Over 100 business representatives
from the Greater Peterborough and Cambridgeshire areas, Italy and Denmark
gathered for a trans-national conference - 'Effective Learning Cultures in
Organisations' - at the Marriott Hotel in Huntingdon. The event brought together
the Greater Peterborough Chamber's trans-national partners in the European ADAPT
project - a joint venture programme, funded by the European Social Fund, which
has enabled many businesses in the Greater Peterborough area to receive
subsidised training assistance to develop their workforce.
The Danish and Italian visitors -
who numbered amongst them educational advisors, industrial policy co-ordinators
and business consultants - represented a diverse range of organisations
including the Women Worker's Union of Denmark (KAD), the APRA Hotels Federation
(Italy) and Global Knowledge Network, a world-wide IT education provider.
The all day conference, hosted by
Stewart White of the BBC, focused on how to develop and implement a learning
culture in organisations and the associated benefits. Eminent speakers from the
UK, Italy and Denmark shared their knowledge and experience with the audience,
with topics ranging from latest methods and working practices, to cultural
change and maximising performance.
Kicking off the conference was
Richard Denny, internationally recognised as a leading authority on the art of
motivating and inspiring people to greater levels of achievement and success.
Richard examined why motivation
is the essential ingredient in achieving change, and assessed the manager's role
in motivating staff towards a learning culture.
Danish speaker Bente Elkjaer,
Head of Informatics at the Copenhagen Business School, described her
organisational development project work with SMEs in Denmark, looking at how
consultants can contribute to organisational learning. Results show that where
organisational learning occurred, the consultant had helped the staff to gain
more confidence and the enterprise to move forward.
Piergiorgio Togni, Director of
the Italian National Institute of Tourism (ENIT), spoke about the importance of
training to the tourism sector in Italy, and linked this into systems for
distance and continuous learning.
The final presentation was given
by Dr Chris Speechley of Peterborough based Advanced Solutions - 'Creating a
Culture to Maximise Performance' - and focused on understanding culture, its
affect on performance, identifying a culture to achieve sustained competitive
advantage and creating a culture that motivates people and maximises
Barry Mason, Director of
Marketing & Communications at the Chamber said: "Today has been an
opportunity for us all to learn from each other and to share the similarities
and differences between our different cultures. The conference represents
trans-national working at its best and builds on the Chamber's links with
business and industry in France, Denmark and Italy."
The Danish delegates arrived a day
early to hear how the Adapt programme has benefited businesses in the Greater
Peterborough area. click