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  • Irina Ketkin, author of #adventuresofthelearner

My adventure at the CIPD Learning and Development show

During a conference I attended last year, someone said that these kind of events are like group therapy sessions - you share your struggles and others share theirs, and you pat each other on the shoulder and say “there, there! It’ll be ok!” And there is a lot of truth in this.

But the CIPD show was nothing like that. Apart from the standard booths by companies that offered anything and everything under the sun, there were numerous presentations on various L&D topics. And to me these were of the most interest.

4 such sessions really stood out to me.

  • Street Wisdom - Answers are everywhere. In this session the creator of this NGO told the captivated audience about what #StreetWisdom is and how it works. Very simply put, we play different roles at work and at home. but there is this transitional period between the two that can be used as well. And that’s what #streetwisdom is — getting inspiration from strangers on the street, from a building you never paid attention to before or from a flock of birds.

  • Belbin - The Belbin organisation has been doing research into teams and team building for a long time, so they know a thing or two about how it all works (i’m loosely paraphrasing the speaker :) ). And when they talk, you shut up and listen. Which is exactly what I did! The representative from Belbin decided to go with the basics: what is a team, and what’s the most important thing you need to know when opting for a team building.

  • Speak First - everyone has read the Towards Maturity report and knows that the single most important thing for L&D is to be strategically aligned to the business. But what do you do when the business doesn’t have or know the strategy? Or when L&D is not perceived as a business partner but the “people who do the fluffy stuff”? These and other similar questions were discussed (points to SXLLM​​the Speak First director/presenter for involving the audience so much) and in just 30 minutes i got more insight into this topics than i have ever since the report came out.

  • ICS Learn - the self-directed learner is no longer an utopian idea L&D professionals strive for. It is here and by the outlook, it is staying fro good. Surprisingly though, we were not quite prepared to cater to the self-directed learner. And this was the topic ICS Learn presented on - technology can certainly help but to succeed, you also need the right support. A good example I discussed with the presented at the end was the onboarding - you can have the most sophisticated online course to help a new employee make sense of what s/he got her/himself into; but it will be useless if that’s all that’s done for that person. You cannot neglect the team introductions, shadowing, buddying and so on.

There were other great presentations as well and i will write about them over the comings weeks.

Overall, it was great 2 days, I met some very interesting people, saw some very interesting products and services and was colossally tired by the end of it. Tired but happy!

Did you go the the L&D show? What was your impression? Was this your first time?

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