The 2nd Annual IITD Conference took place recently on the 6th December at Croke Park Stadium. This event is now becoming established as the leading L&D Conference for practitioners and providers in the L&D and HRM space.

The theme for this Conference was “Thrive & Grow”, with a line-up of thought leaders across a wide section of best practice and non-industry speakers.

Danny McCoy, CEO, Ibec kicked off the proceedings with a wide-ranging State of the Nation address in terms of the economy, key trends going forward and more importantly, where L&D sits as a key developer of intellectual talent and employee potential. One of the key takeaways in a Q&A with Matt Cooper (MC and broadcaster), was that the time has now come for the fundamentals of learning and development in our society and now is the time to future-proof ourselves.

Then followed a panel discussion with a selection of organisations discussing the importance of capability development from a leader’s perspective and how this links the strategic business agenda. Too many nuggets to mention but the challenge remains in how L&D can stay connected to the overall business agenda.

One of the real benefits of the Conference is the opportunity to network and catch up with people and make new connections. This year’s trade stands were particularly good with an interesting range of vendors across the whole spectrum of L&D, accreditation and technology.

Following on from the much-needed coffee was a Hotspot Learning Best Practice discussion brilliantly hosted by Eamonn Eaton, Eaton Consulting. The purpose of this session was to showcase how L&D initiatives need to not only design leading edge solutions but to brand them, so they become part of the organisational language and culture. It was a pleasure to see two ex-winners of our own Pearse Walsh Award (click here for more details), namely BOI Learning Exchange and Blizzard. The themes discussed were branding, evaluation & metrics, gamification, VR/AR and social learning. The themes alone are a reflection of how much our industry has changed in the last five years.

After lunch, one of my favourite sessions of the day was on how to use stories as a vehicle for transformation, delivered by Cillian Fennell from Stillwater Communications. In a lively interactive presentation, Cillian walked us through the 6 Personal Stories we all have and urged the audience to see life as a call to adventure and everyone one of us has our own unique story and stories are the real brand and customer experience that we need to be generating and telling.

The real highlight of the day was the fantastic Holy Family Deaf Choir who performed several songs to which there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience but a real reminder that everyone one of us have gifts and the need to showcase them.

 

Thank you IITD for a wonderful day and we look forward to the next big event, the annual IITD Awards in early 2019.