Friday, 8 April 2011

HRD 2011 Drumming it into them, Minding your language, Minding your manners, it’s how and why you play the game

HRD 2011 held at Olympia,London this year is the CIPD's London show case exhibition. The HR Profession were out and about networking, looking for ideas in benchmarking their organisation, seeking out best practice, and searching for fresh ideas for learning and development. Social media has increasingly integrated into the workplace through Facebook and other networks and this is having an impact on HR.

As is common now at such exhibitions, there were an array of free topic tasters by suppliers, learning area activities and a chance to try out now games and learning tools. The 'Interactive zone' provided a good space to exchange thoughts and ideas. At the centre of the Exhibition's ground floor was an extensive CIPD stand with publications, membership and resources to serve today's HR professionals own development needs. Exhibitors ranged from Business Schools and Universities, Consultancies, Government, to In Company solutions . Also present were those companies offering Outsourcing managed services, professional associations, and publishers. With the rise in 'Academies' evidence based training the Qualifications/Auditing Industry were selling hard. There were many Technology Suppliers, Training Providers and Support service in action earning/ blended learning/ Experiential training, face to face learning, and Mobile learning. Orrganisations offering Multimedia solutions, Open and Distance learning venues and psychometric testing and assessments were liberally scattered throughout the hall. HR has become increasingly under pressure during this recession to provide value for money, measurable return on investment, care for talent.

In addition HR is having to work with the changing business demands. People are a key but expensive resource in a business. Changes in employment law, working directives, plus the impact of the plethora of apps. associated with IT and learning, have made the profession of people management more complex and challenging. Many training budgets have been cut but the board has expected the same even increased return on training investment. the cost of recruitment has also soared HRD 2011 show seemed smaller than I remember in past years.

The Upper floor of Olympia was reserved for the conference and the ground floor for the exhibition. However it did look busy and many of the stand presenters told me that they felt it was a busy show with plenty of leads. The venue companies were out presenting their sites. The more imaginative and energetic universities were present not only offering their training and learning expertise but also their venues. Then the various testing bodies and accreditation industry, psychometric testing and a whole panoply of training providers both large scale and small. For those in sales management roles who have to put on learning events, trainings and conferences there were a number of exhibitors who caught my eye. The costs of their offering covered a wide range.

Team building requires activity and experiential learning to work well. But training play is a serious business. There were a number of the outward bound and paintball experiences which are popular with some and disliked by others. Taiko drumming as offered by Rythmworks looks a lot of fun since it is clearly challenging to learn a new skills working on areas such team work, . Mark Alcock of Rhythmworks Although HRD 2011 is a CIPD show for the whole range of learning and HR issues world the Sale Profession was represented by the ISMM.

Lots of new things are going on at the ISMM both in terms of the popular regional meetings as well as the next event for sales management event st the Ricoh centre, Coventry in the Autumn. Lots of interesting speaker have been engaged and it should prove a show to take your team to. The ISSM support the sales profession through membership, consultation services endorsements and Qualifications. If you are looking at developing a Sales Academy you might like to contact their Commercial director Stephen Wright.

As business becomes more International knowledge about cultures and learning to speak the national language of buyers has become more important. Although English is the a universal language in business it is not the ONLY language. Buyers may well prefer to negotiate in their home language. But even if they are preferred to speak English they appreciate those executives who speak their language and have a knowledge of their culture. ,

Directors languages offer training in language skills but also cultural briefings useful for export sales but also organisation who have been involved in takeovers, mergers and acquisitions that require executives to understand cultural nuances of different organisation who now have to work together in a new regime. Managing Director Graham Cook's RSVP Design are specialists in activity based training they design games from small scale quick 15 min activities to large scale activities for large groups. They have a great range of products and learning activities.

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