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Collaborative Insight April 2017 - ISSUE 41

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ICW Members' Conference 25 April 2017

David AndersonOn Tuesday 25 April we held our fourth event specially for our Members (i.e. those who are entitled to use the post-nominal MICW). By popular demand, this time the event was held away from London and we had an excellent day hosted by Warwick Business School, including plenty of networking time over coffee and lunch in their excellent and attractive facilities.

The Conference was introduced by the current Chairman of our Membership Committee, David Anderson of BAM Nuttall.

He welcomed ICW's Chairman, Lord David Evans, who delivered the opening speech with his usual wit and candour. He reflected on the implications of BREXIT now that it was 'real' - both for us and for other members of the EU and read us the following poem, which he had composed especially for today!

"There's a new, new world a comin'... It's really going to be somethin'... The internet of Thingies - inter-operability and AI. The pronunciation alone is enough to make me cry! Then there's machine learnin'... Is that for those who don't have a work yearnin'...? When driverless cars soon abound. Will UBER then drive us ALL around? Will your oven and fridge obey all your orders? Or decide for themselves your dietary borders? This new world of work is changing. Robots will now do all the slaving. Encouraging a new world of collaboration. For the benefit of all our nations... But are the beaches big enough to take us all? Will robots pay us not to work at all? BREXIT or not, in “machines” we will trust. But what role for the bankers - who once made us go bust? Hasta La Vista Baby - we all thought that was crazy. Improving our lives with services and apps. And making us happier folks - PERHAPS! But people - do please listen to me. This new world of work is already here - for those that look to see! The improved quality of life and efficiency. The promise of AI and the Smart City... Maybe!"

Falstaff with JoFollow that, Jo Potter, because Jo, also on the Membership Committee, was on next! She introduced the other committee members - two of whom unfortunately had been unable to attend, so photos had to suffice. She then involved everybody in a short collaboration activity, designed to get people talking to each other by eliciting specific bits of information.

After coffee, we welcomed Altricia Dawson of WBS, who gave us a fascinating account of her research into the way in which cognitive biases can adversely affect collaborative working and what can be done about it. This was followed by Caroline Joy of Emcor who provided us with a very interesting insight as to how Emcor develop their staff (at all levels from the hands-on workforce through to Senior Managers) in the art of successful collaboration throughout their careers.

We then broke for lunch with the choice of some really delicious dishes. There was also the opportunity to meet 'Falstaff', a delightful guide dog, who had been brought along by our next speaker, Kirsty Necker. Falstaff had actually failed his Guide Dog test on the grounds of being a bit too independent-minded and had settled for a career in PR instead! Despite that Members had the opportunity to wear a blindfold and put their faith in Falstaff who successfully got them from A to B!

After lunch Dave Hawkins organised a 'World Café' style collaborative exercise: people circulated round 6 tables each with a topic (such as 'Risk', 'Capabilities', Future Topics') and wrote an individual reaction to each. The exercise prompted lively discussion between the participants and the information has been captured and will be used to inform future events/decisions.

Following this we had a lively presentation from Kirsty Necker, of Guide Dogs. She told us how the role of 'Guide Dogs' was adapting in line with the introduction of new technology and how this necessitated finding innovative cross-sector solutions based on the use of collaborative methodology.

World CafeAfter the tea break we heard from Alan Dinsdale of Kier about how they have used their very successful Alliance model to integrate their suppliers, all of whom have gained BS 11000 certification in their own right.

The afternoon finished with a Panel Session compered by Committee Member Kevin Hogwood. The panel consisted of Committee Members and most of the day's speakers, who happily fielded questions. Finally, David Anderson concluded the day by thanking everyone who had participated and asking them for their support in encouraging new Members to join.

Isn't it time YOU signed up? You'll join a great community! Just email me for further details.

Nicky Painter, Membership Manager

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