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‘The energy was fantastic’: Report on ‘Learning Culture’ workshop

By November 8, 2019September 11th, 2020No Comments

It’s 7.30 a.m. on the unseasonably mild morning of October 17th, and already people are arriving at the Merrion Hotel for our first collaborative event with GP Strategies, a leading global provider of learning solutions, technical training, and organisation and leadership development for diverse industries, often at large scale.

All set up and ready to go

By the time registration is done, we have almost 50 people  joining us and our three guest speakers (Tech evangelist Clare Dillon, psychologist and author Dr. Celine Mullins and author, broadcaster and learning expert Nigel Paine) to explore why a #LearningCulture is important, and what organisations need to do to create one.

Your Learning Culture is a reflection of your general culture

It’s a topic of growing importance, not just now, but for the future. Almost everyone who took part in the event came to the same, stark, conclusion.  If you don’t build a strong Culture of Learning, your organisation will, quite simply, die. The only question is how long it might take.

Give your company the edge

All the evidence (and many anecdotes too judging by our break-out sessions) shows that a robust Culture of Learning gives companies a definite edge.  This is especially the case today, when so much business seems defined and constrained by disruptions and distractions, retention challenges and what many see as the ‘threat’ of AI.

Concentration of knowledge = exchange of learning

Given the very considerable collective knowledge in the room, with people from Learning & Development, Leadership and Training across various industries, Personally Speaking and GP Strategies wanted this to be an event that got people really talking to each other.  So the morning followed an innovative format devised by the GP team, which was designed to do just that.

One of the three ‘exchange groups’ in action.

Open dialogue, positive energy

After short introductions from the speakers, participants broke into three groups (each chaired by a speaker) and went into separate rooms for 20-minute exchange sessions.  In these,  everyone who wanted to shared their own industry knowledge, ideas, concerns and experience around the topic. The dialogues saw people be hugely generous and open, and because guests had to physically move from one space to another, the energy kept flowing.

The three speakers introduce themselves

Making connections, delivering results

To conclude, everyone came back together for a feedback session to talk about what they learnt over the course of the morning.  It was a real pleasure to see that many stayed long after the event proper had ended, to chat to each other and the speakers.  Real connections were made and meaningful conversations had.  The buzz was fantastic, with great positive energy throughout!

Opportunities for growth

It was a fantastically open, honest exchange of ideas and a really interesting morning.  We really look forward to seeing the value and opportunities for growth that it brings to our clients.  

Thanks to everyone who came, to the brilliant GP Strategies team and their colleagues at Bath Consulting Group, to the Personally Speaking team and, of course, to our wonderful speakers!

Here are some of the comments we received from those who attended.

“Great speakers and great event!”

Justyna Wozniak Szoka, Business and Career Coach/HR Professional

“I really enjoyed it.  Thanks very much for organising it.”

Eoin McDonnell, Head of Learning Innovation in a dynamic Learning Services company

“Thank you GP Strategies Ltd team.  Challenging topics and loved the format and group discussion.”

Fiona Claridge, Head of Ireland @ Own the Room

“Enjoyed the session. Some interesting insights and experiences from a wide-ranging group of people. Thanks for having me”

Scott McInnes, Founder and Director, Inspiring Change, Consultant, Enterprise Ireland


The GP Strategies team with Personally Speaking CEO Frances Keane

Afterwards, we grabbed the speakers for a quick video in which they shared their impressions of the morning, and offered their key take-aways.

These videos sum up really well the energy on the day, and show how much can be achieved even in a 20-minute session, once people are really engaged on a particular topic.

Here they are.

First up, the impressions of Peter Dean, Business Lead, Strategy, Leadership and Culture, Europe, GP Strategies Ltd.

Frances Keane, CEO of Personally Speaking Bureau, with Peter Dean, Business Lead, Strategy, Leadership and Culture, Europe, GP Strategies Ltd

Next, the impressions and take-aways from the speakers

Dr. Celine Mullins (left) with Nigel Paine and Clare Dillon

Clare Dillon – reflections on the morning

Clare Dillon – 1st take-away from the morning

Clare Dillon  – 2nd take-away

Dr. Celine Mullins – reflections on the morning

Dr. Celine Mullins – take-aways from the morning 

Nigel Paine – reflections on the morning

Nigel Paine – take-aways from the morning





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