An unconference experience

What happens when we connect and discuss our challenges and opportunities in a place where there’s safety, freedom and no judgement.

A bit of a different post for me today. Sharing my summary from co-hosting an Unconference in Leicester just over a week ago for LnDConnect.

The Curve Theatre, Leicester with clear blue sky background
Image by Mark Gilroy

It was a beautiful sunny day at the Unconference last week and the Curve was a brilliant venue for us! Thank you to Mark Gilroy for his amazing photography beginning with this gorgeous one of the venue. read more

#cipdnap17 : It’s all about community

The CIPD Northern Area Partnership Event is back on 9th and 10th June with a focus this year on Enhancing the Employee Experience.  The thing I love most about NAP is the sense of community it creates, and so the purpose of this post is, yes, to tell you about what I’m up to at NAP this year, and it’s also to tell you about all the many, many ways you can connect with the fantastic HR and L&D community both online and in real life to extend your learning.

So first, what I’m doing at NAP this year……I’m running a reflection session during the lunchtime fringe on both days – this is to provide time for delegates to pause, process and reflect together on what’s been heard.

Conferences are a great way to learn because you get so much content in such a short space of time.  And conferences are a dreadful way to learn, because you get so much content in such a short space of time!

And so the point of these sessions is to prevent you leaving with a head full of stuff and no idea what to do with any of it.  Which can often result in nothing being done at all.

The sessions will be informal and interactive with delegates listening, asking and sharing in small groups for as long as is useful to them.  Pressure well and truly off!

If you’re joining on either or both days I really look forward to seeing you there!

Now to the wider community which, if you’re not tapping into, please please do!  There are so many great, and many free, chances to connect with others in the HR and L&D space to take time to reflect more often.  If we don’t stop to get perspective and think then we’ll keep doing the same stuff and expecting different results.

So, places you can go for more….. (and please tell me what I’ve missed and I’ll get it added on).

On Twitter

#LDNights – Tuesdays at 8pm (from @LnDConnect)

#HRHour – Thursdays at 8pm (from @HR_Hour)

#LDInsight – Fridays at 8am (from @LnDConnect)

Regular-ish Meet-ups

Connecting HR (@ConnectingHR on Twitter) – usually drinks and chats in nice bars with fellow professionals – now established in Manchester, York, Leeds, Bradford and the North East

LnD CoWork (#LnDcowork) – for anyone around the L&D space that feels they’d benefit from working in a different environment, with different people – either just to work knowing people are on hand if you want advice, or to get input and ideas, or generally catch up – now established in Manchester and London, Leeds recently launched and Birmingham is on it’s way!  Website here.

Regular Learning Events

Learn > Connect > Do – my event! For people pros who care about making work better to share and learn in a fun & informal way with profits going to charity.  It runs quarterly near Leicester.  Next one is 8th June about coaching cultures. Follow me @wildfigsolns or #LearnConnectDo or go to the website here.

Facilitation Shindig – “A gathering space for change practitioners who facilitate team and group conversations to share ideas, experiences and learning.”  Next one is 6th July with the theme of “Outside”. @Shindiggery1 #facilitationShindig and website here.

CIPD Annual Conference – check out the fab free fringe sessions Doug Shaw and Meg Peppin run (similar to what I’m doing for NAP)

Less Regular Learning Events

LnD Connect Unconferences – where the delegates decide the agenda – no speakers on stage, no sales pitches, just professionals learning together to explore shared challenges.  These mostly run in Manchester and London but sometimes in the Midlands and the York/Leeds area. Follow @LnDConnect for latest news.

Street Wisdom – using the streets as a source of inspiration – check out @Street_Wisdom or sign up on their website for when the next ones are running.

Art of Innovation – run by Doug Shaw with more info here

Meg Peppin is also cooking up something else!  She says to follow her to be the first to hear more…..!

Calendar of L&D Events

Check out this great resource from Fiona McBride: an L&D Calendar of events for conferences and things.

 

And there are lots of general chats and questions asked on Twitter from the broad and varied community on there.

So much to choose from – why not experiment and give something a try!

 

 

 

Next month….. Learn > Connect > Do is back!

LCD 2 Dec 15When we last met in December our focus was on line manager development – a topic which I massively care about because I continue to see people in leadership roles with little or no development, who then continue to be promoted (still with no development), and who therefore get to senior roles lacking the confidence or skill that the world expects them to have for the level they’re at. Imposter syndrome is ever-present and become incredibly unhelpful.

All of this makes for ineffective workplaces because it’s leaders who make the difference between an individual’s, and therefore a team’s, success or failure.

So in December, with chocs and fizz added in for good measure, I used a Design Thinking approach (thanks to We Are Unstuck for this) to facilitate the session which generated some great and fun discussion and debate – and incredibly both teams came out with similar outputs – we need to get the human back into work and leadership.

You can read more about what happened here.

With feedback like – ‘feeling inspired’, ‘want to get back to work and put this into practice’ and ‘we’ve achieved so much in so little time’ – we just had to do it again!

LCD Dec 15

And so ‘again’ is happening in March! (10th, 3-6pm at the Observatory Beefeater, Meridian, Leicester)

After some great debates amongst the team, we’ve decided on the topic of “Aligning HR/L&D to the Business”.

This topic came out of the last session as an area of value and it is also something which feels fundamental to anything we do from here and which, by making progress on this topic, future sessions can hang their hats on it.

Our debates in the Learn > Connect > Do team also led us to decide on an Unconference approach to the event. This means there’ll be no set agenda for the day – apart from arrive (with a question), grab a drink, chat and then we’ll get going.

So that question you’re going to bring…..what is it you specifically want to get clear in your head about alignment? What makes you feel as though you’re not aligned? What’s getting in the way? What does alignment actually mean?

Whatever that question is for you, as you arrive we’ll capture it, along with all the others, then from all of these we’ll identify the top 2 or 3 areas of focus. After some quick deliberation in the facilitator team we’ll agree the best way for the session to run, and we’ll start the conversation.

All enabled by some energy-boosting Easter chocs!

Interested?  You can book your place here.

Now, I wonder how we can make chocolate part of the theme when it comes to the June event……

Look forward to seeing you in March!

#LearnConnectDo