Here’s a small (and slightly random) selection of key points I took away from this fab conference, Changeboard Future Talent, we attended. There was so much amazing content, and I couldn’t possibly cover all of it, so these are my personal favourites. Thanks to Changeboard and to all who spoke and imparted their wisdom on the day. Enjoy!

  • From ages 6/7 children start to identify if jobs are for ‘boys’ or ‘girls’, and what types of jobs they ‘aspire’ to. It just goes to show how early employers need to get out to schools to challenge these misconceptions. That’s what Education and Employers can help with, and it benefits your employees who volunteer too. Win, win!
  • Don’t worry about AI taking your job just yet – particularly if you work in HR (apparently it’s only 1% likely that you’ll be replaced by robots). But, humans need more than human skills. We need a better appreciation of the technology we use so that we can understand when it goes wrong or reflects the biases of those who develop it.
  • 40% of millennials have a hustle on the side.
  • Those of us involved in L&D need to think about curating a broad range of courses for people to get involved in. And, experiential working is really important.
  • Train leaders to coach. Leaders today and in the future need to have three essential skills – listening is number one. Two is questioning: ask questions that set off fireworks in other people’s minds. Third is structuring: to shape and guide the conversation. Anne Scoular had some very wise words.
  • Emotional intelligence is really important. We can build the scaffolding, but, individuals need to recognise that they need to bring their ladder. They’re responsible for their own learning. So agrees Philip Quarterman, who works on UX within HR specifically (who’d have thought that would exist a few years ago?). Taking employee experience to a whole new level.
  • The recent turn-around of Microsoft can be attributed to changing from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. For growth and innovation, culture needs to change from ‘know it alls’ to ‘learn it alls’. Don’t see mistakes or being told ‘’we can improve’’ as a threat. See it as an opportunity. A fascinating subject for all ages – I’d highly recommend reading Matthew Syed’s books. Inspirational.
  • What can we learn from Gen Y? Well, apart from the fact they love a side-hustle (see previous point), they also think development opportunities, organisational culture and work-life balance are the three most important factors in choosing an employer. Also, according to the very clever and highly entertaining Adam Kingl, if they were leaders (some already are), their key focuses (foci?) would be on renewing their organisational purpose and mission (43%) and retaining an entrepreneurial perspective (33%). Those objectives score far, far higher than focusing on how the business is trading, global growth or financial worth of the business (at a paltry 1%). Reminds me of a song my daughter’s singing a lot at the moment…”It’s not about the money, money, money…We just wanna make the world dance, forget about the price tag…’’ Anyway, I digress…

Finally, my personal highlight (he was VERY funny) was Simon Fanshawe, who asked ‘’what do we do about diversity?’’

Bias is bias, and it exists. Whether conscious or unconscious, is largely irrelevant. Diversity is the way you do things. It’s the way you approach talent. Think about the purpose of the team as a whole, to see what new members can bring. Set aside CVs and mark against meaningful criteria. It’s recognition that we’re all different. And we can approximate the difference that an individual will bring and learn to manage and use it efficiently. It’s the power and enjoyment of difference.

And it’s that last sentence that sums up the Changeboard conference for me – a whole range of very different speakers, on a variety of topics, that were both powerful and extremely enjoyable. Thanks again to all who made it such a great conference, and especially to the wonderful team at Changeboard.