Wednesday, July 08, 2009


The learning journey continues...and boy has it continued with some serious 'brain stimulation' and CPD!

One reason for not blogging in recent weeks is that I have been doing some extensive travelling in the UK and abroad. My brain is so full of thoughts and new ideas I hardly know where to start.

Firstly, I went to Newcastle in June, to the University of Northumbria to be precise where I attended my very first academic conference and what an experience that was! I originally thought that the presentations might be a little dry and heavy, but not so. Some superb, well researched presentations and very welcoming and friendly people meant that my note book is full and certainly the challenge now is to transcribe some of my key learnings into either papers or reflected in my current work.

Then the following week, I was off to the Netherlands, to Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) to speak at an ECLO annual conference (more practitioner based). ECLO (European Consortium for the Learning Organisation) is Europe's longest serving Community of Practice and I continue to be proud to be their Secretary-General. The conferece, as ever, was an eclectic mix of speakers and participants from Europe and beyond. Apart from being around some familiar faces, it brought back some wonderful memories of the ECLO 2008 conference at which I spoke at and also had taken my son, James, with me for his work experience, first as an event co-ordinator with ECLO in Budapest and then to Berlin to work in the city centre for Regus in Kurfurstendamm. ECLO is always a very thought provoking and this conference was no different - next year it looks like it might be in Turkey.

Finally, last week, I was in Norway (Oslo) attending a special meeting as part of my current work on an EU-funded project looking at developing a competency matrix, developmental guide and game for project managers working in European Regional Development Agencies. Working (well actually playing the game that we are developing) in sweltering Oslo (cool offices though) and then an evening dip in a (nudist) lake in a forest on the outskirts of Oslo seemed an absolutely surreal experience. I will be taking the 'game' to Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia during September and October this year.

Back in the UK on Saturday, meant watching my son appear as Eddie in 'Blood Brothers' (as part of his local theatre group) and running my first UK Masterclass (How to cut training budgets and increase learning) in London on Tuesday.

All I can say after this little lot is phew!

Happy Summer everyone.

The POL Group