Time for a quick round-up of last week’s CILIP CDG conference: Working smarter: making more an impact with less. I tweeted the day, but foolishly didn’t set up a twapperkeeper, so I’ve harvested my tweets, and put them here. If you want more detail about what was said and when, try the tweets (read from bottom up), as this blog post will be more of an overview 🙂

I’d booked for this right at the last minute, as I was going to be in London the next day anyway, and am delighted I did! It was an interesting and useful day, where I heard some good ideas, met some lovely people – and, of course, won a bottle of Sue Hill champagne in the raffle!

I heard twice from Susie Kay from The Professionalism Group. I’d been intrigued by the descriptions of Susie’s sessions, and they were a strong pull in signing up for the conference. The main thing I brought away from both of these sessions (How to reduce the hidden costs of meetings and Professionalism for success) is that professionalsim and professional behaviour has a profoundly positive impact on your working environment. Professionals consistently monitor their own behaviour, and will always be looking for ways they can make improvements – whether this is by finding innovative alternatives to time-consuming and unproductive meetings, or ensuring that they create a positive impression on colleagues and managers. I was impressed with Susie’s definition of professionalism as ‘a way for an individual to have an entirely positive effect on those around them’ – what I need to do now is to keep finding ways to do that!

Susie’s points sat very well with the talk from Carol Brooks about training and development on a shoestring. Part of being a professional is a commitment to your own personal and professional development – you should always be thinking about learning and development opportunities. One of Carol’s points was that – especially in lean times – we need to share experience and learn from each other. Teaching is just as valid for cpd as learning – and you will learn while you teach. I particularly liked Carol’s suggestion that managers should shadow/second their managees, to get first hand experience and understanding of whether the support they provide is sufficient and appropriate.

Carol was also very emphatic about the benefits of mentoring, both for mentor and mentee (or mental and manatee, according to @jaffne). This was of particular interest to me, as I’ve just come out of a mentoring relationship (chartership), and am planning to become a mentor myself. I had a really productive and positive relationship with my chartership mentor, and am finding that I miss it. I think mentoring is something I’ll try to stay involved with throughout my career.

I’m writing most of this on my phone on the train (hellooo typos!), so will skip over fundraising with Kathy Roddy and marketing on a shoestring with Andy Ryan with less attention than they deserve. The main point I took from both of these sessions was the importance of leveraging existing relationships and networks. Marketing and fundraising have, I think, more in common than I had realised.

Overall, an excellent and enjoyable day, that was well-worth getting up at 5:30 for 🙂