What We Found at HRD
Eden Tree and our friends at
GoodPractice spent a really enjoyable couple of days at the 2011
CIPD HRD Conference and Exhibition. In this blog post our Senior
Editor, Catriona McCartney, gives us her thoughts.
The sun beat down on this year's HRD Conference and
Exhibition at London's Olympia, leaving us all in a summery
There were plenty of different formal and taster sessions to
choose from. A particular favourite of mine was the
straight-talking and thought-provoking session on systems-thinking
(who would have thought it!) from John Seddon of Vanguard Consulting.
In a time when cost-cutting is a focus for many of us, Seddon
provides an alternative way of looking at how organisations can
The session on social and games-based learning by Ben Betts of HT2 and
Warwick University was also informative and engaging, yet had some
really practical tools for people to take away at the end,
according to our Product Development Director, Owen Ferguson, who
was in attendance.
This practical aspect is something I so often find is lacking at
such events - and HRD was no exception; while many of the sessions
were well put together, the 'how to do it' aspect wasn't really
delivered for me - and let's face it, that's what many of us are
there to hear. I would also have liked to see a few more new ideas
in evidence. If your experience at the conference was different,
however, Eden Tree would love to hear your thoughts!
Who we spoke to
A few 'friends of Eden Tree' popped by our stand to say hello,
including coaching and talent management guru, Janice Caplan,
with whom we have recently collaborated. Perry Timms of Big Lottery
Fund also called by before delivering his session on Talent
What we were talking about
For those of you who were at HRD (or Learning Technologies for
that matter) we hope you enjoyed our taster session on The
Essentials of Supporting an Online Learning Community from our
Chief Executive, Peter Casebow. If you missed out, then why not take a look
at the presentation or download the
HRD also provided the perfect opportunity to speak to people
about the launch of our new iPhone App Top Tips for
Managers - we got a lot of interest as we showcased it
at our stand.
And when did you last see a coach?
While at the conference, I took up the offer of a free 10 minute
coaching session from the nice people at The Resilience
Gym. While Eden Tree provides coaching resources to
our members, it was great to be on the receiving end of coaching
for a change. I have to say I really felt the benefit even in that
short space of time. After my session, it struck me that even if
coaching isn't an option for busy working people, just taking
regular time out to think and self-reflect can be well worth
On a side issue, it has been a while since I last attended a
conference, and one thing that really struck me was how distracted
many people now are by mobile technology at these events. In the
sessions I attended there were some delegates silently checking
their iPhones, BlackBerry devices or mobiles, if not texting away
to colleagues or friends. I couldn't help but think this must be a
little disheartening for the presenters to see. (Unless, of course,
delegates happened to be tweeting about the conference itself.)
One delegate I spoke to (at the end of a session I hasten to
add!) told me that she had been asked to deliver training to an
organisation recently and had explained her house rules, one of
which was mobiles to be switched off during the session. She was
told, categorically, by the client that this was a no-go.
My question is, is our ability to be constantly connected
through social media entirely constructive, or causing us to be
perpetually distracted? Answers on a postcard please.
If you'd like to share some
thoughts on this blog but can't see a comments box below, then view
the post on this page. You'll
be able to tell us what you think there.