Mind Tools review of the 2019 CIPD festival of work

We've packed away our stand, headed back to Mind Tools HQ, and now it's time to reflect on a busy, informative and exciting two days at the 2019 CIPD Festival of Work!

Written by Natalie Benfell
Published 25 June 2019
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Mind Tools review of the 2019 CIPD festival of work

The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development, and is dedicated to "championing better work and working lives." Its Festival of Work conference and exhibition at Olympia London was billed as the world's largest celebration of people at work.


The event attracted more than 10,000 visitors, 160 speakers and 250 exhibitors“ including a handpicked team from Mind Tools! We were delighted to demonstrate our Corporate offering to L&D leaders from the U.K. and around the globe. We were also pleased to showcase our latest white paper, "Challenging Perceptions: Optimizing Performance by Aligning With the Needs of the Consumer Learner." The report was a joint venture with our Emerald Learning partners, Towards Maturity - watch this space for a downloadable version that will be available soon! The white paper takes a deep dive into learner behavior, and explores how today's learners feel about learning at work. One of the key findings is the massive divide between the perceptions of L&D practitioners and those of their learners. Drawing on lessons from top-performing organizations, the paper identifies the key learning expectations L&D practitioners need to meet, and the changes that will likely have the biggest impact on bridging the divide that may exist in your organization.

Festival of work: an immersive event


The Festival of Work had lots to offer the delegates, exhibitors and visitors. For example, in the Innovation Village, a number of organizations demonstrated the latest innovations in L&D. And in the Well-Being Village, visitors could take part in mindfulness tasters, yoga sessions, and even spend time chilling with canine companions in the Nestle Purina dogs area.

The future role of technology


Embracing technology in the workplace (without forgetting the human element) was one of the most popular themes of the event. The opening keynote address was given by Garry Kasparov, a chess grandmaster and former world champion, and current chairman of the Human Rights Foundation. He spoke about how the future of work is human and machine working together. This was followed by a panel with Garry and other prominent experts, to discuss good work and the future of jobs in a changing economic landscape.

Festival of work free learning program


In addition to the 75+ sessions on the main stages, CIPD also ran free learning events throughout the Festival of Work. On the L&D Stage, our colleagues at GoodPractice delivered a presentation around the evolution of 70:20:10, a learning and development model that suggests a proportional breakdown of how people learn effectively. In the session, they discussed insights, gathered from L&D practitioners working in leading organizations, about how they use 70:20:10 within their businesses. For the uninitiated, 70:20:10 describes an ideal balance between different ways of learning and developing in the workplace:
  • 70 percent by "experience," through day-to-day tasks, challenges and practice.
  • 20 percent by "exposure," through social learning, in person or online.
  • 10 percent by "education," through formal learning including courses.

GoodPractice managing director Owen Ferguson explored the model with some important health warnings about the research methodology of 70:20:10. He pointed out that L&D has a difficult job to do in terms of positioning and communicating 70:20:10, as there is a risk that people view it as "something extra," or that L&D is pushing its responsibility out to managers and employees in the guise of 70:20:10. As well as speaking and exhibiting at the event, GoodPractice also celebrated the third birthday of its podcast by doing a live show from London. This special podcast featured Michelle Parry-Slater, founder of Kairos Modern Learning; Gemma Critchley, Head of Technology & Innovation for Learning at Aviva; and Andy Lancaster, head of Learning & Development Content at the CIPD. They discussed the past, present and future of learning. 

See you at the 2020 festival of work!


We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who visited the Mind Tools stand at the CIPD Festival of Work this year. We hope to see you again in 2020! If you missed us at the event, but you'd like to find out more about our offering, why not contact us here.

About the author

Natalie Benfell

Natalie Benfell

Marketing Lifecycle Executive
Natalie is a passionate marketeer with over five years of marketing experience. She helps with the marketing activity across the lifecycle, including creating case studies and key content campaigns. Natalie enjoys copywriting, creative problem-solving and helping to build a strong brand presence.

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