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Day 1 – SDF’s Festival of Learning and Development 2022

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Welcome to Day 1



9.45AM – 10.45AM

Drills and holes – rethinking the future of learning and the learning practitioner

Mark Story, Newcross Healthcare

Synopsis: In 1960, Harvard Business School marketing professor Theodore Levitt introduced the concept of ‘Marketing Myopia’ as a reason businesses fail. He argued that companies were too focused on producing their goods or services and don’t spend enough time understanding what customers want or need. His most often cited saying was “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill. They want quarter-inch holes!”  As learning professionals, we have for too long fallen into the same mindset – our focus has been on our courses and our content – our products. If we reword this Levitt’s saying and apply it to our world: “people don’t want to learn a thing, they want to do a thing!” – Where does that lead our imaginations regarding our approach to future learning provision?

In this talk, I will start from this perspective and describe how, at Newcross, we have developed a range of immersive, story-led online training programmes that demonstrate the start of our journey into equipping learners with holes rather than drills.

I will then present: our view of the future and how this is challenging our understanding of the tools and skills required by the learning practitioner; how innovation and failing fast are key processes to augment the learning practitioners’ victories and; how the future will integrate us into all parts of the organisation and how our resulting career paths will be more exciting than ever before.

In conclusion, I will invite you to envision a ‘metaversal’ future in which learning happens as a consequence of doing rather than the other, more traditional way round… Holes being created without the need for drills.


11.00AM – 11.45AM

Starting your team on the road to more productive working

Jo Keeler, Belbin

Synopsis: Over the past two years, Belbin have worked with teams who have been at the norming, forming, storming and performing stages of team development… and everything in-between. Remote and hybrid working have highlighted a number of challenges in team performance. With your Belbin report to hand we will explore ways in which you can use your strengths, to empower and engage your teams for 2022, wherever they’re working.


12.00PM – 12.45PM

Developing an internal coaching service

Anna Sheather, Elan Coaching

Synopsis: Internal coaching can be a great investment and can be used in many different ways to support an organisation. In this workshop we explore the key considerations for successfully developing an internal coaching service and participants will be able to start to think through the internal coaching what, why, and how for their organisation.


1.45PM – 2.45PM

From Jersey to Uganda, offshore perspectives on opportunities and challenges for Learning and Development Professionals

Olivia Kiwummulo-Mwesigwa, Save The Children & Gary Millns, Aztec Group

Synopsis: In this inventive keynote Olivia Kiwummulo – Mwesigwa, Human Resources Manager at Save the Children International, the world’s leading organisation for children and Gary Millns, Associate Director: Training and Development at Aztec Group, a market leader in Fund and Corporate Services, will share their insights to provoke thinking about the commonalities, differences, opportunities and challenges that lie for organisational development/learning and development professionals supporting their organisations and people in the coming years – specifically as a result of Covid, changes in working arrangements and other big agendas on the horizon. Specifically, Olivia and Gary will address questions around commonalities and differences of working in specific geographical locations, the role of leadership in promoting learning, navigating the challenges with hybrid working, inclusivity and wellbeing – all hot topics for organisational development professionals just now.


3.00PM – 3.45PM

Women in Learning – Empowering Women Leaders

Sharon Claffey Kaliouby, Learning Pool

Synopsis: We need everyone’s voice to discuss the topic of Women in Learning and here’s why: Research states women are 2 – 3 times less likely as men to have leadership positions in Learning & Development. Studies report firms with greater gender diversity among senior positions perform better.

Thus, supporting women in senior learning leadership roles is not the “nice thing” to do but the PROFITABLE thing to do.  Lack of C-suite women in L&D affect the bottom line of every business. COVID-19 disrupted the workplace in ways we’ve never seen before and intensified the challenges of Women in Learning. Many are struggling to switch-off, boundaries are blurred, and recent studies indicate working mothers are 3 times more likely than men to discontinue work due to childcare demands. We are at risk of losing women at all levels of the organizational hierarchy.

During this open dialogue, we will discuss strategies to support women in leadership roles, including:

  • Supporting women from ethnic minorities in L&D (we need to stop simply listing the statistics and ‘walk the talk’)
  • Identifying and promoting the female “Trailblazers” in Learning
  • Supporting women in leadership roles in L&D
  • Leveraging remote work as an opportunity to expand our female senior talent pool
  • Creating an allyship with men


4.00PM – 4.45PM

Action learning and academic-practitioner collaboration: A developmental approach to women’s career progression

Saire Jones & Kathryn Waddington, University of Westminster

Synopsis: This workshop will describe the design, implementation and outcomes of an action learning initiative that addressed issues relating to gender inequality and the need to create opportunities for women’s career progression. It will also illustrate wider implications for career progression in professional roles in the future.