Forager-learners at #cipdldshow

I’m attending the CIPD L&D Show 2016 – and this time, for the first time, as an official “blogsquad” member. This means I get to look frantic with a laptop for two days.

Clearly there’s a wealth of learning at #cipdldshow – er, that’s the point – but how do you go about prioritising your time?  Where do you go first?  Especially when there are 20 events happening upstairs, from masterclasses to workshops to case studies, and 50-odd “bite sized” learning things downstairs, all over two days?  Not to mention the exhibitors.

Advice: stay sober, or you might wake up with two Learning Management Systems, 12 kilos of self-improvement books and a tailored suite of executive coaching in your house and no memory of how they got there.

My fellow blogsquadders have already intimidated me with their hyper-organisation: have a look at what Jo Stephenson and Ian Pettigrew plan to do.

This leaves me thinking I might “go random”.  Maybe there’s a gap for chance anecdotes and encounters, maybe I should follow hashtags and people and see what happens (not *literally* follow people, just to be clear).

This wouldn’t be because I’m not organised.  Oh no.  I see myself as a hyper-organised, borderline control freak.  My jobshare partner sees me as flaky and disorganised, borderline chaotic lifestyle.  In MBTI terms I’m a light J.  In MBTI terms my jobshare partner is a delightful person whom you’d love to meet, particularly if you have a strong sense of self-esteem.

In fact I’ve found an intellectual justification for taking a scattergun approach to Kensington Olympia.  It’s Benedict Carey’s book called How We Learn.  Carey describes how we developed “foraging” instincts as a matter of evolutionary survival.  Learning has always been done “on the run”.  Learning is also better if interrupted before the end, and benefits from a fragmentary, varied and repetitive (but not boring) approach.

There are chapter titles like: Spacing Out, Quitting Before You’re Ahead, The Upside of Distraction and You Snooze You Win.

So none of us should despair at the bewildering range of options at CIPD L&D Show 2016. Get organised, or get disorganised, and see you there.




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