make defendable decisions’.
  3. Skilled influencer – the athlete will carefully assess their options for coaches/trainers and appropriate support teams – the HR and L&D Professional will also ‘gain commitment and support from stakeholders in pursuit of organisation value’.
  4. Personally Credible - Olympic Champions are at all times expected to demonstrate absolute professionalism – as are the HR and L&D Professional.
  5. Collaborative – both the HR and L&D Professional and the Olympic athlete will need to work with a range of people in order to obtain their goals. They will need to be able to adjust their communication skills accordingly.
  6. Driven to Deliver – the HR and L&D Professional demonstrates determination, resourcefulness and purpose to deliver results – no need for a comparison with an Olympic Champion!
  7. Courage to Challenge - this is about confidence to speak up when facing resistance or unfamiliar circumstance. Skilful negotiation is needed on occasion – the athlete may contest a decision about their performance – as may the HR or L&D Professional.
  8. Role Model – Leading by example. The HR and L&D Professional have a responsibility to act with ‘integrity, impartiality and independence’ – as does the athlete competing in the Olympic Games! Professional conduct at all times, with all stake holders is a pre-requisite. 

In summary

So – although we can’t all be Olympic Champions, we can all strive to Champion the behaviours of the CIPD Profession Map and those of the HR and L&D Professional. These are wholly transferable qualities and skills and as such, our daily aspirations, goals and successes may be a little more achievable if these behaviours are recognised and applied.