Through the L&D Looking Glass

I am delighted to be part of the Blog Squad for 2017’s CIPD L&D Show. The theme this year has really had me thinking.. Make every day a learning day. Wow! That’s a theme and a half, isn’t it?

CIPD Blog Squad Quote FionaI’m a learning and development professional who (as you’d expect!) loves learning and who is a huge advocate of making the most of all experiences, by learning from them as much as possible. If I’m honest with you though, that’s actually quite hard to do sometimes, let alone every day. Our working days are so fast paced and quite often, as well intentioned as we might be, it can be hard to notice what is going on for you. Additionally, as a good friend of mine pointed out just recently, sometimes you don’t recognise you’ve learnt something until you have had time to reflect. This might be some time after the event or when you’ve had an opportunity to apply that learning in a real life workplace scenario.

Earlier this week I returned from a holiday to Venice. Whilst I was there I was lucky to have a private tour of a glass making factory on the island of Murano. Walking around the factory the manager shared fascinating information about the history of the island and how glass blowers learn their trade. We then stopped to watch a glass blower at work, it was mesmerising and incredibly artistic.

Did you know? 10 years is how long it can take to become a master glass blower. You start as an apprentice and learn side by side with someone else.. through weeks, months and years of watching, listening, testing, asking questions, trial and error until you can eventually become ready to produce your own glassware.

As I was listening to the factory manager I started to reflect on the world of learning and development, how I learn and how I try to embed learning into my every day activity. In doing my best to watch, listen, test out ideas, ask questions and try stuff out I concluded that maybe I’m not a world away from the glass blowers and their practice and that the best learning and development professionals amongst us are both master and apprentice.


Find out more about the CIPD L&D Show 2017 here or on social media using the hashtag #cipdLDshow

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