The GoodPractice team had a great time down at LT16 last week. If you didn’t get a chance to stop by our stand, here’s what you missed. This year we went all out for a Star Wars theme to showcase our range of performance support resources and performance assessment tools. The team had lots of interesting conversations and we came back to Edinburgh full of ideas and inspiration.

GoodPractice stand at LT16

From the atmosphere in the exhibition hall and upstairs in the main conference, it was clear that there is a real buzz in our industry at the moment. With so many innovative ideas, new technologies and great content on offer, we are excited about what the future holds for L&D. Here’s our review of what we did, and what we learnt at LT16.

Presenting our research on how managers (really) learn

We delivered not one but two presentations at LT16 this year. First up on Day 1 was our CEO and all-round learning guru, Peter Casebow. He presented the results of our recent research report ‘The Secret Learning Life of UK Managers’ to a packed out audience.

With 70% of organisations reporting that they don’t proactively investigate how their employees learn, or indeed what they need to do their jobs better, Peter lifted the lid on some of our survey’s more surprising findings about how your managers choose to learn and the sources they use. Hint - it’s not what you might think!

Peter Casebow in front of Secret Learning Life report slide

If you’d like a copy of The Secret Learning Life of UK Managers, you can download it here.

Sharing our expertise on performance support in practice

At GoodPractice, we’ve got 15 years of experience helping organisations meet the challenge of providing effective L&D support for their leaders and managers. So, on Day 2, Ian and Andy from our sales team shared some of our collective wisdom with their presentation on using performance support tools in the real world.

As well as showcasing how different organisations have used our online toolkit, they distilled our experience about what really works for learners in terms of content, delivery and user experience. If you missed the presentation, our friend Rachel Burnham (follow her on Twitter @BurnhamL&D or visit her blog) created this lovely sketch note which covers the key points:

sketch note

Learning from others

We also attended some of the conference sessions, and there were a couple of real standouts for us. Introduced by Nigel Paine, our favourite from the conference programme was a joint session on ‘Leadership Development That Works.’ This featured case studies from two very different organisations about how they develop their leaders and managers.

Leadership development that really works

First up was Karen Lynas from the NHS and her colleague Louise Scott-Worrall from KPMG. They introduced the NHS Leadership Academy Programme. Karen talked about the challenges of developing the Academy Programme, and shared some wonderful examples of immersive scenario-based videos, where programme participants had to make difficult decisions about how best to reduce A&E waiting list times.

The high quality videos and the rich scenarios captured everyone’s attention. Karen reported how they had created a powerful emotional connection with learners, helping them see how their leadership behaviour directly influences staff and patients. As an organisation responsible for creating similar content, we agreed with Karen’s advice: “Be brave when it comes to creating your content. Strive for the highest possible quality and adhere to high production values to create real impact.”

The second presentation was from Marc Jansen, Global Manager for Learning and Talent from Booking.com. He introduced their ‘Management Recipe’, and described how different elements such as learning groups, skills modules, performance support tools and manager ‘nudges’ are blended together to create an approach which is a great fit for Booking’s bottom-up management culture. Key to this was the self-development toolkit (provided by GoodPractice!) which is used to give managers regular prompts, or ‘nudges’ as he called them, highlighting content which is relevant to their specific needs and activities. However, Marc offered important words of wisdom when he said: “Don’t just take our recipe and try to apply it to your organisation. Always be mindful of your organisation’s learning culture.”

Home truths with Bob Mosher

Another conference highlight was Bob Mosher’s session on the Five Moments of Learning Need. Bob is an inspiring speaker, and spoke honestly about what working in L&D is really like. He asked us to consider how many times we are told specifically what we should deliver by people who know very little about learning. This was familiar to many in the audience.

Central to Bob’s presentation was the message that, as L&D practitioners, it is up to us to change the focus of the conversations we have about learning to be about how best to solve performance problems. One of our favourite quotes was: “Keep your learning content well curated, current and relevant. If you don’t, your learners won’t use it.” With our commitment to creating resources that our clients come back to time after time, we wholeheartedly agree with this statement! At GoodPractice we are big fans of Bob’s work, so much so that a couple of years ago we decided to make a short animation about his Five Moments of Learning Need - check it out here.

Our #chooseyodawill competition

Our LT16 Star Wars competition certainly created a bit of a buzz! We asked L&D professionals to visit our stand and tell Yoda about the top challenge they face in developing their leaders and managers. Congratulations to Howard Gunstock from Linde Materials Handling (UK) - he won £750! We’ll be talking about some of the L&D challenges in a later blog.