Finding a Focus

Ever since I started my master’s back in November, I’ve been thinking about the impending dissertation and the topics I might like to research. Whereas I dreaded my undergrad dissertation, this time around I have been looking forward to the research element most of all. There is so much about the world of work and talent that I want to understand better and the opportunity to spend three months looking at some of these issues in depth is exciting. I have worked on research projects over the past few years, but rarely have I had time to really dive deep into an issue and try to truly understand it. The ‘real world’ moves quicker than academia and often demands answers and insight in a few days, rather than a few months.

Now the taught part of my course is behind me, it is time to make a decision on my research focus. The only problem is I can’t decide. Continue Reading…

CIPD L&D Show 2014 Thoughts

This post was originally found on my business blog and has been reposted here in May 2015.

I had a fantastic time this week at the CIPD L&D Show and have enjoyed tweeting my reaction over the last couple of days. You can read my live tweets from the show over on twitter – @lellielesley. I hope to gather the key highlights together on storify soon.

Sadly the first day felt a little disappointing. Some of the workshop sessions did not live up to high expectations and I was a little disappointed by the lack of innovation on show. There was a lot of good practice, but nothing which really struck me as truly innovative or impressive. It was all a bit predictable.

Thankfully I was revitalised by the CIPD and #LDConnect tweetup on Wednesday evening. Meeting fellow learning and development professionals who share my passion for innovation, social learning and collaboration was energising and I had some really interesting conversations. I was not the only person there who had recently left the corporate world to embark upon self-employment and it was also good to share experiences and learn from others who had gone it alone a long time ago. Overall, it was clear there was a supportive community and I hope to develop stronger links within this community in future.

I went into Day 2 feeling re-energised and hoping it would deliver beyond my expectations. Thankfully it did.

The day got off to a great start with an inspiring session from Google. Their culture embodies everything which I am passionate about at work – innovation, collaboration and authenticity. People are encouraged to be themselves and to follow their passions. They are a social organisation, learning from each other. The session was really interesting and it was great to hear about the scientific approaches Google apply to encouraging collaboration – the idea that the dinner queue needs to be an exact length to encourage employees to talk to each other was fascinating.

After this, I enjoyed a session from Visa and Telefonica on their early talent programmes. It was great to hear practical examples of how Visa have made their apprenticeship programmes work for them and it was nice to see two organisations presenting a coherent presentation together, rather than two separate case studies delivered without any thought to how the presentation should work as a whole.

The final session I attended was focussed on one of my favourite subjects – social learning and technology, looking at how two organisations (Bromford Group and SantaFe Group) had introduced enterprise social media for learning. I was particularly impressed by Michelle Parry-Slater’s presentation as it was clear from the energy and enthusiasm in her voice that she shared my passion for this way of learning. The platform she introduced, Fuse looks to have a lot of potential and I hope to learn more about it in future.

After this, I found myself stood in front of a camera crew talking about my career and thoughts upon my CIPD student membership as part of a series of members videos they were filming. I volunteered to take part on a whim after the CIPD put out a request for participants on twitter, but once I actually got in front of the camera I was starting to regret that decision. Hopefully the final video will be worth it.

The journey home was a long and tiring one, but my head was buzzing with ideas about the future of learning and development and all the exciting things I had learnt. I can’t wait to put some of these ideas into practice.