I had the pleasure of attending my first unconference on the 24th April, the event was the The LnD Connect Unconference and a totally new experience for me.  A new experience that I was really looking forward to given the outputs I saw from the L&D Capability in Australia Unconference .

The event was very informal and a great opportunity for L&D professionals to get together to discuss topics of interest and what I found fantastic is that we built the structure of the day as we went, no script, no messing – just what interested us and what mattered most. Here’s a picture of @Naturalgrump opening up the event

Looking back I can’t believe we covered so much, I took some notes using my trusted Asus Transformer and want to share some of the conversations we had from the World Cafe Session which was the first session and really set a positive tone for the rest of the day.

The notes were taken from the opening three questions and subsequent conversations and whilst I’ve tidied them up a little, they are pretty much verbatim;

What should L&D stop doing?

  • Stop irrelevance- start doing stuff that is relevant and adds value
  • Stop training because it’s easy and L&D assuming what the business needs
  • Stop talking a different language > performance? Not necessarily for @NiallGavinUK  (he works in transport and performance means things arrive on time)
  • Stop having conversation with the wrong people
  • Stop top down approaches and focus on bottom up / left to right engagment and involve people who matter
  • Stop assuming we have all the answers
  • Stop letting our stakeholders tell us what’s wrong
  • Stop being reactive be more proactive
  • Stop sheep dipping
  • Stop taking the easy option
  • Stop stand and deliver
  • Stop sticking with traditional approaches, it’s time to be brave
  • Stop being afraid of failure – learn from things that don’t work and improve
  • Stop talking about informal learning like its something we can deliver
  • Stop doing it FOR people, personalise learning and help people develop skills to take ownership for their own learning
  • Stop bad mouthing training – 121 coaching IS training
  • Stop designing bad training eg death by PPT, designing content for the sake of it
  • Stop being driven by vendors and trends
  • Stop focusing on e / m learning and focus on helping people, creating conditions and experiences
  • Stop stopping at delivery – it’s time to make sure knowledge, skills and behaviours change so focus on transfer and how to demonstrate & track this
  • Stop taking on too much and focus on what matters
  • Stop wasting time debating what words mean and do what we are here to do
  • Stop flowering things up and get on and deliver
  • Stop calling ourselves L&D

 What’s happening in L&D that excites you?

  • Communities of practice – smart folk are recognising they can expand knowledge and horizons
  • Developing internal AND external networks
  • Connecting with like minded individuals and look out from the opportunities to learn from one another
  • Challenging perceptions and trying new things
  • Social learning – quantify / measure feedback in real time – building momentum
  • Learning from consumerism and how people learn outside of the workplace
  • The changing role of management and light bulb moments – move from command & control to engage & nurture
  • Perception of community of practices by middle managers – connecting their people and celebrating expertise
  • A movement – L&D agents of change – exciting times
  • Greater expectations on training but culture still the same around what is this looks like
  • Changing perception of elearning / social
  • How we can help people understand new methods and move to the future
  • Encouraging trust and transparency within business – role model the RIGHT behaviours

 What’s happening tomorrow / in the future for L&D?

  • To take the opportunity to show that using tools, technology, any form of communication & collaboration is all LEARNING !!!!
  • Demonstrate value – role model
  • To put learning at the heart of the organisation
  • Investigation of other orgs and learn good practice from all industries
  • Ask our customers and become closer to our customers
  • It is still about conversations whether face to face or online
  • Allowing time to develop things and to demonstrate the value – sticking with something because it will make a difference
  • Working with our businesses in partnership – stop being seen as a support function
  • Having conversations that have IMPACT
  • To develop peoples capability and change attitude towards learning & development
  • To move away from only having a “Hammer” to the “Batman utility belt”
  • Opportunity to cut away front end stuff and do route cause analysis – change culture & challenge perception – make a sustainable change using all tools at our disposal

So as you can see we covered quite a lot in about 45 minutes!

One thing I took away from a personal perspective was that my taking notes didn’t impact the groups in anyway or have an adverse affect on my ability to contribute. It’s been great to capture these conversations and to be able to reflect on them following the event so I’ll look to do this again in the future.

It really was a thought provoking day and I’d value your thoughts on any the above;

> Would you challenge or question any of the things that you can see here?

> Can you add to them and/or develop them further?

I’d like to thank the organisers of the LnD Connect Conference for putting on a fantastic event and if you are interested in finding out more then follow the hashtag #ldcu and follow @LnDConnect to join in the conversations.

Finally @MartinCouzins (seen below in the red shirt) has curated all the posts and resources from the event which you can find here including a great Storify from @KingFisherCoach and a great video summarising the event filmed by Martin himself.

Round up of posts from the L&D Connect Unconference