I give to you, L&D Connect

Today I was part of something new and exciting which many of you may be familiar with – the @LnDConnect unconference. I’ve written a lot about it over previous posts and there’s been a fair amount of chatter on LinkedIn and Twitter about the event. I would normally allow more time to reflect and take in what today has meant for me, but I’m at the CIPD HRD12 event for the next two days so want to get this out while there’s nothing to pollute my memories. (also, no links in this post)

If you’ve not been part of an unconference before, the essence is the agenda is decided by the delegates on the day. It’s a very organic process which does follow some method to allow the discussions to unfold. What happens is people get involved in the discussions that interest them and can move freely between the discussions.

I cannot begin to describe how glad I am that this event came to be. 1500 views of the eventbrite page, with 26 confirmed bookings (unfortunately two had to drop out), plus the organisers made a group of 32 on the day. We discussed things covering a range of very prevalent L&D concerns such as: What is learning? Who is responsible for learning? What should L&D stop doing? What’s happening tomorrow that holds interest for L&D? What part does social media play in learning? How do we help the next generation of learning? How do we make the L&D function better with more business impact? How do we create more agile L&D solutions?

The output of those conversations rests with the individuals taking part. I can’t share all that content because I was only part of some of the conversations. But, the use of a backchannel encouraged discussion to happen beyond the people present. Special mention goes to José Franca for being so open with his team about being part of the online discussion that he was probably the most active participant without being present.

The closing comments from the group that were shared out were so heart warming and kind I am filled with joy. That the event resonated so well with the group and had inspired them to think differently about what they do is a blessing and I am so grateful to everyone who took part today.

This is where I let go of being a minder. I may have had the brainchild of wanting to bring L&D professionals together, but the event was only possible because of the team involved: Martin Couzins, Debbie Carter, Stella Collins, Margaret Burnside, Natasha Stallard and David Goddin. Where it goes from here will be a series of ongoing discussions and organic development. Thanks all and I look forward to doing more brilliant things with you all.