And we’re underway with Andy Lancaster (CIPD) with an Ignite presentation….

The workplace is changing, L&D must evolve. Unlocking L&D potential means we need to align to business needs, use metrics effectively, and take calculated risks. We need to focus on innovation and make sure we don’t stagnate (Kodak anybody?). Social learning goes back to the earliest times and we need to embrace social learning in what we do. We need to plug learners into the wider learning environment. We need to give learners the option of bite-size learning, and design things quickly, innovating fast, and curating learning by welcoming user-generated content. We need to embrace digital as well as analogue, understanding the brain so that we engage learners in an effective way. We need to use business language, not just Kirkpatrick. We should embrace the pain of change, embrace the value of our professional network, and go to where we haven’t gone before.

Niall Gavin (FirstGroup) – Virtual Classrooms

Learning should be interesting and engaging and e-learning never quite landed. The virtual classroom fits their business model much better than classroom learning. FirstGroup did some work with LPI to train as learning facilitators. Their early experiments in virtual classrooms didn’t work very well for a lot of reasons, including choosing the wrong technology. Having picked the right technology, they could then use WebEx to support virtual classrooms, supporting the roll-out as part of a standardised approach with some light-touch guidelines about how to use it effectively. FirstGroup are now using WebEx extensively,. Learnings: Put people first, technology second and avoid just doing ‘death by powerpoint’ by a different route.

Paul Taylor (NHS Employers)

Paul leads the Do OD network (which I know about as I listen to their podcasts!). Paul talked about moving away from positioning ourself as experts and that we should view ourselves as change agents. Paul talked about ‘The credible Hulk’ who is powerful but backs up their identity with evidence. Paul referred to the film ‘Divergent’, talking about the power of diversity and reminding us that we need that richness of varied thinking. When we combine the forces of HR, OD, L&D then we gain strength from the richness of our diversity. The goal of live isn’t just to survive, but to thrive… I am divergent, are you?

Perry Timms (PTHR) – L2O

What’s wrong with learning? We are too prescriptive and we don’t sense-check and challenge it enough. How many people are sleep-walking into oblivion? We need to take risks and embrace imperfection, embracing what we can learn. We need to focus on outcomes not answers and need to look beyond learning events. We are in a world of always-on learning and we are no longer governed by episodic learning. Learning should flow as a life-force through the organisation, but it can flow like a gentle stream through the organisation. Every conversation can be like a little puddle of learning. Create thirsty learners, provide wells and springs of learning, and live it to help people thrive.

(Ignite presentations are 5 minutes long and the slides advance automatically every 15 seconds.)

(This was live-blogged during the session at CIPD14 – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of what was said, but my own views might occasionally creep in.)