Festival of Work – what will I learn?


Festival of Work – what will I learn?

The CIPD Festival of Work brings together two CIPD events, the Learning and Development and HR Software and Recruitment shows – and adds in a brand-new dimension, The Future of Work. I’m particularly looking forward to this reimagined Festival of Work to see what’s different, what’s the same (some familiarity is always good) and what’s new.

I wrote about conferences back in 2013. I had and have hopes for energy and engagement in future conferences. Doug Shaw and I developed some experimental workshops to engage thinking that we successfully ran at the CIPD annual conference and exhibition for four years and at a couple of other events too. I’m keen to see what “fringe” type events may be going on at the FOW.

On day one, I’ll be attending a panel session on Good Work and the Future of Jobs in a changing economic landscape.  I’m also interested in the ethics surrounding automation of work, and will be attending a CIPD chaired panel on that. “Driving meaningful working lives in a more automated workplace”. (Driving or designing?).

Learning and Development has a broad remit, from regulatory and skills based training through to facilitating change, not always with the empowerment and resources they need. I’m curious that when we hear so much of “people are our most important asset” and versions of that, why training and development can be seen as something to do on the cheap. Are we prepared to invest in people as much as tech?  As someone who hasn’t previously attended the L&D event, I’m interested to hear more from L&D leads and understand more about how L&D is changing and adapting and able to influence more.

I’ve decided to go to some sessions that I would normally avoid, to challenge myself to see things from a different perspective and to challenge my own bias’. This means then, attending a session on how to “Gamify your Learning”. How does gamification fit in with human agency?  What does it teach managers? What assumptions am I making that I haven’t tested out? I want to challenge myself to understand more.

Increasingly I am seeing clients wanting to work in short half day chunks to map out visions, strategies, plans.  I have seen benefits to this in terms of focussing all of us on what’s important, and also how the big conversations can get cut short.  “Defeating the overload” is therefore of interest. With an OD mindset in mind, I’m interested more in why we get overloaded.  I remember a boss saying to me years ago “Meg, if you can’t get your work done between 9-5, you’re either inefficient or you need more resource”.  I quickly got more efficient, and consequently was able to get more done that was relevant. Stopped doing stuff that someone described this week as “polishing pebbles”.   We’re speeding up, and yet, if we don’t allow ourselves time to do quality thinking, our solutions, results, experiences are always going to be suboptimal.

I’ll be ending day 1 with the keynote exploring how machines and humans are integrating.

Day 2

I’m going to see what emerges from day 1. What I will be doing for sure is Chairing a panel exploring the role of the L&D Influencer; four ignites from some interesting minds and then some discussion.  You can join us either via twitter or by attending, and I’m looking forward to hearing what the speakers say, and what the audience wants to discuss.


meg peppin

This article comes courtesy of Meg Peppin, OD Facilitator. Meg is a judge for the HR Distinction Awards and is member the CIPD’s HR Director Future of Work forum. She is advising the CIPD on the their OD digital learning content and is a coach for the New Entrepreneurs Foundation.




Get involved:

The CIPD’s Festival of Work (12-13 June 2019, Olympia London, www.festivalofwork.com) promises to be a landmark event for both people professionals and business leaders. By focusing on the most innovative strategies in management, technology and learning, the festival will help you, and 7,000 of your colleagues, to harness the latest transformations and drive a human future of work. With 7,000+ attendees, 160+ inspiring speakers, filled with inspirational live experiences and challenging ideas, it’s the ultimate celebration of people in the workplace.

Leave a Reply