Ideas Exchange at The Gallery Soho, 14 March 2013

Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice.
Max Depree

In the heart of London’s West End, right on Charing Cross Road, The Gallery Soho was the ideal venue for ASK’s second Ideas Exchange event (see details of last year’s event here): where better to invite people to discuss the fine arts of leadership and organisational change.

As before, we set out some broad themes for exploration – organisational development, executive coaching, leadership development and talent management – but we also made sure that the event was as much about the participants as it was about the hosts.

“I don’t often get the opportunity to come to such informal events, but this has been an evening I feel that I couldn’t possibly have missed.”
Head of HR, global IT company

Following our line of thought that the key lies in asking the right questions, we invited everyone to share their questions on our gold-framed blackboard, and attendees didn’t disappoint:

  • How do you change people who don’t want to change?
  • How do we move toward people-centred organisations?
  • Boardroom scandals, backlash against large profit, high Uni debts – how do we make business attractive to talent again?
  • How do you know your pool is talented?
  • How do you build a coaching culture – top five tips?

Nor was this more directly participative approach the only refreshing element (not, of course, to exclude the bar): this was an opportunity to be refreshed: the key note flavours in the Ideas Exchange cocktail were openness and informality.

Although ASK, as ever, took the opportunity to dress the venue impeccably (as we’re sure our photo gallery ably demonstrates), this was an evening that was about dressing to inspire, invoke and involve rather than simply to impress. Attendees were given the chance to ‘leave the job title at the door’ and to come as themselves.

Providing an opportunity for senior HR and L&D practitioners to speak to each other in an intimate rather than a high-pressured sales-led environment, the evening also provided them with an opportunity to share and explore challenges at a senior organisational level.

We are now planning our third Ideas Exchange evening, to be held in November 2013. If you’d be interested to join us, please email us with your contact details: we’d very much like to see – and hear – you there.

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