One month ago, our 2019 Rethinking Work & Learning Conference took place in Munich. It was a successful day filled with insightful conversations and interesting keynotes. In this interview our conference organizers reply to three questions regarding their experiences at the event.

Three Questions – with Norbert Leifeld and Freya Nickl

1.Have you heard any feedback on the conference so far?

Freya: I’ve heard a lot of very positive feedback. So far, I have spoken to two of our partners. They liked the insight they gained about New Work and Learning and found meeting so many people from different backgrounds very inspiring. They also enjoyed networking with peers and engaging in conversations that they otherwise wouldn’t have had. I think the mix of L&D professionals and operational managers from over 40 companies made the conversations so interesting. Wilma Hartenfels, a participant of the conference, told me that she liked the variety of keynotes ranging from high level strategic content (Rethinking Transformation) to practical tips on how to take face-to-face business simulations into the virtual world.

Norbert: Throughout, I’ve noticed an all-positive feedback from people – face-to-face and on social media. Beside the key-notes, the New Work design of our office and the exchange of experiences was mentioned very positively. I believe that the mixture companies and industries was very well apprehended. Different companies, different industries, different level of experience, but obviously all of them have had very similar questions.

2. What was the one conversation that stuck with you from the event?

 Freya: Sabine Kluge vividly reminded us that learning & development is important to everyone in the organization, not just to the top 5% of managers. Companies often invest in their top talent and attracting new talent instead of tapping into the potential of their existing employees. New Work initiatives aim to engage this workforce from the bottom up; I think the responsibility lies both with management and the individual. It stuck with me because I am very interested in self-organized learning and how we can place higher focus on the learner. Deborah Schnabel’s keynote about applying entrepreneurial tools such as user-centricity, MVP, agility to learning programs offered yet another interesting perspective to it.

Norbert: I personally found more reasons to back up my opinion, that New Work, Agility and a successful transformation is based on self-responsibility and system thinking. I was delighted to discuss future work on a deeper level far beyond the buzz-word bingo you often find. For me it was more the combination of each and every inspiring conversation that I had – luckily confirming the inner beliefs I already had before.

3. What’s next?

Freya: We are continuing to learn more about New Work and Learning!

Norbert: I am looking forward to all follow-ups arising from this event! And you know – after the show is before the show 😉 …

Thank you to all of our speakers and attendees. We’re already looking forward to next year!