Show of strength

Leadership issues will dominate this year’s CIPD conference and exhibition in Harrogate

Identifying and developing leadership potential is one of the most pressing issues facing the HR and training profession, but it is also one to which visitors to this month’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) conference and exhibition may discover the answers.

According to the latest CIPD training and development survey, nearly two-thirds of UK organisations believe they are short of effective leaders. New ways of dealing with this shortage feature prominently in the free CIPD exhibition, which has more than 300 HR companies showcasing their products and services.

The Leadership Judgement Indicator is a good example, assessing people’s ability to judge the type of leadership best suited to particular circumstances. It is being promoted by The Test Agency (stand C54).

Leadership issues also dominate much of the conference programme, which has more than 40 seminars and over 100 speakers.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, will give the opening speech on the role of leaders in high performing organisations.


Kanter will explain how good leaders encourage a culture of self-belief, motivation and teamwork to thrive, enabling unexpected people to achieve high levels of performance.

The conference and exhibition, which run from 26-28 October, are designed to help managers and HR professionals tackle key challenges by highlighting radical ideas and examples of best practice.

Geoff Armstrong, CIPD director general, says the event “offers a mixture of practical advice and guidance on the day-to-day issues surrounding people management and development”.

The two other keynote speakers are social philosopher, broadcaster and writer, Charles Handy, and Dave Ulrich, professor of business at the University of Michigan.

Handy will argue that the definition of success is undergoing a profound shift for both individuals and organisations, and Ulrich will outline how HR can create value in the eyes of investors, customers, line managers and employees.

The seminars will be based around key topics, including talent management, innovation, managing change, strategy and leadership.
Among those taking part are Martin Tiplady, HR director of the Metropolitan Police Service, Tim Smit, chief executive and co-founder of The Eden Project in Cornwall, as well as experts from leading business schools.

Outside the conference, the exhibition, which is spread over five halls, has plenty of on-stand demonstrations and activities to give visitors a better feel for the HR tools and techniques that are available.

Software zone

A new software zone creates the opportunity to try out the latest web-based applications and software. Visitors will also receive advice about the packages best suited to their needs.

The zone has nearly a dozen exhibitors, including ResourcingNET (stand B144), which is launching a web-based talent management solution for skill inventories, succession reviews and profiling individual performance.

Networx (stand B138) will promote new recruitment software that enables users to integrate their entire recruitment process with the careers section on their websites.

Experiential management training, which embraces everything from drama to outdoor activities for employee development, demonstrates the show is not just about cutting-edge technology. Purple Monster (stand C100), for example, is promoting arts-based solutions to improve management skills.

The growing use of coaching as a development tool is reflected among exhibitors such as Coaching Development (stand Q12). It will showcase its new coach training programme, which is one of just two developed in the UK that has been accredited by the International Coach Federation.

Pod Associates (stand Q130) is launching a three-day programme that uses the principles of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) to maximise the impact of coaching on business performance.

The use of psychometric testing is also much in evidence at the exhibition, with applications in career counselling and team building as well as recruitment and identifying leadership potential.

Consulting Tools (stand C114) offers delegates the opportunity to preview a new version of its psychometric tool, which shows how someone’s thinking style affects their ability to lead and manage.

Psychological profiling specialist Ideal Sycadex (stand C76) will be promoting Ideal 360, which is said to revolutionise the 360-degree organisational and individual development planning process by providing a highly-focused insight into each candidate.

PCL (stand C140) is launching the Profile Match testing system, an on-line personality testing system that allows users to choose the competencies relevant to their organisation.

Along with the software zone, a series of free 30-minute information briefings and research updates from the CIPD are available (see box).

Time and place

Location: Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
26 October:
27 October:
9am-5.30pm; 28 October:
Cost: £960 (excluding VAT) for CIPD members, and £1,065 (excluding VAT) for non-members.
Fees are reduced if not attending all three days.
for details and further information visit

Free briefings and workshops

A total of 15 free information briefings and CIPD updates will be held in the Kings Suite during the exhibition.
Topics covered include European Commission plans to encourage transferable pensions (Wednesday, 12.00-12.30), the latest research from the CIPD (Thursday, 10.00-10.30), how to combat bullying in the workplace (Thursday, 15.00-15.30), and best practice in managing freelancers and consultants (Friday, 10.00-10.30).

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