Top 5 tips to get the most out of the Festival of Work


Top 5 tips to get the most out of the Festival of Work

On 12th and 13th June I’ll be joining a team of some tweeters and bloggers to share insights from the Festival of Work – the CIPDs first event of it’s kind, blending what was the L&D Show with HR Software and Recruitment, with a side of ‘Future of Work’ … and wow! Just reading that combination sounds overwhelming. So I’m doing some thinking and planning of how to make the most of it during the two days, and reflecting on learning from the previous events spent in the ‘blogsquad’.

starting with…


What’s my why for going to the Festival of Work?

2019 has been the start of a new internal role for me, in an sector (retail) and world (commercial) that I’ve never worked in before – apart from when I used to be a bra fitter half my life ago. Our people and culture strategy is high on everyone’s agenda and is jam packed full of interesting pieces of work that I’m thoroughly enjoying getting immersed in. And it’s challenging. Whilst thoroughly reveling in doing the things I love (coaching, leadership development, talent programmes, inclusion, well-being + diversity) I’m definitely ready to step out for a couple of days; to look up and have a look around. I’ve been totally inward (in-org) focused and it’s an opportunity to re-calibrate, see what others are up to, and gain some fresh inspiration. When you do L&OD work you’re often working independently and/or working as a owner internally. Yes of course constant alignment with your business is essential, but often, it’s just you, doing your stuff. This is equally beneficial and isolating. My PLN (Personal Learning Network) have never been so important and I’m looking forward to meeting new people too.

So no pressure Festival of Work!


How am I going to get the best from me, and the festival?

  1. Remember the essentials

Phone charger pack, tea flask, snacks, macbook… badge to get in!

  1. Plan my ‘must see’ sessions

I’ve learnt the hard way as a live-blogger that trying to attend a full programme of workshops is not humanly possible.

  1. Seek good conversations

I’ve met some quite frankly amazing people at L&OD events, and I’m keen to catch up with old faces and meet new ones.

  1. Take good breaks

Oh yes – good coffee, a quiet corner (rare at Olympia but there are some) and a pause.

  1. Be social

It’s definitely a balance: learning – blogging – breaks – social… but sometimes the best part is the social in between.


What sessions do I want to attend? What are my ‘must see’?

  1. David Clutterbuck is delivering a session on ‘The new AI Coach’. He’s an award-winning author and Special Ambassador for the EMCC. His website also says he’s an occasional comedian – let’s hope so, because just reading the blurb for this session gives me an adversarial physiological reaction. I’m intrigued and keen to learn more.

Day 2 – 9.30-10.30am – E4: Insight Masterclass

  1. Moving into a commercial world (from health charity) means the ‘bottom line’ now matters more than it ever has. So I’m interested in joining this conversation:Attachment.png
  2. I’m currently working with leaders to reduce bias and practice inclusive leadership. So this session from Angela Peacock resonated: Inclusive Leadership – creating a measured approach that rescues bias and drives inclusion.

(Day 1: C5, 14:50 Insight: Expert Masterclass)

This: “facilitate change and make it happens within specific timeframes” is one of my forever challenges. This: “discover new ways to reduce bias in the employee lifecycle and hold leaders to account” also feels important. I’m keen to learn new ways, and stories about success with persistence of ‘ways’ that work with long-term commitment to change.

For a taster, watch Angela talk about unconscious bias here.

  1. This panel looks good:


I’m a big fan of ‘communities of practice’ – another thing I’m hoping to embed in my current organisation to encourage continuous and self-directed learning. I’d like to hear what the panel has to say and join the discussion.

  1. And… because I’m not really interested in analytics* but everyone else seems to be, I fancy going to G3 Insight: Expert Masterclass (Day 2, 12:10) with Luk Smeyers, Deloitte, and Richard Doherty, Workday.

*I am interested in data just not the leaping assumptions so often made about human behaviour.

I’ll be blogging and tweeting about these and other sessions throughout the 2 days of the Festival… see you there!


This article comes courtesy of Jo Wainwright – People Development Professional who is passionate about behaviour change, coaching, culture, leadership and creating time to think.




Get involved:

The CIPD’s Festival of Work (12-13 June 2019, Olympia London, 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.

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