Today the conference really started. The Minister of HR of Malaysia was present to open the IFTDO conference. It’s remarkable and nice when a country has a Minister of HR. It says something about the topic. You think it’s really important and it also says something about the stretch Malaysia wants to make on this matter. After a few sentences the Minister talked already about Human Capital. And with the statement: People first, performance now! His Excellency really took of with a few insights of the strategy and policies in Malaysia. And during the ceremony we noticed a young woman, dressed in a very nice and probably traditional Malaysian dress. She had to escort the honourable guests on and off the stage. And while she was standing there, her lips were moving all the time. Like if she was talking but didn’t make any sound. When you watched her carefully she was repeating what all the other speakers were saying. Why? What was going on? And after a short while she took the folder with the ROI Model and started to read in it and let her lips moving again…..

After the session I went to her and asked the question about the soundless speaking she was doing. She looked at me and said: “I was so bored, I just tried to exercise all the different pronounciations I heard from the stage. And then I asked her about the folder….. Oh, just studying what Mr. Jack Phillips told on stage….. Is that 70 percent learning or not? Learning while you’re at work….. A big class-(conference) room, many teachers and she was just studying at her job. What a great thing to watch!!!

After a visit to a beautiful gym we started to meet everybody who is speaking at the conference. It’s very nice to see that everybody is using the same words about learning, development, HR and value. It gives you the feeling that you are working in a global playing field. However, when you take a deep dive with your co-presenters you get another perspective. Are we really talking about the same approach and do we mean the same when we talk about learning & development? Let’s take an example: the word impact. We spoke with Bob Pike and he’s using the word impact to explain the impact of the learning itself. How well is a trainer performing and how did the participants react? Wei Wang of the global ATD-organization was pointing out the impact of the (pre-)conference when she was talking about the word impact. When we had a meeting with Emma Weber she was talking about the transfer of learning when she talked about the impact of learning. All experts in the same workfield talking about different aspects of impact. When we spoke to Jack & Patti Phillips they used the word impact to prove the business impact of the learning/program. So… How universal is our language? How well do we understand each other? How difficult can it be to understand your counterpart or client? We had the same experience when we tried to reach the impact of our program with ABN AMRO. How could we bridge the differences in language between their leadership language and our Multiplier language? What impact could we prove with our program but also: what impact does ABN AMRO wants to show to their internal stakeholders? A world to discover together. Co-creation to achieve the desired impact. Patti Phillips pronounced it probably the best way today: “It’s their way of doing and so it’s the right way of doing it.”