ASTD Conference 2012 – Sunday
Having spent a relaxing Saturday exploring the delights of Denver, today (Sunday) I eased my way into the 2012 ASTD conference. Registration was slick, although throughout the day the queue for collecting the freebies from the ASTD stand was sufficiently long to deter me from collecting my goodie bag.
Of the sessions I attended today, the highlight was the presentation by Vicki Swisher of Korn/Ferry International on Learning Agility: The X-Factor in Identifying and Developing Future Leaders. Much of the content I was already familiar with but there are often useful nuggets to be gained from hearing these things directly from an expert in the field:
- Jobs are getting bigger while the available talent pool is getting smaller.
- Learning agility is a key differentiator for identifying and nurturing high potential talent.
- Learning agility is a meta competency that can be broken down into five broad behavioral areas; mental agility, people agility, results agility, change agility and self awareness.
- While received wisdom tells us that we should hire for these five behaviors, Vicki also made the point that each of these behaviors can also be developed. Therefore, organizations shouldn’t only be focused on hiring high potential talent but they should also pay attention to developing it.
However, the most thought provoking part of Vicki’s presentation was the distinction between developing high professionals (depth of expertise) and developing high potentials (breadth of experience). Successful organizations need both and development strategies are different in either case. This is an area I will be giving more thought and focus to in our own organization.
On leaving the conference for the day I (almost literally) bumped into David Rock of the Neuroleadership Institute as he was hurrying to get to his presentation on time. Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of David and his work but there was an element of irony for me in that moment. At his seminars David often speaks about the need for a quiet mind when tackling important tasks and in my experience, rushing to a presentation in the nick of time is not the thing that makes for a quiet mind. Ah well, he has probably made that presentation sufficiently often that it is embedded in his amygdala
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