2021 Executive Development Conference insights

executive development conference

EFMD’s 2021 Executive Development Conference ‘Reboot, Revitalise and Reimagine’ was again a great success with, at peaks, over 100 professionals from business schools, alternative providers and corporates participating.

The conference provided intriguing insights to further develop the most effective methods in developing our human capital. With insights from three exciting and energising keynote sessions in the plenary thought leadership sessions.

Day 1 – Reboot, revitalise and reimagine

In the first keynote Georg Vielmetter zoomed in on the post-corona world and how the systemic origin, as well as catalytic effect of the pandemic, hold learnings on where and how to move people and organisations from here on.  A true opportunity for us development professionals, which was further explored in break-outs: how to build the new (hybrid) normal, how to build organisational resilience, how to cope with the inherent ambidexterity.   The first set of Excellence in Practice cases on incumbent leaders and professionals was explored, including how they aligned program content, features and experience to the new business world post-COVID.

Day 2 – Connectional intelligence

The second keynote by Luc Van der Hofstadt on connectional intelligence focused on how organisations and their leaders need to balance mind, heart, and body.  How balanced individuals in balanced teams become spiritually fit, how giving sense helps to prevent organisational burnout.  The second round of EiP cases focused on building the future through talent and organisational development initiatives with a real-time representation of all stakeholders including partnering organisations.

Day 3 – Business as a force for good

On the closing day, participants explored the ‘business as a force for good’ mantra.  The importance of personal and organisational purpose, perceiving and critically reviewing contribution and impact, is indeed a recurring theme in this year’s EiP cases and in the discussions throughout the conference.   The attention to social and ecological challenges we see rising in society in the slipstream of the COVID-19 pandemic was clearly echoed.  A panel with representatives from Unilever, Fujitsu and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development gave insight on how corporate organisations are actively coping with the sustainability agenda.  And the three EiP cases that followed gave an excellent opportunity to explore this amongst conference participants.

All in all a very interesting, thought-provoking and refreshing exercise – bringing a true community vibe throughout the three days which we plan to foster again during the 2022 edition on 4-6 October 2022 either online (3 days of each 3 hours) or live (Warwick, UK).

Thanks to all of the conference participants for having joined us in celebrating the :trophy: 2021 Gold and Silver Excellence in Practice award winners!

EiP award winners

Feedback from participants

‘The format was great. Starting daily with a good dense dose of thought-provoking new knowledge followed by cases with similar themes. I would definitely recommend the conference to my colleagues and peers. A gathering of professionals who are all hungry for learning, and appreciative of shared knowledge. The conference is always well thought out and I find it useful to connect with colleagues from around the world.  It has a true community feel.’

‘A wonderful forum to learn about the latest award-winning best practices in leadership and organisation development!  The case studies were amazing presenting a real-time representation of all stakeholders including partnering organisations. And the exchange with the award winners, knowing more about their context, organisation and best practices. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing different approaches to program design as they align the program content, features and experience to the new business world post-COVID.  It is truly a learning from the stars. Learning from others in general and through the award cases.’

‘Very user-friendly online experience. Well planned and executed. Speakers did well to get us all involved given that it is a virtual environment.  The best you could make from a Zoom meeting.’