Left to right: Ailish Reid, Nicola O'Neill, Yvonne Quinn, Stefan Pereira (Flexlabs) & Milla Clynes

 

The IITD National Conference for Learning and Development Professionals titled “The Future is Now”, A New Paradigm for Learning, took place in Croke Park on the 4th of December.

Attended by over 450 learning and development specialists, from 8am, the atmosphere and excitement were fantastic.

There were plenty of opportunities to meet new people, catch with old friends and peers, great networking, chats and sharing of experiences added to the value of the day.

The speaker line-up provided the audience with insightful and often inspirational insights:

Gerard O’Neill from Amarach Research presented his research which examined the forces that have shaped the past 25 years and considered those that will impact on the Ireland and world of tomorrow.

  • Our approach to work life balance is shifting. The growth in the economy, digital disruption etc, is giving us more choices in this area
  • Money isn’t motivating enough for most people; 58% of those surveyed said they would like to work fewer hours for the same pay, than take more money for the same hours
  • Managing the generation challenge ahead; by 2030, there will be five generations in the workplace (half under 50 and half over), all wanting different things
  • Future proof yourself by skill stacking, a unique combination will attract higher rewards
  • Focus on transferring the “Flock Wisdom” older tacit knowledge to younger team members, through mentoring programme etc.

We picked up some great tips from our panels, one in the morning and one in the afternoon:

  • An initiative called DEAL, drop everything and learn. At Brown Bag productions every week for one hour, each member stops and engages in one hour of learning
  • The importance of developing leadership agility
  • The increase in the use of experiences as a learning methodology
  • The intense focus on application of learning as a key element of the learning cycle

Baroness Susan Greenfield wowed us with her platform presentation titled:  From the Brain of Today to the Mind of Tomorrow

The comparison between fluid and crystallised intelligence. Fluid intelligence does not contain the ability to relate. Unlike humans, computers do not have crystallised intelligence, so it sounds like good news as we won’t / can’t all be replaced by computers  

She reminded us that, like Environmental change, we are experiencing significant Mind change. Computers are changing the way we think and feel; like environmental change, this is unpredicted, global, controversial and multi-faceted. She provided us some examples of the consequences of this such as: addiction, reduction attention span, reduced interpersonal skills, poor critical thinking etc. However, we heard how to combat these challenges by: generating an identity, develop an inner narrative; sequence or do things that have a beginning, middle and end; physical thinking, mental thinking, cooking, gardening etc.

Prof. David Collings & Dr. John McMackin presented the findings of a research project focused on the future skills requirements for L&D professionals

Check out the IITD website for the full report, but here are some small insights:

  • Ownership of L&D is shifting to the individual driving their own learning
  • There is a great range of learning pathways and a greater need for learning pathways
  • Leaners need just in time, just enough and just for me learning
  • Accreditation matters more to the learners than the organisation
  • New competencies for the L&D professional are:
    • Curation
    • Digital competence
    • Knowledge of the business
    • Consultancy skills
    • Data analytics

They cited that progressive organisations are “Finding Their North Star”, where they are very clear on their direction and linking all existing and future learning to this. They provided us with a five-step framework as a guide to finding and implementing your North Star.

 

Well done to the team at the IITD for delivering yet another very professional and enjoyable conference.

 


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