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08:37 on Wednesday
7 March 2001

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Positively Peterborough

Trans-national Conference


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 performance.

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 here

October 2000

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